Pierce clinic wins precedent-setting case

Franklin Pierce Law Center’s Criminal Practice Clinic recently won a precedent-setting case involving the imposition of extradition costs as restitution in a criminal case.

“This case presented unique legal issues regarding the construction of multiple statutes dealing with restitution, extradition, and recovery of court costs. It marks a significant victory for defendants faced with the payment of substantial extradition costs in criminal cases,” said Professor Chuck Temple, director of the clinic.

According to Temple, a client of the clinic was ordered by a New Hampshire Superior Court to pay the costs of his extradition from Florida to New Hampshire as part of his sentence on a felony probation violation.

Third-year student Joseph Plaia submitted a memorandum of law and argued the case before Judge Carol Conboy in Merrimack County Superior Court, saying that “the applicable statutes did not authorize the imposition of extradition costs as restitution against his client,” said Temple. “In his oral argument, he persuasively argued that the state could not be a victim for restitution purposes under the applicable statutes. Judge Conboy agreed with Plaia and issued a decision from the bench, ruling that the state could not recover extradition costs as restitution.”

Dan Dargon, a second-year student, wrote the memorandum of law with Plaia.

Students in the Criminal Practice Clinic are certified by the New Hampshire Supreme Court to practice in New Hampshire under the supervision of Temple. They represent indigent defendants in the district and superior courts. The clinic handles a variety of misdemeanor and felony cases.

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