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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|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|
|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."