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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|Ohio||1990 Ohio Op. Atty. Gen. No. 90-088 (Nov. 14 1990)||Fines and fees||Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution?||Indigency should be determined on a case-by-case basis, not through set standards||
A gleaning of the aforementioned authorities clearly reveals that there are no set criteria for determining whether an individual is indigent. Rather, the preferred approach is to determine indigency on+ See more
a case by case basis so as to accord attention to any and all factors tending to indicate an individual's financial condition. . . . [T]he the criteria for determining . . . whether an individual is indigent, include the ready availability of real or personal property owned; employment benefits; pensions; annuities; social security; unemployment compensation; inheritances; number and age of dependents; outstanding debts, obligations and liabilities; and any other relevant considerations concerning the financial condition of an individual.
|Ohio||no||fines and fees||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||
Neither the courts nor the State AG has considered this question. However, the Ohio Revised Code provides that both misdemeanor fines, § 2928.18(F) and felony fines, § 2928.28(G)(1), may be+ See more
collected by private vendors
|Ohio||no||ability to pay||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||See Case Law: Liming v. Damos, 979 N.E.2d 297 (Ohio 2012)||Fines and fees|
|Ohio||no||Ohio-Attorney General opinion||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||See Case Law: State v. Meyer, 706 N.E.2d 378, 380 (1997); Ohio Rev. Code § 2947.14||ability to pay||Fines and fees|
|Ohio||2012 Ohio Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2012-039 (Nov. 14, 2012)||fines and fees||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||County courts can use their fining power to fund various projects, programs, and services of the court||
Although a county court has authority to use a special projects fund established under R.C. 1907.24(B)(1) to finance community service programs, nothing in the Ohio Constitution, Revised Code, Ohio Rules+ See more
of Criminal Procedure, or Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio directs the manner in which a county court may use moneys in a special projects fund to provide such financing. This means that the judges of a county court have the discretion and implied power to use special projects fund moneys in whatever manner is reasonably necessary to make community service programs available to persons who are convicted of, or plead guilty to, a misdemeanor.
|Fines and fees|
|Ohio||no||Fines and fees||What authority does the state supreme court have to impose binding state-wide rules on the imposition or collection of fees and fines?||
This has not been considered by courts or the State AG. But the Ohio Supreme Court issues "bench cards" guiding the lower courts on how to implement fines. See, e.g.,+ See more
The Supreme Court of Ohio, Office of Judicial Services, Collection of Fines and Court Costs (2014)
|Ohio||no||no||Under what circumstances does a conflict of interest in the imposition or enforcement of court debt violate state law?||This has not been considered to date|
|Virginia||2000 Va. Op. Att'y. Gen. (2000)||Costs and fines dischargeable in bankruptcy||Other applicable opinions||
"Criminal costs, which may or may not be contingent upon sentence but are associated with conviction, and traffic fines are nondischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. Debt for restitution or+ See more
criminal fine included in criminal sentence is nondischargeable in Chapter 13 bankruptcy; criminal fines not contingent upon sentence, traffic fines arising from traffic infractions, and civil traffic fines are dischargeable in Chapter 13 bankruptcies."
|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|