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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?|
|Maryland||83 Md. Op. Att'y Gen. 33 (1998)||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||
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?
|The same procedural protections apply when a defendant may be incarcerated. Otherwise, they do not apply.||
In similar language, the Maryland Public Defender Act requires representation by that office “at all stages” of specified proceedings. When incarceration is sought in a civil contempt proceeding, a hearing+ See more
before a master is a critical stage of such a proceeding. Accordingly, both the right to counsel and the obligation of the Public Defender to provide representation for indigents apply.If incarceration is not sought as a remedy in a contempt proceeding, the constitutional right to counsel is not implicated.6 Nor is the Public Defender obligated to provide representation.
|Ability to pay|
|Maryland||See Md. Code Ann., State Fin. & Proc. § 3-302||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||N/A. Maryland has a state central collection agency which collects fees.||Revenue flow|
|Maryland||86 Md. Op. Att'y Gen. 183 (2001)||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||No burden or standard has been established. Instead, the Court simply inquires into the reason for inability to pay the fine.||
"Thus, the Constitution places both procedural and substantive limitations on a court's power to incarcerate a criminal defendant in lieu of payment of a fine. First, the court must inquire+ See more
into the reason why the defendant has failed to pay the fine. If the failure to pay is attributable to indigency the court must also consider alternate methods of punishment. If the court ultimately decides that an additional period of incarceration is necessary to serve the interests of deterrence and punishment, the aggregate period of incarceration cannot exceed the maximum sentence for the underlying offense."
|Ability to pay|
|Maryland||Simms v. State, 501 A.2d 1338, 1342 (1986)||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||Case law says at the time of collection.||"A hearing to determine ability to pay is appropriate not at the time of the imposition of the sentence but at the time of its enforcement"||Ability to pay|
|Louisiana||Op. Att'y Gen. No. 97-237 (June 18, 1997)||Uniform eligibility criteria for indigency standards||Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution?||Unclear, but different municipalities are required by statute to have the same standards||
(d) uniform eligibility criteria for determining indigency and the eligibility of defendants to qualify for indigent defender representation at the district and state level;(citing language from statute creating the Louisiana+ See more
|Ability to pay|
|Louisiana||Op. Att'y Gen. No. 95-449 (Nov. 8, 1995)||Collection contracts with private vendors||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||no stated limit||
You have requested our opinion as to whether it is permissible for the Sheriff, with the formal approval of the District Court, to enter into such an agreement. If so,+ See more
you ask whether the public bid laws apply in procuring the services of a collection agency. We have reviewed the constitutional and statutory provisions relating to the powers and duties of sheriffs and can find nothing that would prohibit the Sheriff from entering into such an agreement. Our opinion is predicated upon the concurrence to the agreement of all parties enumerated hereinabove, and a formal order of the District Court Judge authorizing the contract and the percentage and/or fee to be retained by the collection agency. As discussed, this opinion is limited to only those fines that have been previously assessed, are currently delinquent and which you have been unable to collect. While a contract for the services of a collection agency are not required to be publicly bid by the Sheriff, we recommend that you solicit several proposals to ensure the confection of a contract that is most favorable to your office.