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Name: People v. Cortez
Case #: G042891
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 10/10/2010

The court facilities fee (Gov. Code, sec. 70373) applies to all criminal convictions, not only traffic offenses under the Vehicle Code. It is triggered by the conviction date, and because it does not operate as a penalty, it does not implicate ex post facto principles. Appellant was convicted of 6 counts of Penal Code section 288, subdivision (a), and, as to each offense, was ordered to pay a $30 fee pursuant Government Code section 70373. On appeal, he contended that based on the wording of the statute, the fee applied only to criminal convictions stemming from violations of the Vehicle Code or local ordinances authorized by the Vehicle Code, and further, because the statute was enacted after the date of the offenses, imposition of the fees violated ex post facto protections. Noting that the statute could have been written more clearly, the court nevertheless found that the scope of the statute can be logically construed as applying to all criminal convictions. There was no ex post facto violation because the fee is triggered by the conviction, not the underlying offense, and it is not a punitive statute either in intent or operation. (People v. Fleury (2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 1486.)