Supreme Court Notebook

Justices take up fight over ­refunding fees in criminal cases

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court will decide whether people convicted of crimes but later exonerated can get a refund of court fees and other costs.

The justices said Thursday they'll take up a case involving two Colorado defendants assessed thousands of dollars in processing charges and restitution costs after being convicted on sexual assault charges.

Both ultimately had their convictions thrown out on appeal, but a trial court declined to reimburse the money. Shannon Nelson was assessed $8,192 in costs and Louis Alonzo Madden was assessed $4,413.

A Colorado appeals court said state law required a full refund. But the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that costs could be returned only if they proved their innocence by clear and convincing evidence. Nelson and Madden say this violates their due process rights.

@ROUND UP Briefs Headline:Supreme Court to hear 'swipe fees' case

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court will hear a dispute over state laws that prohibit merchants from imposing fees on customers who use credit cards.

The justices said Thursday they will take up a case involving swipe fees that merchants must pay to the credit-card issuer each time a customer charges a purchase. The fees typically range from 2 percent to 3 percent.

Businesses in several states have challenged the laws as a violation of their free speech rights. The businesses say it's unfair that they can offer discounts to customers who pay cash, but they can't tell customers they're imposing a surcharge for using credit cards.

The federal appeals court in New York upheld the state's law. The Atlanta-based court of appeals struck down Florida's version of the same law.

@ROUND UP Briefs Headline:Supreme Court says it will hear special education case

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says it'll decide the minimum that public schools must do to help learning-disabled students.

The court agreed Thursday to resolve differences among federal appeals court over the standards schools must meet under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The justices will hear an appeal from parents of an autistic child in Colorado. They moved their son to private school for fifth grade after a difficult year in fourth grade. The dispute arose after they asked for reimbursement for the cost of the private schooling.

Federal law allows learning-disabled children to be placed in private schools at taxpayer expense if public schools can't provide what the law calls a "free appropriate public education."

The question is how much public schools must do to meet their burden.

Supreme Court to hear case over deportations

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court will take up the Obama administration's appeal of lower court rulings making it harder to deport immigrants who've been convicted of crimes.

The justices agreed Thursday to review rulings striking down a provision of immigration law as unconstitutional.

The federal appeals court in San Francisco said the section of the law that defines a "crime of violence" is too vague. Conviction for a crime of violence subjects an immigrant to deportation and usually speeds up the process.

The appeals court based its ruling on a 2015 Supreme Court decision that struck down a similarly worded part of another federal law imposing longer prison sentence on repeat criminals.

The administration said the court was wrong to equate the two laws.

Published: Fri, Sep 30, 2016

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