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 last week 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.