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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|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."
Tex. Att'y Gen Opinion Op. No. JM-10 (1983),"""Inability to pay fees is an affirmative defense to the failure to pay them.""",ability to pay,,transparencyShould ability to pay be considered when imposing+ See more
fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?,,,,,,fines What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?,Municipal courts have authority to sets fines and fees so long as they do not exceed the maximum fine or fee permitted by the relevant statute. ,Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. GA-0593 (2008)
court may impose . . . an increase in the defendant's fine, up to a total fine that does not exceed the maximum fine for the offense for which the+ See more
defendant was sentenced
|Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||Burden of proof is on the defendant by preponderance of the evidence. But see Rusk v. State, 440 S.W.3d 694, 702 (Tex. App. 2013)||fines and fees|
Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. JM-176 (1984),"""Proceedings in contempt cases should proceed as near as practical to criminal cases.""",ability to pay,,enforcementDoes allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or+ See more
fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution? ,"Possibly. In Texas, a law that fixes a greater punishment in one county than another is violative of Equal Protection, so a law allowing for different levels of protection or different penalty fines may also violate Equal Protection. ",Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. DM-123 (1992); Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. JM-1120 (1989),"""costs imposed in misdemeanor cases involving state criminal statutes must be uniform statewide . . . a law that fixes a greater punishment in one county than in other counties for the violation of a state law cannot be upheld and is in contravention of constitutional inhibitions, both State and Federal""; ""Assessment of a minimum $50 fine in every Class C misdemeanor hot check case in order to defray the cost of an additional employee would result in the penalty for a state defined crime to be different in Jim Wells County than it is in other counties and would violate both due process and equal protection constitutional rights.""",fines and fees,,ability to pay Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor? ,Any fines or fees ordered to be paid by a court,Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. JC-0516 (2002)
|The debts that may be collected [are] those which have been ordered to be paid by a court.||
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?
|Contempt case require the same or as near as practicable due process protections as criminal cases.||revenue flow|
|Texas||Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. JC-0516 (2002)||"The debts that may be collected [are] those which have been ordered to be paid by a court."||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||Any fines or fees ordered to be paid by a court||revenue flow|
|Texas||Tex. Att'y Gen Opinion Op. No. JM-10 (1983)||"Inability to pay fees is an affirmative defense to the failure to pay them."||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||Burden of proof is on the defendant by preponderance of the evidence. But see Rusk v. State, 440 S.W.3d 694, 702 (Tex. App. 2013)||ability to pay|
|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|