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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|Oklahoma||1999 OK AG 58||Open Records Act||Other applicable opinions||
1. The Oklahoma Open Records Act applies to criminal pleadings+ See more
2. Courts and District Attorneys must provie "prompt reasonable access" 3. District Attorneys must maintain confidential records
¶15 It is, therefore, the Opinion of the Attorney General that: 1. The pleadings in a criminal case, particularly the information, are "records" within the meaning of the Oklahoma Open+ See more
Records Act, 51 O.S. 24A.3 (1998). A court clerk must make such pleadings available for public inspection and copying once the district attorney has filed the pleading with the court clerk, 51 O.S. 24A.5 (1998), unless the pleading has been sealed by a court or is protected by a privilege of confidentiality, such as the confidentiality of a grand jury indictment by 22 O.S. 385, until such time as the order of the court expires or is removed and until the grand jury indictment is made public pursuant to statutory provision. A district attorney may keep information contained within the district attorney's litigation files confidential and so not disclose an information or other pleadings. See 51 O.S. 24A.12 (1991). 2. A court clerk or district attorney has no authority to withhold public records from inspection and copying. Such officers must provide "prompt, reasonable access" to the public pursuant to 51 O.S. 24A.5 (1998). This generally may include only the time required to locate and compile such public records. Id. 3. A district attorney may keep confidential records contained in the litigation files of that office. Police departments are not required to provide public access to records of the police department except as provided in Section 51 O.S. 24A.8 of the Open Records Act or pursuant to court order. Neither a district attorney nor a police department must make available for public inspection and copying a record which includes a list of all charges contained in an information. See 51 O.S. 24A.2 - 51 O.S. 24A.8 and 51 O.S. 24A.12 (1998).
|Tennessee||Cf. Tenn. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 89-03 (Jan. 12, 1989)||Imprisonment for Contempt of Non-Payment of Fines||Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the states constitution?||Municipalities can set their own standards as long as the standards comply with constitutional and statutory protections||
"The municipal charter provides that the city court may imprison a party for up to ten days for violation of city ordinances, and the city council has passed a resolution+ See more
to this effect.It appears that the municipal provision outlined above complies with the procedures described in T.C.A. § 4024104, as well as constitutional safeguards, for determination of the defendant's ability to pay, thereby giving rise to an inference of willful disobedience and contempt of court where there has been a subsequent missed payment without notice of good cause to the court."
|Ability to pay|
|Tennessee||Tenn. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 89-104 (Aug. 17, 1989) (citing State ex rel. Wright v. Upchurch, 254 S.W.2d 748, 749 (Tenn. 1953))||Whether a Defendant Found in Willful Contempt of Court for Failure to Pay Child Support May Be Incarcerated Where He Lacks the Present Ability to Pay the Arrearage.||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||At least in civil contempt proceedings, the burden of proof is on the defendant.||
"In any case, the inability to pay is an affirmative defense to a petition for civil contempt and the burden of proof is on the defendant to establish his inability+ See more
|Ability to pay|
|Tennessee||Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-24-104; Tenn. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 89-03 (Jan. 12, 1989)||Imprisonment for Contempt for NonPayment of Fines||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||Statutory law provides that ability to pay must be considered when collecting fines, but at least some courts consider ability to pay when imposing fines and fees as well.||
If the defendant fails to pay the fine as directed, or is unable to pay the fine and so represents upon application to the court, the court, after inquiring into+ See more
and making further investigation, if any, which it may deem necessary with regard to the defendant's financial and family situation and the reasons for nonpayment of the fine, including whether the nonpayment was contumacious or was due to indigency, may enter any order that it could have entered under § 40-24-101, or may reduce the fine to an amount that the defendant is able to pay, or may direct that the defendant be imprisoned until the fine, or any portion of it, remaining unpaid or remaining undischarged after a pro rata credit for any time that may already have been served in lieu of payments, is paid. The court shall determine and specify, in the light of defendant's situation and means and of defendant's conduct with regard to the nonpayment of the fine, the period of any imprisonment in default of payment of the fine within the limits of the penalties for a Class C misdemeanor. In the instant situation, the following circumstances form the factual basis resulting in the issuance of a capias for contempt of court: When a fine is imposed, a hearing is held at the same time to determine the defendant's ability to pay. If it appears that defendant cannot pay, the case is continued for several months to see if circumstances change during that time. If the court determines that defendant is able to pay or to make payments, a payment schedule is set up. Defendant is instructed at that time to notify the court if any emergency comes up and, if so, the court will consider defendant's excuse. If defendant thereafter misses a payment and has not notified the court, then a capias is issued for his arrest for contempt of court, since there has already been a finding that that defendant is able to pay.
|Ability to pay|