Johnson v. State

Included in the appellant’s sentence was “court costs” of $234. The appellant appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to support the amount of the costs. The court of appeals removed the costs, and the State appealed to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest appellate court for criminal cases in Texas.


The judgement of the trial court, including the court costs was reinstated: (1) a claim with respect to the basis of court costs need not be preserved at trial to be raised for the first time on appeal, (2) Appellant’s claim is ripe for review, (3) a record on appeal can be supplemented with a bill of costs, (4) the document in the supplemental clerk’s record is a bill of costs, (5) the court of appeals erred when it failed to consider the supplemental bill of costs, (6) a bill of costs need not be in the record to support a particular amount of court costs, and (7) the fact that most court costs (and certainly those discussed in this case) are mandated by statute and, thus, subject to the old adage that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” dispenses with the need for an ordinary sufficiency review.

You can read the full text of relevant court documents here.

42 USC § 1983 (alleging due process and equal protection violations)
423 S.W.3d 385 (Tex. Crim. App. 2014)
August 2011
Jani J. Maselli Wood and Lisa C. McMinn