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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|Maryland||83 Md. Op. Att'y Gen. 33 (1998)||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||
Are the same procedural protections that are required in criminal proceedings required in civil collection/contempt proceedings arising from criminal justice debt when those proceedings may result in incarceration? What if+ See more
the proceedings may only result in additional fines or non-incarceration penalties?
|The same procedural protections apply when a defendant may be incarcerated. Otherwise, they do not apply.||
In similar language, the Maryland Public Defender Act requires representation by that office “at all stages” of specified proceedings. When incarceration is sought in a civil contempt proceeding, a hearing+ See more
before a master is a critical stage of such a proceeding. Accordingly, both the right to counsel and the obligation of the Public Defender to provide representation for indigents apply.If incarceration is not sought as a remedy in a contempt proceeding, the constitutional right to counsel is not implicated.6 Nor is the Public Defender obligated to provide representation.
|Ability to pay|
|Maryland||79 Md. Op. Att'y Gen. 354 (1994)||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution?||No. A case-by-case standard could be used for each defendant. However, uniform eligibility requirements must be used under the Administrative Procedure Act||
In theory, the Office of the Public Defender might administer these eligibility provisions on an entirely individualized basis, through an ad hoc assessment of each applicant's financial ability. [However, i]t+ See more
is our opinion that the eligibility criteria established by the Public Defenders Office must be adopted under the rulemaking procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act in order to be legally effective.
|Fines and fees|
|Maryland||See Md. Code Ann., State Fin. & Proc. § 3-302||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||N/A. Maryland has a state central collection agency which collects fees.||Revenue flow|
|Maryland||86 Md. Op. Att'y Gen. 183 (2001)||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||No burden or standard has been established. Instead, the Court simply inquires into the reason for inability to pay the fine.||
"Thus, the Constitution places both procedural and substantive limitations on a court's power to incarcerate a criminal defendant in lieu of payment of a fine. First, the court must inquire+ See more
into the reason why the defendant has failed to pay the fine. If the failure to pay is attributable to indigency the court must also consider alternate methods of punishment. If the court ultimately decides that an additional period of incarceration is necessary to serve the interests of deterrence and punishment, the aggregate period of incarceration cannot exceed the maximum sentence for the underlying offense."
|Ability to pay|
|Maryland||Simms v. State, 501 A.2d 1338, 1342 (1986)||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||Case law says at the time of collection.||"A hearing to determine ability to pay is appropriate not at the time of the imposition of the sentence but at the time of its enforcement"||Ability to pay|
|Maryland||Md. Const. art. IV, § 18; See, e.g., MD R ADR Rule 17-208||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||They have authority as granted to them by the Court of Appeals||
"Subject to the approval of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the county administrative judge of each circuit court shall develop and adopt maximum hourly rate fee schedules+ See more
for court-designated individuals conducting each type of fee-for-service ADR"
|Fines and fees|
Md. Const. art. IV, § 18 (granting the Court of Appeals the authority to enacts rules with the force of law); see, e.g., MD R ADR Rule 17-208 (the Court+ See more
of Appeals authorizes its Chief Judge to approve fee schedules)
|Maryland-Attorney General opinion||What authority does the state supreme court have to impose binding state-wide rules on the imposition or collection of fees and fines?||Maryland's highest court can impose binding state-wide rules, including fines and fees.||
"The Court of Appeals from time to time shall adopt rules and regulations concerning the practice and procedure in and the administration of the appellate courts and in the other+ See more
courts of this State, which shall have the force of law until rescinded, changed or modified by the Court of Appeals or otherwise by law. The power of courts other than the Court of Appeals to make rules of practice and procedure, or administrative rules, shall be subject to the rules and regulations adopted by the Court of Appeals or otherwise by law." "Subject to the approval of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the county administrative judge of each circuit court shall develop and adopt maximum hourly rate fee schedules for court-designated individuals conducting each type of fee-for-service ADR"
|Fines and fees|
|North Carolina||N.C.A.G. Mar. 21, 1996||RE: Advisory Opinion; Exceptions to Statutory Exemptions for Execution of Judgment on Criminal Restitution Orders||Other applicable opinions||North Carolina is not barred from structuring a program to collect costs; however, the state's initiatives, must be narrowly drawn so as to avoid chilling the indigent's right to counsel||
North Carolina [is not] barred from structuring a program to collect the amount it is owed from a financially-able defendant through reasonable and fairly administered procedures. The state's initiatives in+ See more
this area naturally must be narrowly drawn to avoid either chilling the indigent's exercise of the right to counsel, or creating discriminating terms of repayment based solely on the defendant's poverty. Beyond these threshold requirements, however, the State has wide latitude to shape its attorneys fees recoupment or restitution program along the lines it deems most appropriate for achieving lawful state objectives. Id. at 123-124. (emphasis added.)
|North Carolina||N.C.A.G. June 10, 1980||Criminal Law and Procedure; Sentences; Probation; Restitution; Bankruptcy Proceedings||Person who received illegal gains as a part of criminal activity may not discharge legal financial obligations in bankruptcy||
It would thus be against our statute and public policy to permit a defendant who has received illegal gains and who was ordered to make restitution as a condition of+ See more
his sentence to vacate such conditions by a discharge in bankruptcy." People v. Mosesson, 356 N.Y.S. 2d 483, 484-85, (1974). See also: People on Inf. of Anerbach v. Topping Bros., 359 N.Y.S. 2d 985 (1974).
|Wyoming||1980 Wyo. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 80-09 (May 29, 1980)||Opinion No. 80-09 (1980)||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||
A municipality may adopt an ordinance providing for a lesser penalty than that provided for by the statutory code, which provides for mandatory jail sentence of one day for any+ See more
person convicted of driving or being in control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, etc.
There are cases which hold that municipalities may not enact their own penalties; and cases which hold to the contrary. The differences between the cases appear to turn on a+ See more
combination of factors. In arriving at these diverse results, courts have recognized the following distinctions: felonies or misdemeanors; the presence or absence of home rule; the presence or absence of express municipal authority; and the presence or absence of clear and express language indicating state preemption. For the reasons hereafter stated, we conclude that municipalities may enact their own penalties for the crime of DWUI. Although some may believe the result anomalous, we find merit in the argument that had the legislature intended to impose mandatory jail sentences on our cities and towns, it would have done so by simple, clear, and express language. Municipalities have express powers to govern themselves and to regulate local affairs. Municipalities have been granted express power to regulate the use of streets by the legislature. Clear and express limitation of the power to regulate the use of streets does not appear in the statutes; nor has the legislature clearly and expressly indicated its desire to gain exclusive jurisdiction over DWUI in W.S. 31-5-233 (1977) or in Senate Enrolled Act No. 32. The provision of a lesser penalty in a municipal ordinance does [*12] not create conflict with a state law on the same subject, provided the crimes are of a similar class. Therefore, municipalities may regulate DWUI by passing ordinances with lesser penalties than provided by Senate Enrolled Act No. 32.
|Fines and fees|
|Wyoming||1985 Wyo. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 85-001 (April 19, 1985)||1985 Op. Atty Gen. Wyo. 1||Other applicable opinions||The county sheriff or county may proceed against a person that is physically incarcerated for all medical bills when the person is incarcerated, regardless of the source of the injury.||
In conclusion, then, the county sheriff is responsible for all medical bills incurred in the treatment of those persons who are in his custody, whether or not such persons have+ See more
ever been physically incarcerated in the county jail and regardless of the source of the injury. The county commissioners must reimburse him for these costs. A person's indigency has no bearing upon the initial determination of responsibility. If the person is not indigent the sheriff or county may proceed against him in a suit for reimbursement. [*12] If the person is in fact indigent, the sheriff or county has no recourse for recovery against either the county hospital or the state welfare system.
|Fines and fees|
|Wyoming||1987 Wyo. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 87-006 (May 28, 1987)||1987 Op. Atty Gen. Wyo. 19||The clerk of court shall collect and disburse restitution payments.||
DISCUSSION I Who should accept and disburse restitution payments from defendants? Section 7-13-312, W.S. 1977, (1986 Cum. Supp.), states in part, "Restitution payments shall be made to the office of the clerk+ See more
unless otherwise ordered by the court." The Wyoming Supreme Court has stated that when the word 'shall' is employed, it is usually legally accepted as mandatory, Mau v. Stoner, 14 Wyo., 183, 83 P. 218, 219 (1905). In construing statutes, "Unless the context otherwise indicates, the use of the word 'shall' (except in its future tense) indicates a mandatory intent". 1A Sutherland Statutory Construction, § 25.04 [*2] p. 301 (4th Ed. Sands); Ginnavan v. Silverstone, 246 Md. 500, 229 A.2d 124, 127." Mayland v. State, Wyo., 568 P.2d 897, 899 (1977). Clearly, the legislature, by the word 'shall', intended the clerk of court to collect and disburse restitution payments. Upon an order of restitution by the sentencing court, it becomes mandatory for the office of the clerk to administer the restitution. "The clerk of each of the courts shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties enjoined upon him by statute and by the common law; and in the performance of his duties he shall be under the direction of his court." Section 5-7-101, W.S. 1977. Although the statute does not specifically provide for disbursement, where the legislature provided for the clerk to collect restitution it can be inferred that the legislature also intended the clerk to disburse restitution. Section 14-6-229(f)(i), W.S. 1977, allows a juvenile court to order a child to make restitution for any damage or loss caused by his wrongful act. Title 14 of the Wyoming Statutes does not specifically state a procedure for collecting and disbursing restitution payments from juveniles. However, Wyoming courts have [*3] held that statutes dealing with related subjects or having the same general purpose must be read in pari material in order to ascertain intelligent meaning and achieve uniformity. Kuntz v. Kinne, Wyo., 395 P.2d 286 (1964); Stringer v. Board of County Commissioners of Big Horn County, Who., 347 P.2d 197 (1960). Therefore, Section 14-6-229(f)(i), W.S. 1977, and Section 7-13-312, W.S. 1977, must be read in pari materia as to methods of collecting and disbursing restitution payments from both juvenile and criminal defendants.
|Wyoming||1987 Wyo. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 87-006 (May 28, 1987)||1987 Op. Atty Gen. Wyo. 19||After incarceration the board of parole has exclusive jurisdiction to administer the restitution imposed at sentencing by the court.||
After incarceration the board of parole has exclusive jurisdiction to administer the restitution imposed at sentencing by the court. Section 7-13-424, W.S. 1977, provides the board of parole with+ See more
a comprehensive scheme of parole restitution: the board shall provide for restitution on parole, may modify restitution imposed by the sentencing court, modify restitution imposed by the board or waive it entirely. Under § 7-13-413, W.S. 1977, the board is given the power to adopt rules and regulations governing the performance of duties of parole officers and the administration of the act. Thus it is reasonable that the probation and parole board could take on the responsibility of collecting and disbursing restitution if so ordered by the court.
|Wyoming||1987 Wyo. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 87-006 (May 28, 1987)||1987 Op. Atty Gen. Wyo. 19||Wyoming Crime Victims Compensation Commission, created through the Crime Victims Compensation Act, can collect restitution and authorize and order compensation payments be paid directly to a victim or third party.||
Sections 1-40-101 through 1-40-119, W.S. 1977, (1986 Cum. Supp.) created the Crime Victims Compensation Act. (Laws 1985, ch. 213, § 1). Under this Act, restitution paid by a criminal defendant+ See more
pursuant to §§ 7-13-307, through 7-13-315, W.S. 1977, goes directly to the Wyoming Crime Victims Compensation Commission after the Commission awards compensation to the victim. Such restitution is deposited in the Commission's account and used to set off against a judgment in favor of the state in a civil action. Section 1-40-112(c)(i), W.S. 1977, (1986 Cum. Supp.). [*7] The Commission reduces the amount of the compensation due the victim by the amount of restitution paid. Section 1-40-122(c)(ii). If restitution has been ordered, but not paid, the victim may be compensated by the Commission and shall reimburse the Commission when and if the defendant pays. Section 1-40-112, W.S. 1977 (1986 Cum. Supp.) was amended by the 1987 general session of the 49th Wyoming Legislature. A new subsection (g), effective May 22, 1987, states any payment of benefits to, or on behalf of a victim or other claimant under the Crime Victims Compensation Act creates a debt due the state by any person found by a criminal court to have committed a criminal act. Payment of the debt shall be a condition of probation, Laws 1987, ch. 119, § 1-40-112(g). In making payment of the debt a condition of probation or parole, the court or board of parole sets the schedule or amount of payments. The Commission has the authority to authorize compensation payments directly to the victim or to a third party. Section 1-40-108(d)(iii), W.S. 1977, (1986 Cum. Supp.). Similarly, the court could order direct payments to victims under the Restitution to Crime Victims Act, Sections 7-13-307 through 7-13-315, W.S. 1977. The victim's remedies for non-payment would be reporting the failure to the prosecuting attorney, the court or the probation and parole officer if applicable.