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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|Ohio||1990 Ohio Op. Atty. Gen. No. 90-088 (Nov. 14 1990)||Fines and fees||Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution?||Indigency should be determined on a case-by-case basis, not through set standards||
A gleaning of the aforementioned authorities clearly reveals that there are no set criteria for determining whether an individual is indigent. Rather, the preferred approach is to determine indigency on+ See more
a case by case basis so as to accord attention to any and all factors tending to indicate an individual's financial condition. . . . [T]he the criteria for determining . . . whether an individual is indigent, include the ready availability of real or personal property owned; employment benefits; pensions; annuities; social security; unemployment compensation; inheritances; number and age of dependents; outstanding debts, obligations and liabilities; and any other relevant considerations concerning the financial condition of an individual.
|Ohio||no||fines and fees||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||
Neither the courts nor the State AG has considered this question. However, the Ohio Revised Code provides that both misdemeanor fines, § 2928.18(F) and felony fines, § 2928.28(G)(1), may be+ See more
collected by private vendors
|Ohio||no||ability to pay||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||See Case Law: Liming v. Damos, 979 N.E.2d 297 (Ohio 2012)||Fines and fees|
|Ohio||no||Ohio-Attorney General opinion||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||See Case Law: State v. Meyer, 706 N.E.2d 378, 380 (1997); Ohio Rev. Code § 2947.14||ability to pay||Fines and fees|
|Ohio||2012 Ohio Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2012-039 (Nov. 14, 2012)||fines and fees||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||County courts can use their fining power to fund various projects, programs, and services of the court||
Although a county court has authority to use a special projects fund established under R.C. 1907.24(B)(1) to finance community service programs, nothing in the Ohio Constitution, Revised Code, Ohio Rules+ See more
of Criminal Procedure, or Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio directs the manner in which a county court may use moneys in a special projects fund to provide such financing. This means that the judges of a county court have the discretion and implied power to use special projects fund moneys in whatever manner is reasonably necessary to make community service programs available to persons who are convicted of, or plead guilty to, a misdemeanor.
|Fines and fees|
|Ohio||no||Fines and fees||What authority does the state supreme court have to impose binding state-wide rules on the imposition or collection of fees and fines?||
This has not been considered by courts or the State AG. But the Ohio Supreme Court issues "bench cards" guiding the lower courts on how to implement fines. See, e.g.,+ See more
The Supreme Court of Ohio, Office of Judicial Services, Collection of Fines and Court Costs (2014)
|Ohio||no||no||Under what circumstances does a conflict of interest in the imposition or enforcement of court debt violate state law?||This has not been considered to date|
|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|
|Montana||49 Mont. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 18, 2002 WL 1009805||Montana-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||
The Montana Constitution and Montana law authorize amunicipal court judge to release a defendant on a time-pay bail bond, defined as a bond in an amount set by the judge to be+ See more
paid in installments.
If the court finds some form of bail necessary, however, Mont. Code Ann. § 46-9-301, provides more specific factors for a court to consider. These factors include, among other matters+ See more
not related to the safety of the victim and the community, that the amount shall be not oppressive, and that the amount shall be considerate of the financial ability of the accused. Id., §§ 46-9-301(4) and (6). The time-pay bail bonds system comports with these requirements.The Montana Constitution and Montana law authorize a municipal court judge to release a defendant on a time-pay bail bond, defined as a bond in an amount set by the judge to be paid in installments.
|Ability to pay|
|Montana||41 Mont. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 59||Montana-Attorney General opinion||Other applicable opinions||Cash bail for minor offenses may be increased to include applicable surcharges||
In order to collect the additional $10 charge required by section 46-18-236, MCA, a court may exercise its power under section 46-9-302, MCA, and increase the bail schedule for minor+ See more
offenses in a like amount.