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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?|
|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).
|North Carolina||N.C.A.G. Mar. 21, 1996||RE: Advisory Opinion; Exceptions to Statutory Exemptions for Execution of Judgment on Criminal Restitution Orders||Other applicable opinions||North Carolina is not barred from structuring a program to collect costs; however, the state's initiatives, must be narrowly drawn so as to avoid chilling the indigent's right to counsel||
North Carolina [is not] barred from structuring a program to collect the amount it is owed from a financially-able defendant through reasonable and fairly administered procedures. The state's initiatives in+ See more
this area naturally must be narrowly drawn to avoid either chilling the indigent's exercise of the right to counsel, or creating discriminating terms of repayment based solely on the defendant's poverty. Beyond these threshold requirements, however, the State has wide latitude to shape its attorneys fees recoupment or restitution program along the lines it deems most appropriate for achieving lawful state objectives. Id. at 123-124. (emphasis added.)
|North Carolina||N.C.A.G. June 10, 1980||Criminal Law and Procedure; Sentences; Probation; Restitution; Bankruptcy Proceedings||Person who received illegal gains as a part of criminal activity may not discharge legal financial obligations in bankruptcy||
It would thus be against our statute and public policy to permit a defendant who has received illegal gains and who was ordered to make restitution as a condition of+ See more
his sentence to vacate such conditions by a discharge in bankruptcy." People v. Mosesson, 356 N.Y.S. 2d 483, 484-85, (1974). See also: People on Inf. of Anerbach v. Topping Bros., 359 N.Y.S. 2d 985 (1974).
|Florida||AGO 99-03||Municipality, contract with collection agency||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||Liens (at least)||A municipality may enter into an agreement with a collection agency to compromise code enforcement board liens and pursue collection through litigation.||Enforcement|
|Florida||AGO 2008-47||Courts, funds to renovate courthouse tower/cafÃ©||Other applicable opinions||
the tower of the Sarasota County Courthouse as an integral structural component of the courthouse facility may be renovated using funds derived from section 318.18(13), Florida Statutes. Moreover, where the+ See more
county has made the decision to include a cafÃ© in the county courthouse facility for use by court personnel and the general public, revenue collected pursuant to section 318.18(13), Florida Statutes, to fund court facilities may be used for the renovation of such space.
|Florida||AGO 2008-46||Counties -- Court Costs||Other applicable opinions||
Accordingly, it is my opinion that revenues generated by section 939.185, Florida Statutes, may be used to fund an alternative sanctions coordinator position created pursuant to sections 984.09 and 985.037,+ See more
Florida Statutes. Moreover, it is ultimately within the countyâs discretion whether to fund a "local requirement" designated by the chief judge of the circuit.
|Florida||AGO 2007-52||Clerks of Court, debts referred to collection agent||Other applicable opinions||
In light of the language of sections 28.246 and 28.35, Florida Statutes, it is my opinion that the clerk of court is not authorized to charge a fee to the+ See more
collection agent or attorney for support services provided by the clerk when an unpaid amount owed to the clerk is referred to an agent for collection. Rather, any administrative support costs incurred by the clerk after referring unpaid fines and fees for collection should most appropriately be paid from "filing fees, service charges, court costs, and fines" as provided in section 28.35(4)(a), Florida Statutes.
|Florida||AGO 2002-61||Additional $2 cost for criminal justice education||Other applicable opinions||
Thus, this office concluded that the additional costs collected under section 943.25(13), Florida Statutes (1993), could only be used for courses that relate directly to criminal justice education and training+ See more
courses and may not be used to fund general education for law enforcement officers, except in those instances where completion of general education courses is a requirement for successful completion of a criminal justice degree program.
|Fines and fees|
|Florida||AGO 2002-10||Local governments' assessment of court costs||Other applicable opinions||
Accordingly, it is my opinion that the assessment authorized in section 938.15, Florida Statutes, is payable to the county or municipality by an individual who has been convicted of a+ See more
violation of the respective county or municipal ordinance and the court has included payment of the assessment in its order.
|Fines and fees|
|Florida||AGO 2001-40||Teen court, mandatory court cost assessment||Other applicable opinions||
In sum: 1. Section 938.19, Florida Statutes, does not authorize the county to choose the offenses for which the $3 assessment authorized by section 938.19, Florida Statutes, may be imposed; rather,+ See more
the statute specifies those offenses for which the assessment will be imposed. 2. Section 938.19, Florida Statutes, requires that funds received from the $3 assessment be deposited into an account specifically for the operation and administration of the teen court and does not authorize application of the funds to other programs or to the county's general revenue fund.
|Fines and fees|
|Florida||AGO 96-38||Clerks, collection of costs for crimes compensation||Other applicable opinions||
1. The additional costs authorized in section 960.20, Florida Statutes, are assessed on a per-case, rather than a per-count, basis. Therefore, such costs may not be assessed for each count+ See more
for which the person pleads guilty or nolo contendere or is convicted or adjudicated delinquent. 2. The date on which the offense occurs determines the amount of additional costs. Thus, a person who commits a crime prior to July 1, 1992, but is convicted of the crime after that date would be assessed the amount authorized by section 960.20, Florida Statutes, on the date of the offense. 3. If the offense for which probation has been revoked constitutes a felony, misdemeanor, delinquent act, or criminal traffic offense and the probationer is adjudicated guilty of this offense or pleads no contest to the charges, the additional costs may be imposed. However, if the offense for which probation is revoked results only in the imposition of a sentence that was withheld when the defendant was placed on probation, section 960.20, Florida Statutes, does not authorize the imposition of such additional costs. 4. Section 960.20, Florida Statutes, requires that the court must state on the record in detail the reasons for waiving the assessment of additional costs.
|Fines and fees|