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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|California||65 Cal. Op. Att'y Gen. 581 (1982)||"May a penalty assessment be levied against a criminal defendant who does not have a present ability to pay such assessment?"||
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?
Indigent defendants cannot be imprisoned solely because they cannot pay a penalty. However, when indigent defendants refuse or fail to meet the terms of an alternative option, they can be+ See more
imprisoned, as the court sees them the same as a non-indigent defendant.
The effect of Antazo was to bar a trial judge from sending a defendant to jail or prison solely because he was unable to pay the monetary penalty. (In re+ See more
Siegel (1975) 45 Cal.App.3d 843, 846.) However, as Antazo makes clear, such a penalty may nevertheless be imposed upon an indigent in certain circumstances (3 Cal.3d 100, 116):‘[O]ur holding is simply that an indigent who would pay his fine if he could, must be given an option comparable to an offender who is not indigent. When the indigent offender refuses to avail himself of such alternatives at the inception, or defaults or otherwise fails to meet the conditions of the particular alternative which is offered him without a showing of reasonable excuse, the indigent offender becomes in the eyes of the court exactly the same as the contumacious offender who is not indigent. When either of these conditions obtain the offender's indigency ceases to be dispositive and he may, consistently with the mandate of the equal protection clause, be relegated to ‘working out’ his fine by imprisonment.' 65 Cal. Op. Att'y Gen. 581 (1982).
|Ability to pay|
|California||66 Cal. Op. Att'y Gen. 440 (1983).||Personal use of fines and fees prohibited||Under what circumstances does a conflict of interest in the imposition or enforcement of court debt violate state law?||Judges cannot receive fines or fees for personal use.||
Article VI, section 17, of the California Constitution, provides: “A judge of a court of record may not practice law and during the term for which the judge was selected+ See more
is ineligible for public employment or public office other than judicial employment or judicial office. A judge of the superior or municipal court may, however, become eligible for election to other public office by taking a leave of absence without pay prior to filing a declaration of candidacy. Acceptance of the public office is a resignation from the office of judge. “A judicial officer may not receive fines or fees for personal use.” 66 Cal. Op. Att'y Gen. 440 (1983).
|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).