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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?|
Tex. Att'y Gen Opinion Op. No. JM-10 (1983),"""Inability to pay fees is an affirmative defense to the failure to pay them.""",ability to pay,,transparencyShould ability to pay be considered when imposing+ See more
fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?,,,,,,fines What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?,Municipal courts have authority to sets fines and fees so long as they do not exceed the maximum fine or fee permitted by the relevant statute. ,Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. GA-0593 (2008)
court may impose . . . an increase in the defendant's fine, up to a total fine that does not exceed the maximum fine for the offense for which the+ See more
defendant was sentenced
|Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||Burden of proof is on the defendant by preponderance of the evidence. But see Rusk v. State, 440 S.W.3d 694, 702 (Tex. App. 2013)||fines and fees|
Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. JM-176 (1984),"""Proceedings in contempt cases should proceed as near as practical to criminal cases.""",ability to pay,,enforcementDoes allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or+ See more
fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution? ,"Possibly. In Texas, a law that fixes a greater punishment in one county than another is violative of Equal Protection, so a law allowing for different levels of protection or different penalty fines may also violate Equal Protection. ",Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. DM-123 (1992); Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. JM-1120 (1989),"""costs imposed in misdemeanor cases involving state criminal statutes must be uniform statewide . . . a law that fixes a greater punishment in one county than in other counties for the violation of a state law cannot be upheld and is in contravention of constitutional inhibitions, both State and Federal""; ""Assessment of a minimum $50 fine in every Class C misdemeanor hot check case in order to defray the cost of an additional employee would result in the penalty for a state defined crime to be different in Jim Wells County than it is in other counties and would violate both due process and equal protection constitutional rights.""",fines and fees,,ability to pay Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor? ,Any fines or fees ordered to be paid by a court,Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. JC-0516 (2002)
|The debts that may be collected [are] those which have been ordered to be paid by a court.||
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?
|Contempt case require the same or as near as practicable due process protections as criminal cases.||revenue flow|
|Texas||Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. JC-0516 (2002)||"The debts that may be collected [are] those which have been ordered to be paid by a court."||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||Any fines or fees ordered to be paid by a court||revenue flow|
|Texas||Tex. Att'y Gen Opinion Op. No. JM-10 (1983)||"Inability to pay fees is an affirmative defense to the failure to pay them."||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||Burden of proof is on the defendant by preponderance of the evidence. But see Rusk v. State, 440 S.W.3d 694, 702 (Tex. App. 2013)||ability to pay|
|Washington||Wash. Att'y Gen. Op. 1993 NO. 11 (1993)||Ability to pay - considered at imposition and collection of fines and fees||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||They must be considered both when imposing and collecting fines and fees||
[A] county considering an ordinance authorizing a court to impose a multiple booking fee as part of a criminal sentence should heed constitutional considerations relating to the offender's ability to+ See more
pay the fee. Some statutes providing for the repayment of costs incurred on behalf of a criminal defendant, also known as recoupment statutes, have been challenged as unconstitutional. The courts generally have upheld these statutes, provided that they contain certain safeguards. As set forth in Fuller v. Oregon, 417 U.S. 40, 40 L.Ed.2d 642, 94 S.Ct. 2116 (1974), and summarized in State v. Earls, 51 Wn.App. 192, 19596, 752 P.2d 402 (1988), the safeguards are:(1) The requirement of repayment must not be mandatory;(2) Repayment may be imposed only upon convicted defendants;(3) Repayment may only be ordered if the defendant is or will be able to pay;(4) The financial resources of the defendant must be taken into consideration;(5) A repayment obligation may not be imposed if it appears there is no likelihood the defendant's indigency will end;(6) The convicted person must be permitted to petition the court for remission of the payment of costs or any unpaid portion thereof;(7) The convicted person cannot be held in contempt for failure to repay if the default was not attributable to an intentional refusal to obey the court order or a failure to make a good faith effort to make repayment.
|Washington||Wash. Att'y Gen. Op. 1993 NO. 11 (1993)||Authority to set fines/fees||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||Counties are given extensive freedoms to set fines and fees for municipal violations, but cannot do so in fields in which the state preempts||
Counties have broad authority under article 11, section 11 of the state constitution to act in furtherance of their police power. That section provides: Any county, city, town or township+ See more
may make and enforce within its limits all such local police, sanitary and other regulations as are not in conflict with general laws. The State Supreme Court has described this provision as follows: This is a direct delegation of the police power as ample within its limits as that possessed by the legislature itself. It requires no legislative sanction for its exercise so long as the subject-matter is local, and the regulation reasonable and consistent with the general laws. Bellingham v. Schampera, 57 Wn.2d 106, 109, 356 P.2d 292 (1960); see also Brown v. Yakima, 116 Wn.2d 556, 559, 807 P.2d 353 (1991).Under this provision, counties may enact ordinances regarding all those measures which bear a reasonable and substantial relation to promotion of the general welfare of the people. State v. Seattle, 94 Wn.2d 162, 165, 615 P.2d 461 (1980). County ordinances prescribing local offenses and punishments for them would constitute police power measures of the county under article 11, section 11 of the Washington Constitution. Such county ordinances may not, however, conflict with state laws. The courts have interpreted this to mean that counties may not legislate in a particular area when the state has preempted the field, or when the county legislation and state legislation on the same subject cannot be harmonized. Brown, 116 Wn.2d at 559.
|Washington||See answer for 8 above||Washington-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?||See answer for 8 above||See answer for 8 above|
|Washington||Not answered||Washington-Attorney General opinion||Under what circumstances does a conflict of interest in the imposition or enforcement of court debt violate state law?||Not answered||Not answered|