DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Court of Appeals has turned aside the latest challenge to a state law that forces criminal defendants to pay millions of dollars a year to partially cover the costs of running local courts.
Travis Johnson claimed his constitutional rights were violated in Alpena County when he was ordered to pay $1,200.
He says it’s a conflict for a judge to oversee his case and then order financial penalties that benefit the local court when there’s a conviction.
But the appeals court ruled in a 2-1 decision last week that judges don’t personally benefit from the cash and don’t decide how it’s spent by a local government.
More than $170 million was collected statewide from 2016 through 2019.