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Name: People v. Kunitz
Case #: C044133
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/21/2004

A court may not impose joint and several restitution fines on codefendants who pleaded guilty to forcibly committing lewd acts upon a child. The two defendants, a married couple, were convicted by guilty plea of several offenses committed against the same victim, and both defendants were sentenced to state prison and ordered to pay a single $6400 restitution fine (Pen. Code, § 1202.4, subd. (b)) and corresponding $6400 parole-revocation fine (Pen. Code, § 1202.45), with each defendant being jointly and severally liable for the amount of each fine. On appeal, both defendants argued that these joint-and-several fines were unauthorized, because the language and intent of the statutes required that these types of fines be imposed on a defendant-specific basis. The Court of Appeal agreed and rejected the Attorney General’s contentions that the issue had been waived or required a certificate of probable cause. The court ordered the fines stricken and that in their place each defendant be ordered to pay separate, individual, $3200 restitution and parole-revocation fines.