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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|New York||2004 N.Y. Op. Atty. Gen. No. 14 (N.Y.A.G.), 2004 WL 3007300||New York-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||
A village may impose both civil and criminal penalties for violations of local zoning laws, although criminal penalties must be consistent with the designation and classification of offenses under the Penal Law. A+ See more
village may provide for increased penalties for subsequent convictions, but may not designate any such offense as a felony. The disgorgement of profits upon conviction of a zoning violation may be obtained through an alternate sentence under the Penal Law, or through enactment of a carefully crafted civil forfeiture law.
"In sum, we conclude that the Village is authorized under its home rule powers to provide for both civil and criminal penalties for violation of local zoning laws, but that criminal penalties must+ See more
be consistent with the designation and classification of offenses under the Penal Law. We further conclude that the Village may provide for increased penalties for subsequent convictions under its zoning code, but may not designate any such offense as a felony. Finally, we are of the opinion that disgorgement of profits upon conviction of a zoning violation may be obtained through the use of an alternate sentence as authorized by the Penal Law, or through enactment of a carefully crafted civil forfeiture law."
|Delaware||Del. Op. Atty. Gen. 97-IB04 (Del.A.G.), 1997 WL 111291||Town's authority to establish a mail-in center for collecting fines and fees for motor vehicle violations.||Other applicable opinions||
Under State law, for the Town to operate a voluntary assessment system, summonses issued by the Town police must be returnable to the Mayor's Court. Only the ?Courts of the+ See more
Justices of the Peace may establish a mail-in fine center, ... in which case the summons may be made returnable to the applicable mail-in fine center.? 21 Del. C. Section 709(a) The statute does not authorize a municipality to establish a mail-in fine center for payment of fines for motor vehicle offenses which occur within the town. Nor can a town avail itself of the voluntary assessment procedure unless it has an Alderman's or Mayor's Court that is ?duly established.? 21 Del. C. Section 703(d). Stated differently, there must be an actual court, to which payments for motor vehicle offenses can be remitted ?to dispose of the charge without the necessity of personally appearing in the court to which the summons is returnable.? Id. Section 709(a). In conclusion, the Town of Elsmere is not an entity designated by statute to receive criminal history information from DELJIS. It may only operate a voluntary assessment system through a duly established Alderman's or Mayor's Court. In the absence of such a court, it may not charge, impose or collect ?court costs? or any similar fee from persons charged with motor vehicle violations within its boundaries.
|Delaware||Del. Op. Atty. Gen. 93-I004 (Del.A.G.), 1993 WL 594345||Department of Correction's ability to assess a supervision fee on offenders and determine ability to pay||Other applicable opinions||
The Department, subject only to powers vested in the judicial and certain executive departments and officers of the State, shall have the duties set forth in this chapter and the+ See more
exclusive jurisdiction over the care, charge, custody, control, management, administration and supervision of: (14) Collecting as a condition of supervision, a fee based on the Accountability Level of the offender. An offender sentenced to an Accountability Level I sanction shall be charged a $10 monthly fee; an offender sentenced to an Accountability Level II sanction shall be charged a $20 monthly fee; and an offender sentenced to an Accountability Level III sanction shall be charged a $25 monthly fee. The Director of Community Services shall develop policies and procedures with regard to determining an offender's ability to pay the monthly fee. Such policies and procedures shall be applied on a consistent basis to all offenders, and shall be subject to approval by the Commissioner of Correction. In the event the Department determines an offender is unable to pay the monthly fee due to lack of employment or other significant extenuating circumstances, such as an offender's responsibility to remit payment for victim compensation, restitution or child support, said inability shall not constitute a violation of supervision. The offender shall remain liable to pay the fee at such time as the Department determines he or she is able to do so. (Emphasis Supplied) For the reasons outlined below, we conclude that the Department is permitted to assess a supervision fee on offenders sentenced prior to the effective date of 11 Del.C. Sec. 6504(14).
|Ability to pay|
|Minnesota||Mr. Richard T. Jessen Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 1025B 1981 WL 157319||Minnesota-Attorney General opinion||Other applicable oppinions||Municipalities and towns are entitled to at least half of the funds from fines and fees collected by the county clerk||
The crucial feature in the context of this statute is that, unlike the large number of special and limited purpose government units, a municipality, or a city, is a general+ See more
purpose government unit. For example, the municipality is authorized by a wide range of statutes to engage in a variety of functions, including providing police protection and protecting the public health, safety, welfare and Morals. See; Minn. Stat. chs. 410 to 472 (1980). Review of the various local government units reveals that a town is the unit most similar to a municipality. To some extent, towns also possess traditional police powers and authority to provide law enforcement services. Minn. Stat. §§ 365.15; 367.03, subd. 3 (1980). Indeed, numerous towns are given the powers and authority of a statutory city. Minn. Stat. § 368.011 (1980). We therefore conclude that while the county is entitled to one-half of all such fines or penalties, the municipality or town in which a statutory violation is committed is entitled to the other half of such funds.
|Minnesota||Mr. D. Scott Ballou Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 1025-B 1980 WL 119583||Minnesota-Attorney General opinion||In most circumstances, the allocation of funds collected by fines and fees is based on the geographic location of the offense that gave rise to the fine or fee,||
The manner of disposition of fines and fees is based on the geographic location of the offense giving rise to the fee or fine and not on the law enforcement+ See more
agency responsible for issuing the citation. The only exceptions provided by the statute occur when the Minnesota Highway Patrol issues the citation. See Minn. Stat. § 299D.03, subd. 5 (1978), or where the fines or fees were collected prior to August 1, 1975, see Minn. Stat. § 487.33, subd. 6 (1978). However, the fines and fees referred to in Minn. Stat. § 487.33, subd. 5 (1978) are limited to certain parking fines, which must be paid over in full each month to the municipality in which the parking violation occurred, and fines and penalties collected as a result of violations of a state statute, or ordinance, charter provision, rules or regulation of a city must be equally divided on a monthly basis. In addition, monies collected as a result of a violation of an ordinance promulgated by a town board of supervisors or board of county commissioners shall be retained by the county treasurer pursuant to the last sentence of Minn. Stat. § 487.33, subd. 5 (1978).