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|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|
|Wyoming||1980 Wyo. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 80-09 (May 29, 1980)||Opinion No. 80-09 (1980)||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||
A municipality may adopt an ordinance providing for a lesser penalty than that provided for by the statutory code, which provides for mandatory jail sentence of one day for any+ See more
person convicted of driving or being in control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, etc.
There are cases which hold that municipalities may not enact their own penalties; and cases which hold to the contrary. The differences between the cases appear to turn on a+ See more
combination of factors. In arriving at these diverse results, courts have recognized the following distinctions: felonies or misdemeanors; the presence or absence of home rule; the presence or absence of express municipal authority; and the presence or absence of clear and express language indicating state preemption. For the reasons hereafter stated, we conclude that municipalities may enact their own penalties for the crime of DWUI. Although some may believe the result anomalous, we find merit in the argument that had the legislature intended to impose mandatory jail sentences on our cities and towns, it would have done so by simple, clear, and express language. Municipalities have express powers to govern themselves and to regulate local affairs. Municipalities have been granted express power to regulate the use of streets by the legislature. Clear and express limitation of the power to regulate the use of streets does not appear in the statutes; nor has the legislature clearly and expressly indicated its desire to gain exclusive jurisdiction over DWUI in W.S. 31-5-233 (1977) or in Senate Enrolled Act No. 32. The provision of a lesser penalty in a municipal ordinance does [*12] not create conflict with a state law on the same subject, provided the crimes are of a similar class. Therefore, municipalities may regulate DWUI by passing ordinances with lesser penalties than provided by Senate Enrolled Act No. 32.
|Fines and fees|
|Wyoming||1985 Wyo. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 85-001 (April 19, 1985)||1985 Op. Atty Gen. Wyo. 1||Other applicable opinions||The county sheriff or county may proceed against a person that is physically incarcerated for all medical bills when the person is incarcerated, regardless of the source of the injury.||
In conclusion, then, the county sheriff is responsible for all medical bills incurred in the treatment of those persons who are in his custody, whether or not such persons have+ See more
ever been physically incarcerated in the county jail and regardless of the source of the injury. The county commissioners must reimburse him for these costs. A person's indigency has no bearing upon the initial determination of responsibility. If the person is not indigent the sheriff or county may proceed against him in a suit for reimbursement. [*12] If the person is in fact indigent, the sheriff or county has no recourse for recovery against either the county hospital or the state welfare system.
|Fines and fees|
|Wyoming||1987 Wyo. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 87-006 (May 28, 1987)||1987 Op. Atty Gen. Wyo. 19||The clerk of court shall collect and disburse restitution payments.||
DISCUSSION I Who should accept and disburse restitution payments from defendants? Section 7-13-312, W.S. 1977, (1986 Cum. Supp.), states in part, "Restitution payments shall be made to the office of the clerk+ See more
unless otherwise ordered by the court." The Wyoming Supreme Court has stated that when the word 'shall' is employed, it is usually legally accepted as mandatory, Mau v. Stoner, 14 Wyo., 183, 83 P. 218, 219 (1905). In construing statutes, "Unless the context otherwise indicates, the use of the word 'shall' (except in its future tense) indicates a mandatory intent". 1A Sutherland Statutory Construction, § 25.04 [*2] p. 301 (4th Ed. Sands); Ginnavan v. Silverstone, 246 Md. 500, 229 A.2d 124, 127." Mayland v. State, Wyo., 568 P.2d 897, 899 (1977). Clearly, the legislature, by the word 'shall', intended the clerk of court to collect and disburse restitution payments. Upon an order of restitution by the sentencing court, it becomes mandatory for the office of the clerk to administer the restitution. "The clerk of each of the courts shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties enjoined upon him by statute and by the common law; and in the performance of his duties he shall be under the direction of his court." Section 5-7-101, W.S. 1977. Although the statute does not specifically provide for disbursement, where the legislature provided for the clerk to collect restitution it can be inferred that the legislature also intended the clerk to disburse restitution. Section 14-6-229(f)(i), W.S. 1977, allows a juvenile court to order a child to make restitution for any damage or loss caused by his wrongful act. Title 14 of the Wyoming Statutes does not specifically state a procedure for collecting and disbursing restitution payments from juveniles. However, Wyoming courts have [*3] held that statutes dealing with related subjects or having the same general purpose must be read in pari material in order to ascertain intelligent meaning and achieve uniformity. Kuntz v. Kinne, Wyo., 395 P.2d 286 (1964); Stringer v. Board of County Commissioners of Big Horn County, Who., 347 P.2d 197 (1960). Therefore, Section 14-6-229(f)(i), W.S. 1977, and Section 7-13-312, W.S. 1977, must be read in pari materia as to methods of collecting and disbursing restitution payments from both juvenile and criminal defendants.
|Wyoming||1987 Wyo. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 87-006 (May 28, 1987)||1987 Op. Atty Gen. Wyo. 19||After incarceration the board of parole has exclusive jurisdiction to administer the restitution imposed at sentencing by the court.||
After incarceration the board of parole has exclusive jurisdiction to administer the restitution imposed at sentencing by the court. Section 7-13-424, W.S. 1977, provides the board of parole with+ See more
a comprehensive scheme of parole restitution: the board shall provide for restitution on parole, may modify restitution imposed by the sentencing court, modify restitution imposed by the board or waive it entirely. Under § 7-13-413, W.S. 1977, the board is given the power to adopt rules and regulations governing the performance of duties of parole officers and the administration of the act. Thus it is reasonable that the probation and parole board could take on the responsibility of collecting and disbursing restitution if so ordered by the court.
|Wyoming||1987 Wyo. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 87-006 (May 28, 1987)||1987 Op. Atty Gen. Wyo. 19||Wyoming Crime Victims Compensation Commission, created through the Crime Victims Compensation Act, can collect restitution and authorize and order compensation payments be paid directly to a victim or third party.||
Sections 1-40-101 through 1-40-119, W.S. 1977, (1986 Cum. Supp.) created the Crime Victims Compensation Act. (Laws 1985, ch. 213, § 1). Under this Act, restitution paid by a criminal defendant+ See more
pursuant to §§ 7-13-307, through 7-13-315, W.S. 1977, goes directly to the Wyoming Crime Victims Compensation Commission after the Commission awards compensation to the victim. Such restitution is deposited in the Commission's account and used to set off against a judgment in favor of the state in a civil action. Section 1-40-112(c)(i), W.S. 1977, (1986 Cum. Supp.). [*7] The Commission reduces the amount of the compensation due the victim by the amount of restitution paid. Section 1-40-122(c)(ii). If restitution has been ordered, but not paid, the victim may be compensated by the Commission and shall reimburse the Commission when and if the defendant pays. Section 1-40-112, W.S. 1977 (1986 Cum. Supp.) was amended by the 1987 general session of the 49th Wyoming Legislature. A new subsection (g), effective May 22, 1987, states any payment of benefits to, or on behalf of a victim or other claimant under the Crime Victims Compensation Act creates a debt due the state by any person found by a criminal court to have committed a criminal act. Payment of the debt shall be a condition of probation, Laws 1987, ch. 119, § 1-40-112(g). In making payment of the debt a condition of probation or parole, the court or board of parole sets the schedule or amount of payments. The Commission has the authority to authorize compensation payments directly to the victim or to a third party. Section 1-40-108(d)(iii), W.S. 1977, (1986 Cum. Supp.). Similarly, the court could order direct payments to victims under the Restitution to Crime Victims Act, Sections 7-13-307 through 7-13-315, W.S. 1977. The victim's remedies for non-payment would be reporting the failure to the prosecuting attorney, the court or the probation and parole officer if applicable.