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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|
|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."
|Washington||Wash. Att'y Gen. Op. 1993 NO. 11 (1993)||Ability to pay - considered at imposition and collection of fines and fees||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||They must be considered both when imposing and collecting fines and fees||
[A] county considering an ordinance authorizing a court to impose a multiple booking fee as part of a criminal sentence should heed constitutional considerations relating to the offender's ability to+ See more
pay the fee. Some statutes providing for the repayment of costs incurred on behalf of a criminal defendant, also known as recoupment statutes, have been challenged as unconstitutional. The courts generally have upheld these statutes, provided that they contain certain safeguards. As set forth in Fuller v. Oregon, 417 U.S. 40, 40 L.Ed.2d 642, 94 S.Ct. 2116 (1974), and summarized in State v. Earls, 51 Wn.App. 192, 19596, 752 P.2d 402 (1988), the safeguards are:(1) The requirement of repayment must not be mandatory;(2) Repayment may be imposed only upon convicted defendants;(3) Repayment may only be ordered if the defendant is or will be able to pay;(4) The financial resources of the defendant must be taken into consideration;(5) A repayment obligation may not be imposed if it appears there is no likelihood the defendant's indigency will end;(6) The convicted person must be permitted to petition the court for remission of the payment of costs or any unpaid portion thereof;(7) The convicted person cannot be held in contempt for failure to repay if the default was not attributable to an intentional refusal to obey the court order or a failure to make a good faith effort to make repayment.
|Washington||Wash. Att'y Gen. Op. 1993 NO. 11 (1993)||Authority to set fines/fees||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||Counties are given extensive freedoms to set fines and fees for municipal violations, but cannot do so in fields in which the state preempts||
Counties have broad authority under article 11, section 11 of the state constitution to act in furtherance of their police power. That section provides: Any county, city, town or township+ See more
may make and enforce within its limits all such local police, sanitary and other regulations as are not in conflict with general laws. The State Supreme Court has described this provision as follows: This is a direct delegation of the police power as ample within its limits as that possessed by the legislature itself. It requires no legislative sanction for its exercise so long as the subject-matter is local, and the regulation reasonable and consistent with the general laws. Bellingham v. Schampera, 57 Wn.2d 106, 109, 356 P.2d 292 (1960); see also Brown v. Yakima, 116 Wn.2d 556, 559, 807 P.2d 353 (1991).Under this provision, counties may enact ordinances regarding all those measures which bear a reasonable and substantial relation to promotion of the general welfare of the people. State v. Seattle, 94 Wn.2d 162, 165, 615 P.2d 461 (1980). County ordinances prescribing local offenses and punishments for them would constitute police power measures of the county under article 11, section 11 of the Washington Constitution. Such county ordinances may not, however, conflict with state laws. The courts have interpreted this to mean that counties may not legislate in a particular area when the state has preempted the field, or when the county legislation and state legislation on the same subject cannot be harmonized. Brown, 116 Wn.2d at 559.
|Washington||See answer for 8 above||Washington-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?||See answer for 8 above||See answer for 8 above|
|Washington||Not answered||Washington-Attorney General opinion||Under what circumstances does a conflict of interest in the imposition or enforcement of court debt violate state law?||Not answered||Not answered|