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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|Michigan||Mich. Op. Att'y Gen. (1998) Opinion No. 6995||Michigan-Attorney General opinion||Other applicable opinions||
A prosecutor is not authorized by law to require a criminal defendant to pay costs as a condition for reducing or dismissing criminal charges pending against the defendant. A court+ See more
may, however, when sentencing a convicted defendant, impose such costs as are permitted by statute, including those permissible costs agreed to between the prosecutor and the defendant as part of a plea bargain.
Criminal prosecutions are governed by the Michigan Code of Criminal Procedure (Code), 1927 PA 175, MCL 760.1 et seq; MSA 28.841 et seq. The Code, at Chapter XI, MCL 771.1+ See more
et seq; MSA 28.1131 et seq, authorizes the imposition of costs in criminal cases. If a defendant has been found guilty, and if it appears to the satisfaction of the court that the defendant is an appropriate candidate, the court may place the defendant on probation. Section 1. As a condition of probation, the court may require the defendant to pay costs. Section 3(2)(c). Such costs, however, are limited to expenses specifically incurred in prosecuting the defendant, in providing legal assistance to the defendant, and in providing probation supervision of the defendant. Section 3(4).
|Fines and fees|
|Michigan||Mich. Op. Att'y Gen. (2008) Opinion No. 7217||Michigan-Attorney General opinion||The use of funds from criminal fines and assessments are restricted by provisions of the Michigan State Constitution.||
However, the Legislature should be aware of the limitations imposed by Const 1963, art 8, § 9, which requires that fines assessed for any breach of the penal laws be+ See more
used to support libraries. If excess revenue in the Crime Victim's Rights Fund is used for purposes other than to enforce and pay for the crime victim rights enumerated in art 1, § 24, the use could face scrutiny to determine if the assessments conflict with art 8, § 9 or other constitutional provisions. . . . Therefore, to the extent that the Legislature intends to authorize uses of the Fund to pay for the constitutionally enumerated crime victim's rights, it must consider whether each proposed use is within the language of art 1, § 24, given the principles of constitutional construction that guide the Court.
|Fines and fees|
|Montana||49 Mont. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 18, 2002 WL 1009805||Montana-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||
The Montana Constitution and Montana law authorize amunicipal court judge to release a defendant on a time-pay bail bond, defined as a bond in an amount set by the judge to be+ See more
paid in installments.
If the court finds some form of bail necessary, however, Mont. Code Ann. § 46-9-301, provides more specific factors for a court to consider. These factors include, among other matters+ See more
not related to the safety of the victim and the community, that the amount shall be not oppressive, and that the amount shall be considerate of the financial ability of the accused. Id., §§ 46-9-301(4) and (6). The time-pay bail bonds system comports with these requirements.The Montana Constitution and Montana law authorize a municipal court judge to release a defendant on a time-pay bail bond, defined as a bond in an amount set by the judge to be paid in installments.
|Ability to pay|
|Montana||41 Mont. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 59||Montana-Attorney General opinion||Other applicable opinions||Cash bail for minor offenses may be increased to include applicable surcharges||
In order to collect the additional $10 charge required by section 46-18-236, MCA, a court may exercise its power under section 46-9-302, MCA, and increase the bail schedule for minor+ See more
offenses in a like amount.
|Oregon||OP-6203 (1988)||Oregon-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||Fines and fees must fall within the limits imposed in the state legislature's max-min scheme||It is axiomatic that state officers may administer public funds only in the manner authorized or directed by the Oregon Constitution or controlling statutes.||Fines and fees|
|Oregon||OP-6203 (1988)||Oregon-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?||The Chief Justice in particular has wide latitude in determining these rules||
The Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court is the administrative head of the Judicial Department. ORS 1.002(1). ‘The Chief Justice shall exercise administrative authority and supervision over the courts+ See more
of this state consistent with applicable provisions of law * * *.’ Id. Pursuant to that authority, the Chief Justice may, inter alia, ‘issue orders appropriate to that exercise.’ ORS 1.002(1)(a). Accordingly, these statutes grant to the Chief Justice the power to require judges and clerks to comply with statutes that govern the imposition, collection, and disposition of fines and penalty assessments. See also ORS 1.025 (governing duties with regard to matters relating to the administration of justice).
|Fines and fees|
|South Carolina||S.C.A.G. Oct. 8, 2012 (informal opinion)||Civil contempt||
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?
|No - the rationale for punishment based on contempt proceedings rather than criminal proceedings is different||
The principal purpose of criminal contempt is punishment. In civil contempt, however, the contemnors "carry the keys of prison in their own pockets" as the contempt serves to secure "compliance+ See more
with judicial decrees." 287 S.E.2d at 919. The Court concluded that "[t]he conditional nature of the imprisonment, based entirely upon appellant's refusal to pay respondent's expenses, justified the civil contempt proceeding without a jury trial.
|South Carolina||S.C.A.G. July 15, 1996 (informal opinion)||Setting fees||Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution?||Not answered as to indigency - however, municipalities cannot set their own fees not in accordance with State statutes||
it is the opinion of this Office that all fee schedules used in the various counties based upon ordinances and special statutes are unconstitutional and that the only fee schedule+ See more
available for the services enumerated is to be found under South Carolina Code Section 27-53 (1976) [replaced by Act No. 164 of 1979]
|Fines and fees|
|South Carolina||Robert L. McCrudy, S.C.A.G. Dec. 14, 1999 (informal opinion)||Collection by private vendor||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||Collection of criminal fines and fees are the job of the magistrate||
With respect to the physical collection and handling ofpublic monies such as fines, restitution, etc. such should be done exclusively by the court and its officers rather than by the+ See more
company, in the absence of legislative authorization therefore.
|South Carolina||1987 S.C. Op. Att'y Gen. 255 (1987)||Bearden||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||Not answered - however, cannot implement a surcharge if defendant fails to pay fee||
In the circumstances where an indigent fails to comply with the schedule of payments established by the court and the court determines that the indigent has wilfully refused to pay+ See more
or failed to make bona fide efforts to pay, the court is authorized to imprison the defendant for contempt. As provided in Section 17–25–350, where part of the fine has been paid, the imprisonment cannot exceed the remaining pro rata portion of the sentence. I am unaware of any basis for a court to impose a fine in addition to the sentence originally imposed.
|Ability to pay|
|South Carolina||1978 S.C. Op. Att'y Gen. 140 (1978)||South Carolina-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||By implication, they may set fees at least as far as reimbursement for public defense||
Since the Defense of Indigents Act, supra, does not prohibit the municipal court from ordering reimbursement as a condition of suspended sentences and since such orders are not generally unconstitutional+ See more
or improper, it is the opinion of this Office that certain municipal courts may order as a condition of a suspended sentence, a convicted indigent defendant to reimburse the Judicial Department for the costs of his representation by a public defender, pursuant to Section 17–3–40 of the Code of Laws.