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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|
|West Virginia||W. Va. Code §48-1-304||W.V. Code||
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?
In the case of a charge of contempt based upon the failure of the defendant to pay alimony, child support or separate maintenance, if the court or jury finds that+ See more
the defendant did not pay because he was financially unable to pay, the defendant may not be imprisoned on charges of contempt of court.
(1) State v. Stamm, 222 W. Va. 276, 278, 664 S.E.2d 161, 163 (2008) (2) State ex rel. Zirkle v. Fox, 203 W. Va. 668, 669, 510 S.E.2d 502, 503 (1998) (3)+ See more
W. Va. Code Ann. § 61-11A-5
|Case Law / W.V. Code||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||
(1) In criminal failure to meet obligation to minor (W. Va. Code § 61-5-29), the State has the burden of proof and the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt. (2)However,+ See more
in civil contempt cases, if contemnor alleges financial inability to pay, he bears the burden of proving such inability to comply with a court mandate in order to avoid imprisonment. (3)Finally, in restitution determinations, the burden is on the defendant and the standard is a preponderance of the evidence.
Where a contemnor alleges financial inability to pay in a civil contempt proceeding, he bears the burden of proving such inability to comply with a court mandate in order to+ See more
|Ability to pay|
|West Virginia||(1)State v. Murrell, 201 W.Va. 648, 499 S.E.2d 870 (1997)(2) W. Va. Code §50-3-2.||Case Law||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||
No. Ability to pay does not have to be considered when imposing fines or fees; certain fines and fees are required by law to be imposed (see, e.g., W. Va.+ See more
“An individual is not excused from the imposition of the maximum sentence allowed under a statute simply because he is indigent, even if that sentence includes the imposition of fines+ See more
pursuant to statute.”
|Ability to pay|
|West Virginia||W. Va. Code §8-10-1, 2; W. Va. Code § 62-4-16.||W.V. Code||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||
Municipal courts have power to impose fines, penalties and cost when not otherwise provided by charter provision or general law. However, municipal judges may substitute community service in lieu of+ See more
sentence of incarceration or imposition of fine.
|Fines and fees|
|West Virginia||W. Va. Const. art. VIII, § 3||State Constitution||What authority does the state supreme court have to impose binding state-wide rules on the imposition or collection of fees and fines?||West Virginia's Constitution allows the Court of Appeals to impose binding state-wide rules. No on point Attorney General Opinion.||
“The court shall have power to promulgate rules for all cases and proceedings, civil and criminal, for all of the courts of the State relating to writs, warrants, process, practice+ See more
and procedure, which shall have the force and effect of law.”
|West Virginia||W. Va. Code § 7-8-14(c)||W.V. Code||Other applicable opinions||
“A defendant who has been sentenced to pay costs and who is not in willful default in the payment of the costs may at any time petition the sentencing court+ See more
for remission of the payment of costs or of any unpaid portion of the costs. If it appears to the satisfaction of the court that payment of the amount due will impose manifest hardship on the defendant or the defendant's family or dependents, the court may excuse payment of all or part of the amount due in costs, or modify the method of payment.”