may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Stephen Clifford Bakken,
Filed February 4, 1997
Faribault County District Court
File No. K894317
Joel Welder, Faribault County Attorney, Courthouse, Post Office Box 5, Main Street, Blue Earth, MN 56013 (for Respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Sharon E. Jacks, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue SE, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for Appellant)
Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Crippen, Judge, and
Stephen Bakken appeals from a district court order requiring partial reimbursement of expert witness fees paid by the county on Bakken's behalf. We conclude that the order reasonably effectuates the statutory provisions at issue and that the court's findings of ability to pay are supported by the record. We affirm.
At the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, the district court reviewed the experts' fee submissions and an additional affidavit submitted by Bakken's wife summarizing the family's debts and assets. The district court ordered Bakken to pay $2,081, or roughly one-third, of the $6,253.75 expert witness fees. On appeal, Bakken argues that because the statute that allows for payment of the experts' fees does not provide for reimbursement, the district court had no authority to order reimbursement, and alternatively that the record does not support the amount ordered.
[A]fter appropriate inquiry in an ex parte proceeding, that the [requested defense] services are necessary and that the defendant is financially unable to obtain them, the court shall authorize counsel to obtain the services on behalf of the defendant.
Minn. Stat. § 611.21 (1996).
Bakken argues that the district court lacked the authority to order reimbursement because Minn. Stat. § 611.21 does not specifically provide for recoupment of a defendant's expert fees. We agree that § 611.21 does not expressly provide for reimbursement by the defendant, but we disagree that the failure to provide specifically for reimbursement removes the district court's power to order reimbursement. Every statute is understood to contain by implication, if not by its express terms, all provisions necessary to effectuate its object and purpose. Sullivan v. Credit River Township, 299 Minn. 170, 174, 217 N.W.2d 502, 505 (1974).
The purpose of providing public payment for expert and investigative services to defendants "financially unable to obtain them" is to protect an individual's constitutional right to "the raw materials integral to the building of an effective defense." State v. Volker, 477 N.W.2d 909, 910 (Minn. App. 1991) (citing Ake v. Oklahoma, 470 U.S. 68, 77, 105 S. Ct. 1087, 1093 (1985)); see also In re Wilson, 509 N.W.2d 568, 571 (Minn. App. 1993) (stating that Minn. Stat. § 611.21 protects a defendant's constitutional right to adequate investigative and expert services).
Minnesota has structured its usual process for obtaining payment for expert services as allowing, first, an ex parte application to authorize obtaining the service and, then, a final order for payment. Minn. Stat. § 611.21(a). The availability of an ex parte order permits prompt response to pressing requests but must also reasonably allow for adjustment if evidence demonstrates that the defendant's financial resources are greater than stated in the initial request. Bakken, who initially stated that his funds were exhausted, had knowledge of his full financial circumstances and also knew before he retained the experts that the county's payment was subject to reimbursement depending on a final determination of his ability to pay. The district court extended the statute to allow a guarantee of payment until Bakken could liquidate resources. To deny reimbursement under these circumstances would thwart the statute's purpose to provide fees for the indigent who are without the necessary resources to pay for defense services.
Bakken also asserts that even if the district court had the authority to order reimbursement, the record does not support the court's decision to require him to pay $2,081. The district court based its decision on extensive financial information provided in affidavits by Bakken and Bakken's wife and on argument by counsel. The record indicates that Bakken has $17,000 available in a retirement account, approximately $20,000 in home equity, annuities worth $31,734, and approximately $3,500 in cash savings. The harsh effect on Bakken's wife and family cannot be denied. But the court's conclusion that $2,081 was a reasonable sum in light of Bakken's personal assets was not an abuse of discretion. See Application of Wilson, 509 N.W.2d 568, 570 (Minn. App. 1993); Application of Jobe, 477 N.W.2d 723 (Minn. App. 1991); State v. Volker, 477 N.W.2d 909, 910 (Minn. App. 1991); and State v. Griffie, 281 Minn. 569, 571, 161 N.W.2d 551, 552 (1968) (all holding that decisions of the trial court under Minn. Stat. § 611.21 are to be reviewed on appeal only for an abuse of discretion).