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Circuit court properly ordered defendant to pay extradition costs

State v. Jonathon S. Geiger, 2022AP1270-CR, District III, 7/11/23, not recommended for publication; case activity (briefs available)

Geiger argues the circuit court erroneously ordered him to pay extradition costs in connection with a sentencing after revocation hearing. COA rejects his statutory construction arguments and affirms.

At Geiger’s original sentencing hearing in 2017, the court withheld sentence and placed Geiger on probation for three years. (¶3). Geiger’s probation was later revoked, although Geiger did not appear for the scheduled sentencing after revocation hearing. (¶3). He was subsequently arrested in Arizona and extradited back to Wisconsin. (¶4). The circuit court then imposed a prison sentence. (¶4). At the sentencing after revocation hearing, the State requested that Geiger pay the cost of extraditing him to Wisconsin. (¶4). Although the court was unsure as to whether it had the legal authority to do so, the court ultimately amended the judgment of conviction to reflect that financial obligation. (¶7).

On appeal, Geiger argues this order was improper under various legal theories. Although § 973.06(1)(a) plainly allows the circuit court to order repayment of extradition costs in some cases, Geiger argues that the statute’s plain language allows a circuit court to order extradition costs in connection with an “initial arrest” but not an arrest like the one in this case, which occurred years after Geiger’s “initial” arrest in connection with the original filing of charges. (¶11). COA is unpersuaded and declines to read Gieger’s distinction into the plain text of the statute. (Id.).

COA also rejects Geiger’s claim that these extradition costs could not be imposed in connection with a sentencing after revocation and that the plain language allows extradition costs only in connection with the original “sentence.” (¶12). However, probation is not a “sentence” and, thus, when the court ultimately “sentenced” Geiger by imposing a prison sentence and ordered that he pay extradition costs, it was acting in conformity with the statute. (Id.). Finally, Geiger argues the court erred by imposing the extradition costs in a separate order issued six months after the sentencing after revocation hearing. (¶14). COA likewise rejects this claim under the facts of this case, which show that the circuit court explicitly “held open” the extradition issue at the sentencing revocation hearing and then properly amended the judgment of conviction once it was persuaded the State’s request was authorized by law. (¶20).

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