Keyword search across all of the laws in the states. Subject-area tabs above allow you to narrow results. Click the advanced search for further refinement.
Every law can be saved to the Reform Builder
Below are the attorney general opinions that meet your search criteria.
|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|
|Pennsylvania||10 Pa. D. & C. 390, 392 (1927)||Pennsylvania-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||Counties and cities may pass ordinances regulating traffic and may provide financial penalties||
It is, therefore, the opinion of this department that cities, boroughs, incorporated towns and townships may lawfully pass ordinances providing for the regulation of traffic by means of traffic officers,+ See more
semaphores, traffic-control lights or other signaling devices on any portion of the highways within their proper jurisdiction where traffic is heavy or continuous. In such cases, the municipal law-making bodies are to be the judges as to where such traffic policemen, semaphores or other signaling devices or traffic control lights shall be maintained. In addition, such municipalities may regulate or prohibit parking or prohibit other than one-way traffic upon certain highways within their respective jurisdiction, and they may regulate the use of highways by processions or assemblages. In such ordinances, the penalties provided may be a fine of not more than fifty ($50) dollars, to be collected by summary conviction in the manner provided by section 1216 of the act. Such fines belong to the municipality for the construction, repair and maintenance of the highways thereof.
|Fines and fees|
|Pennsylvania||14 Pa. D. & C. 205, 207 (1930)||Pennsylvania-Attorney General opinion||Other applicable opinions||
1. In Philadelphia, if fines or penalties are collected by magistrates, your department does not have either the power or the duty to demand that they be turned over to you for+ See more
payment into the State Treasury. Such fines and penalties are clearly payable to the County of Philadelphia. However, we desire to point out, parenthetically, that magistrates may collect fines and penalties only if and when the legislature has expressly given them jurisdiction to do so. Otherwise, they can merely hold the defendants for trial in the Quarter Sessions or other criminal courts of record. 2. On the other hand, fines and penalties collected by the courts of record in Philadelphia are payable into the State Treasury through your department, if there is legislation distinctly providing that the fines shall be paid into the State Treasury. 3. Outside of Philadelphia, your department has authority to collect for payment into the State Treasury any fines or penalties, whether imposed by courts of record or courts not of record, in all cases in which the legislature has provided that such fines and penalties shall be paid into the State Treasury. However, in the absence of specific direction to this effect, the fines and penalties are payable into the respective county treasuries, if they were collected by the criminal as distinguished from the civil courts. 4. In all cases in which fines and penalties are collected by administrative agencies of the state government without any specific direction by the legislature as to the disposition to be made of the moneys collected, it is the duty of your department to collect the amounts of the fines and penalties and pay them into the State Treasury. 5. Whenever penalties are imposed by law and the collection thereof is committed to either the Department of Justice or any other administrative agency of the state government and such penalties are collected by civil suit, the amounts recovered are payable into the State Treasury, whether or not the act imposing the penalties specifically so provides. There is neither constitutional nor statutory provision to the contrary, and the rule which prevails in the absence of specific direction to the contrary is that moneys collected by a state department, with or without the aid of the civil courts, is payable into the State Treasury.
|Fines and fees|
|Virginia||2000 Va. Op. Att'y. Gen. (2000)||Costs and fines dischargeable in bankruptcy||Other applicable opinions||
"Criminal costs, which may or may not be contingent upon sentence but are associated with conviction, and traffic fines are nondischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. Debt for restitution or+ See more
criminal fine included in criminal sentence is nondischargeable in Chapter 13 bankruptcy; criminal fines not contingent upon sentence, traffic fines arising from traffic infractions, and civil traffic fines are dischargeable in Chapter 13 bankruptcies."