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Name: People v. Fleury
Case #: C061629
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/19/2010

Imposition of the $30 per offense Government Code section 70373 assessment does not violate state or federal prohibitions against ex post facto statutes. The ex post facto clauses of the federal and state constitutions protect a defendant from retrospective legislation with a punitive effect or purpose. If the intent of the Legislature is to impose punishment, it cannot be done retroactively. If the intention was to enact a civil and nonpunitive regulatory scheme, it may still violate the prohibition against ex post facto laws if it is so punitive that it negates the intent. Government Code section 70373, imposing a $30 assessment for a criminal or traffic offense, was part of a broader legislative scheme raising costs in civil, family, and probate cases. Its language indicates that the Legislature did not intend the assessment as punishment –- it is titled an assessment with its purpose being court funding, a nonpunitive objective. It is not imposed solely on persons convicted of a crime as it also includes traffic matters. This Legislative intent is not negated by the effect of the assessment, being relatively small, it does not constitute punishment.