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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?|
|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.
|Louisiana||Op. Att'y Gen. No. 83-183 (June 17, 1983)||Court's authority to impose costs||Other applicable opinions||
It is well settled that the recovery and allowance of costs in criminal prosecutions is dependent entirely on statutory provisions. Absent statutory authority, a court has no power to award+ See more
costs against a defendant on conviction. See C. J. S. Costs Section 435, 437. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 83-183 (June 17, 1983)
|Fines and fees|
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|