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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?|
|Alaska||Otton v. Zaborac, 525 P.2d 537, 538 (Alaska 1974)||Alaska-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?
|Yes. For example, a defendant who is facing civil contempt must be guaranteed the right to counsel because of the "very real threat of incarceration."||
"Constitutional considerations lead us to the conclusion the defendant's interests will not be adequately protected without the assistance of appointed counsel. The Alaska Constitution provides that ‘(n)o person shall be+ See more
deprived of . . . liberty . . . without due process of law.4 The federal constitution similarly provides that no state may deprive any person of liberty without due process. Mr. Otton's interest in freedom from restraint has constitutional dimensions. State action which infringes upon that interest must be in accordance with the requirements of due process."
|Ability to pay|
Jones v. State, No. A-2629, 1989 WL 1595378, at *1–2 (Alaska Ct. App. Feb. 1, 1989) (quoting Zimmerman v. State, 706 P.2d 343, 344 (Alaska App.1985); Karr v. State, 686+ See more
P.2d 1192, 1197 (Alaska 1984)); Alaska Stat. Ann. § 12.55.051
|Alaska-Attorney General opinion||Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution?||Indigency is determined by trial courts in Alaska. Trial courts are not municipal in nature, but are State courts.||
"Under AS 12.55.035, the trial court is under a mandatory duty to consider a defendant's earning capacity in connection with the imposition of any fine. The court's inquiry must be+ See more
“serious” and should include an analysis of any assets that the defendant presently owns, as well as his past and future earning capacity. A determination of a defendant's future earning capacity necessarily requires the court to make:preliminary findings of fact regarding [the defendant's] mental and physical health, [his] education, [his] job skills if any, the kinds of jobs which [he] has held in the past and is capable of performing in the future and the availability of such jobs in the communities in which [the defendant] will likely reside. Once these findings are made, the court is in a position to determine [the defendant's] likely future earnings and the extent to which those earnings will cover [his] likely future expenses for food, clothing and shelter and leave [him] a surplus out of which to pay restitution. The court must fix the amount of the fine and the terms of payment to fall within the realistic limits of the defendant's earning capacity. Failure to make the appropriate inquiry and findings requires automatic reversal and remand." " If, at a hearing under this subsection, the defendant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant will be unable through good faith efforts to satisfy the order requiring payment of the fine or restitution, the court shall modify the order so that the defendant can pay the fine or restitution through good faith efforts. The court may reduce the fine ordered, change the payment schedule, or otherwise modify the order. The court may not reduce an order of restitution but may change the payment schedule."
|Ability to pay|
|Alaska||Alaska Stat. Ann. § 12.55.051(j)||Enforcement of fines and restitution||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||This has not been articulated by the court or by the Attorney General. Statutory law seems to indicate that any fine or fee can be collected by a private vendor||
(j) The Department of Law may enter into contracts on behalf of the state to carry out the collection procedures of this section. The Department of Law may adopt regulations+ See more
necessary to carry out the collection procedures of this section, including the reimbursement of attorney fees and costs in appropriate cases.
|Alaska||Alaska Stat. Ann. § 12.55.051||Enforcement of fines and restitution||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||Defendant has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence.||
"[U]nder this subsection, the defendant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant will be unable through good faith efforts to satisfy the order requiring payment of the+ See more
fine or restitution, the court shall modify the order so that the defendant can pay the fine or restitution through good faith efforts. The court may reduce the fine ordered, change the payment schedule, or otherwise modify the order."
|Ability to pay|
|Alaska||Alaska Stat. Ann. § 12.55.051; Dodge v. Municipality of Anchorage, 877 P.2d 270, 272 (Alaska Ct. App. 1994)||Alaska-Attorney General opinion||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||Statutory law and case law suggest that the ability to pay need not be determined until after imposition.||
"A defendant who has been sentenced to pay a fine or restitution may request a hearing regarding the defendant's ability to pay the fine or restitution at any time that+ See more
the defendant is required to pay all or a portion of the fine or restitution." "The law in effect at the time of Dodge's sentencing imposed no duty upon the court to inquire into Dodge's ability to pay the fine imposed."
|Ability to pay|
|Alaska||Alaska Const. art. IV, § 15; Alaska Stat. Ann. § 22.05.020(c); Alaska Stat. Ann. § 28.05.151(a)||Rule-Making Power; Composition and general powers of supreme court; Citations for scheduled vehicle and traffic offenses||What authority does the state supreme court have to impose binding state-wide rules on the imposition or collection of fees and fines?||
The Alasaka Constitution allows the Supreme Court to promulgate rules governing practice and procedure. Furthermore, Alaska Statutory Law allows the Supreme Court to prescribe the fees which may be charged+ See more
for legal services. Indeed, the Supreme Court can also determine which fines and fees may be collected without a court disposition
"The supreme court shall make and promulgate rules governing the administration of all courts. It shall make and promulgate rules governing practice and procedure in civil and criminal cases in+ See more
all courts. These rules may be changed by the legislature by two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house." "The supreme court may prescribe by rule the fees to be charged by all courts for judicial services." "The supreme court shall determine by rule or order those motor vehicle and traffic offenses, except for offenses subject to a scheduled municipal fine, that are amenable to disposition without court appearance and shall establish a scheduled amount of bail, not to exceed fines prescribed by law, for each offense. A municipality shall determine by ordinance the municipal motor vehicle and traffic offenses that may be disposed of without court appearance and shall establish a fine schedule for each offense. "The supreme court shall determine by rule or order those motor vehicle and traffic offenses, except for offenses subject to a scheduled municipal fine, that are amenable to disposition without court appearance and shall establish a scheduled amount of bail, not to exceed fines prescribed by law, for each offense. A municipality shall determine by ordinance the municipal motor vehicle and traffic offenses that may be disposed of without court appearance and shall establish a fine schedule for each offense."
|Fines and fees|
|Mississippi||1981 WL 39784 (Miss.A.G.); Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-20 (2)||Mississippi-Attorney General opinion||Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution?||apparently not, because judges rule on indigency on a case-by-case basis||
In the event an indigent is unable to pay his fine, a justice court judge may rely upon Section 99-19-20 of the Mississippi Code, 1972 , as amended, as an+ See more
alternative procedure in working with indigents.
|Ability to pay|
|Mississippi||1994 WL 497828 (Miss.A.G.)||Mississippi-Attorney General opinion||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||Any kind of fine or fee, at least for municipalities.||
Section 21-17-l, Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, provides that a “. . .municipality may contract with a private attorney or privatecollection agent or agency to collect any type of delinquent payment owed to the municipality including, but+ See more
not limited to, past due feesand fines.”
|Mississippi||1996 WL 224005 (Miss.A.G.)||Mississippi-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||The court has the authority to impose "reasonable" fees for costs incurred by the court system.||In response, see the Primeaux opinion which states that Mississippi Code Annotated Section 21-23-7(11) allows a municipal court to impose reasonable costs of court which could include a service of process fee.||Fines and fees|
|Mississippi||1996 WL 369442 (Miss.A.G.)||Mississippi-Attorney General opinion||Other applicable opinions||Court costs that are statutorily mandated must be collected from defendant by the country clerk, whether a judge decides to impose them or not.||
In response, we direct your attention to Mississippi Code Annotated Section 99-19-73 (Supp. 1995), which sets forth the standard state monetary assessments for criminal violations. Specifically, subsection (7) states: If a+ See more
fine or other penalty imposed is suspended, in whole or in part, such suspension shall not affect the state assessment under this section. No state assessment imposed under the provisions of this section may be suspended or reduced by the court. Based on the above quoted statute, the state assessment court costs are collected by the clerk of the court regardless of whether the judge imposes them or not. There are several statutorily imposed fees or costs which are to be collected regardless of whether the judge imposes them or not, e.g. Mississippi Code Annotated Section 19-7-31 allows the boards of supervisors to impose a court cost for the support of a public county law library in their respective counties. This court cost is automatically assessed regardless of whether the judge imposes it or not. Also, upon conviction for writing a bad check, Section 97-19-67(4) directs the court to impose a fee in the amount of up to 85% of the face value of a bad check in addition to any other fine, fee, cost or penalty imposed by the judge. Section 37-26-9(4) imposes a supplemental court education and training cost in all criminal cases where a fine of $10 or more is imposed by the judge. The general rule is that if the cost is statutorily imposed, there is no need for the judge to impose the cost. However, from time to time, a court cost may be incurred in which there is no statutory imposition. In such a case it is within the judge's discretion to impose such a court cost on the defendant.