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|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|
|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|
|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."