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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|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|
|Maryland||83 Md. Op. Att'y Gen. 33 (1998)||Maryland-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?
|The same procedural protections apply when a defendant may be incarcerated. Otherwise, they do not apply.||
In similar language, the Maryland Public Defender Act requires representation by that office “at all stages” of specified proceedings. When incarceration is sought in a civil contempt proceeding, a hearing+ See more
before a master is a critical stage of such a proceeding. Accordingly, both the right to counsel and the obligation of the Public Defender to provide representation for indigents apply.If incarceration is not sought as a remedy in a contempt proceeding, the constitutional right to counsel is not implicated.6 Nor is the Public Defender obligated to provide representation.
|Ability to pay|
|Maryland||79 Md. Op. Att'y Gen. 354 (1994)||Maryland-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?||No. A case-by-case standard could be used for each defendant. However, uniform eligibility requirements must be used under the Administrative Procedure Act||
In theory, the Office of the Public Defender might administer these eligibility provisions on an entirely individualized basis, through an ad hoc assessment of each applicant's financial ability. [However, i]t+ See more
is our opinion that the eligibility criteria established by the Public Defenders Office must be adopted under the rulemaking procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act in order to be legally effective.
|Fines and fees|
|Maryland||See Md. Code Ann., State Fin. & Proc. § 3-302||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||N/A. Maryland has a state central collection agency which collects fees.||Revenue flow|
|Maryland||86 Md. Op. Att'y Gen. 183 (2001)||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||No burden or standard has been established. Instead, the Court simply inquires into the reason for inability to pay the fine.||
"Thus, the Constitution places both procedural and substantive limitations on a court's power to incarcerate a criminal defendant in lieu of payment of a fine. First, the court must inquire+ See more
into the reason why the defendant has failed to pay the fine. If the failure to pay is attributable to indigency the court must also consider alternate methods of punishment. If the court ultimately decides that an additional period of incarceration is necessary to serve the interests of deterrence and punishment, the aggregate period of incarceration cannot exceed the maximum sentence for the underlying offense."
|Ability to pay|
|Maryland||Simms v. State, 501 A.2d 1338, 1342 (1986)||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||Case law says at the time of collection.||"A hearing to determine ability to pay is appropriate not at the time of the imposition of the sentence but at the time of its enforcement"||Ability to pay|
|Maryland||Md. Const. art. IV, § 18; See, e.g., MD R ADR Rule 17-208||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||They have authority as granted to them by the Court of Appeals||
"Subject to the approval of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the county administrative judge of each circuit court shall develop and adopt maximum hourly rate fee schedules+ See more
for court-designated individuals conducting each type of fee-for-service ADR"
|Fines and fees|
Md. Const. art. IV, § 18 (granting the Court of Appeals the authority to enacts rules with the force of law); see, e.g., MD R ADR Rule 17-208 (the Court+ See more
of Appeals authorizes its Chief Judge to approve fee schedules)
|Maryland-Attorney General opinion||What authority does the state supreme court have to impose binding state-wide rules on the imposition or collection of fees and fines?||Maryland's highest court can impose binding state-wide rules, including fines and fees.||
"The Court of Appeals from time to time shall adopt rules and regulations concerning the practice and procedure in and the administration of the appellate courts and in the other+ See more
courts of this State, which shall have the force of law until rescinded, changed or modified by the Court of Appeals or otherwise by law. The power of courts other than the Court of Appeals to make rules of practice and procedure, or administrative rules, shall be subject to the rules and regulations adopted by the Court of Appeals or otherwise by law." "Subject to the approval of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the county administrative judge of each circuit court shall develop and adopt maximum hourly rate fee schedules for court-designated individuals conducting each type of fee-for-service ADR"
|Fines and fees|
|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."