Colroado v. NelsonAnnotate this Case
Respondent Shannon Nelson was convicted of five charges relating to sexual assaults allegedly committed against her children. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and ordered to pay court costs, fees and restitution. The court of appeals reversed the judgment against Nelson and remanded for a new trial based on the improper use of an unendorsed expert witness. In the second trial, a new jury acquitted Nelson of all charges. At issue for the Colorado Supreme Court's review was whether Nelson could get a refund of all the costs, fees and restitution she paid following her conviction after the first trial. The Supreme Court found that a trial court could not authorize a refund absent statutory authority. Because none of the statutes governing the fines, fees and restitution empowered the trial court in this case to issue a refund, it could not do so. Exonerated defendants could seek a refund of costs, fees and restitution through a separate civil proceeding (which Nelson did not pursue).