Salinas v. Texas

Appellant Orlando Salinas challenged the assessment of a consolidated fee (or court costs, the payment of which is statutorily mandated when a defendant is convicted in a criminal case). The fees at issue were to be distributed to two accounts: an account for “abused children’s counseling” and an account for “comprehensive rehabilitation.” Appellant claimed that the unconstitutionality of these two statutory provisions rendered the entire consolidated fee statute unconstitutional. The Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that, with respect to the collection and allocation of funds for these two accounts, the statute was facially unconstitutional in violation of separation of powers. The Court also held, however, that the invalidity of these two statutory provisions did not render the statute as a whole unconstitutional. As a result, the Court held that any fee assessed pursuant to the consolidated fee statute had to be reduced pro rata to eliminate the percentage of the fee associated with these two accounts. The Court therefore reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and rendered judgment modifying the court costs in appellant’s case. View "Salinas v. Texas" on Justia Law