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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|Mississippi||1981 WL 39784 (Miss.A.G.); Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-20 (2)||Mississippi-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?||apparently not, because judges rule on indigency on a case-by-case basis||
In the event an indigent is unable to pay his fine, a justice court judge may rely upon Section 99-19-20 of the Mississippi Code, 1972 , as amended, as an+ See more
alternative procedure in working with indigents.
|Ability to pay|
|Mississippi||1994 WL 497828 (Miss.A.G.)||Mississippi-Attorney General opinion||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||Any kind of fine or fee, at least for municipalities.||
Section 21-17-l, Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, provides that a “. . .municipality may contract with a private attorney or privatecollection agent or agency to collect any type of delinquent payment owed to the municipality including, but+ See more
not limited to, past due feesand fines.”
|Mississippi||1996 WL 224005 (Miss.A.G.)||Mississippi-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||The court has the authority to impose "reasonable" fees for costs incurred by the court system.||In response, see the Primeaux opinion which states that Mississippi Code Annotated Section 21-23-7(11) allows a municipal court to impose reasonable costs of court which could include a service of process fee.||Fines and fees|
|Mississippi||1996 WL 369442 (Miss.A.G.)||Mississippi-Attorney General opinion||Other applicable opinions||Court costs that are statutorily mandated must be collected from defendant by the country clerk, whether a judge decides to impose them or not.||
In response, we direct your attention to Mississippi Code Annotated Section 99-19-73 (Supp. 1995), which sets forth the standard state monetary assessments for criminal violations. Specifically, subsection (7) states: If a+ See more
fine or other penalty imposed is suspended, in whole or in part, such suspension shall not affect the state assessment under this section. No state assessment imposed under the provisions of this section may be suspended or reduced by the court. Based on the above quoted statute, the state assessment court costs are collected by the clerk of the court regardless of whether the judge imposes them or not. There are several statutorily imposed fees or costs which are to be collected regardless of whether the judge imposes them or not, e.g. Mississippi Code Annotated Section 19-7-31 allows the boards of supervisors to impose a court cost for the support of a public county law library in their respective counties. This court cost is automatically assessed regardless of whether the judge imposes it or not. Also, upon conviction for writing a bad check, Section 97-19-67(4) directs the court to impose a fee in the amount of up to 85% of the face value of a bad check in addition to any other fine, fee, cost or penalty imposed by the judge. Section 37-26-9(4) imposes a supplemental court education and training cost in all criminal cases where a fine of $10 or more is imposed by the judge. The general rule is that if the cost is statutorily imposed, there is no need for the judge to impose the cost. However, from time to time, a court cost may be incurred in which there is no statutory imposition. In such a case it is within the judge's discretion to impose such a court cost on the defendant.
|Ohio||1990 Ohio Op. Atty. Gen. No. 90-088 (Nov. 14 1990)||Fines and fees||Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution?||Indigency should be determined on a case-by-case basis, not through set standards||
A gleaning of the aforementioned authorities clearly reveals that there are no set criteria for determining whether an individual is indigent. Rather, the preferred approach is to determine indigency on+ See more
a case by case basis so as to accord attention to any and all factors tending to indicate an individual's financial condition. . . . [T]he the criteria for determining . . . whether an individual is indigent, include the ready availability of real or personal property owned; employment benefits; pensions; annuities; social security; unemployment compensation; inheritances; number and age of dependents; outstanding debts, obligations and liabilities; and any other relevant considerations concerning the financial condition of an individual.
|Ohio||no||fines and fees||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||
Neither the courts nor the State AG has considered this question. However, the Ohio Revised Code provides that both misdemeanor fines, § 2928.18(F) and felony fines, § 2928.28(G)(1), may be+ See more
collected by private vendors
|Ohio||no||ability to pay||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||See Case Law: Liming v. Damos, 979 N.E.2d 297 (Ohio 2012)||Fines and fees|
|Ohio||no||Ohio-Attorney General opinion||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||See Case Law: State v. Meyer, 706 N.E.2d 378, 380 (1997); Ohio Rev. Code § 2947.14||ability to pay||Fines and fees|
|Ohio||2012 Ohio Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2012-039 (Nov. 14, 2012)||fines and fees||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||County courts can use their fining power to fund various projects, programs, and services of the court||
Although a county court has authority to use a special projects fund established under R.C. 1907.24(B)(1) to finance community service programs, nothing in the Ohio Constitution, Revised Code, Ohio Rules+ See more
of Criminal Procedure, or Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio directs the manner in which a county court may use moneys in a special projects fund to provide such financing. This means that the judges of a county court have the discretion and implied power to use special projects fund moneys in whatever manner is reasonably necessary to make community service programs available to persons who are convicted of, or plead guilty to, a misdemeanor.
|Fines and fees|
|Ohio||no||Fines and fees||What authority does the state supreme court have to impose binding state-wide rules on the imposition or collection of fees and fines?||
This has not been considered by courts or the State AG. But the Ohio Supreme Court issues "bench cards" guiding the lower courts on how to implement fines. See, e.g.,+ See more
The Supreme Court of Ohio, Office of Judicial Services, Collection of Fines and Court Costs (2014)
|Ohio||no||no||Under what circumstances does a conflict of interest in the imposition or enforcement of court debt violate state law?||This has not been considered to date|