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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.
|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."