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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|
|South Carolina||S.C.A.G. Oct. 8, 2012 (informal opinion)||Civil contempt||
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?
|No - the rationale for punishment based on contempt proceedings rather than criminal proceedings is different||
The principal purpose of criminal contempt is punishment. In civil contempt, however, the contemnors "carry the keys of prison in their own pockets" as the contempt serves to secure "compliance+ See more
with judicial decrees." 287 S.E.2d at 919. The Court concluded that "[t]he conditional nature of the imprisonment, based entirely upon appellant's refusal to pay respondent's expenses, justified the civil contempt proceeding without a jury trial.
|South Carolina||S.C.A.G. July 15, 1996 (informal opinion)||Setting fees||Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution?||Not answered as to indigency - however, municipalities cannot set their own fees not in accordance with State statutes||
it is the opinion of this Office that all fee schedules used in the various counties based upon ordinances and special statutes are unconstitutional and that the only fee schedule+ See more
available for the services enumerated is to be found under South Carolina Code Section 27-53 (1976) [replaced by Act No. 164 of 1979]
|Fines and fees|
|South Carolina||Robert L. McCrudy, S.C.A.G. Dec. 14, 1999 (informal opinion)||Collection by private vendor||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||Collection of criminal fines and fees are the job of the magistrate||
With respect to the physical collection and handling ofpublic monies such as fines, restitution, etc. such should be done exclusively by the court and its officers rather than by the+ See more
company, in the absence of legislative authorization therefore.
|South Carolina||1987 S.C. Op. Att'y Gen. 255 (1987)||Bearden||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||Not answered - however, cannot implement a surcharge if defendant fails to pay fee||
In the circumstances where an indigent fails to comply with the schedule of payments established by the court and the court determines that the indigent has wilfully refused to pay+ See more
or failed to make bona fide efforts to pay, the court is authorized to imprison the defendant for contempt. As provided in Section 17–25–350, where part of the fine has been paid, the imprisonment cannot exceed the remaining pro rata portion of the sentence. I am unaware of any basis for a court to impose a fine in addition to the sentence originally imposed.
|Ability to pay|
|South Carolina||1978 S.C. Op. Att'y Gen. 140 (1978)||South Carolina-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||By implication, they may set fees at least as far as reimbursement for public defense||
Since the Defense of Indigents Act, supra, does not prohibit the municipal court from ordering reimbursement as a condition of suspended sentences and since such orders are not generally unconstitutional+ See more
or improper, it is the opinion of this Office that certain municipal courts may order as a condition of a suspended sentence, a convicted indigent defendant to reimburse the Judicial Department for the costs of his representation by a public defender, pursuant to Section 17–3–40 of the Code of Laws.
|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."