Objection and request for judicial review of a decision made
by the Clerk of the Appellate Courts. Trial Court No.
W. Garton, Assistant Public Defender, and Quinlan Steiner,
Public Defender, Anchorage, for the Petitioner.
T. Jones, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Anchorage, and
Craig W. Richards, Attorney General, Juneau, for the
Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Suddock, Superior
case involves an indigent criminal defendant who is receiving
the services of court-appointed counsel ( i.e.,
counsel at public expense). The question before us is whether
the defendant must pay attorney's fees under Alaska
Appellate Rule 209(b)(6) if their attorney pursues an
interlocutory petition for review during the litigation of
the case in the trial court, before the trial court has
entered a final judgement in the case. For the reasons
explained here, we conclude that the answer is no.
Nickolaos Alexiadis was charged with three counts of
second-degree assault, and he reached a plea agreement with
the State. Under the terms of this agreement, Alexiadis would
plead guilty to a single consolidated count of second-degree
assault, with open sentencing, but the State would refrain
from pursuing any aggravating factors -- thus ensuring that
Alexiadis would receive no more than 3 years to serve (the
upper end of the applicable presumptive sentencing range).
this plea agreement was initially presented to the superior
court, the court accepted Alexiadis's guilty plea. But
after the superior court reviewed Alexiadis's
pre-sentence report, the court rejected the plea agreement as
too lenient. More specifically, the court found that the
agreement was too lenient because the State had agreed not to
pursue aggravating factors. In essence, the court directed
the State to pursue aggravating factors or otherwise modify
the charge to increase the allowable sentencing range.
petitioned this Court to review and reverse the superior
court's rejection of the plea agreement, arguing that the
superior court had no authority to reject the agreement on
this ground. The State initially opposed Alexiadis's
petition, but the State later decided to support
Alexiadis's position and to concede that the superior
court had committed error.
Alexiadis v. State, 355 P.3d 570 (Alaska App. 2015),
this Court agreed with Alexiadis (and the State) that the
superior court lacked the authority to order the State to
pursue aggravating factors if those factors would require a
jury trial under Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S.
296, 124 S.Ct. 2531, 159 L.Ed.2d 403 (2004). We therefore
reversed the decision of the superior court.
Alexiadis, 355 P.3d at 573.
we issued our decision, the Clerk of the Appellate Courts
notified Alexiadis that she intended to enter judgement
against him for attorney's fees in the amount of $1000.
The Clerk's action gave rise to a new controversy.
Appellate Rule 209(b)(6) establishes a schedule of fees that
indigent defendants must pay toward the cost of their
court-appointed attorney if the defendant pursues various
specified types of appellate litigation. The fourth clause of
Appellate Rule 209(b)(6) is a residual clause that specifies
the attorney's fee to be assessed for " other
appellate actions" -- i.e., types of appellate
litigation that are not specifically covered by any other
clause of the rule. Petitions for review fall within this
felony cases (like Alexiadis's case), the attorney's
fee for " other appellate actions" is $1000. This
is why, after this Court issued our decision in
Alexiadis's case, the Clerk of the Appellate Courts
notified Alexiadis that she intended to enter a monetary
judgement against him in the amount of $1000. Alexiadis has
filed an objection to the Clerk's decision.
objection is premised on the assertion that Appellate Rule
209(b) is based on, and is intended to implement, AS
18.85.120(c) -- the statute that authorizes the State of
Alaska to enter judgement against indigent defendants for a
portion of the cost of their court-appointed counsel. See
State v. Albert, 899 P.2d 103, 104 (Alaska 1995),
which describes Appellate Rule 209(b) as " ...