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Kansas Kan. Atty. Gen. Op. No. 95-101, 1995 WL 643346 Courts--District Courts--District Judges; Power and Authority; Contingency Fee Contract to Collect Court Costs, Fines, Restitution and Attorney Fees Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor? A district court does not have the inherent power to contract with a collection agency to collect unpaid court costs, fines, attorney fees, and restitution.
"[W]hile the court may use the state setoff program, it is our opinion that the court does not have the inherent power to contract with a private collection agency to
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collect these debts...Contracting with a collection agency to collect debts owed to the state, the county and crime victims is not associated with managing a court's affairs nor is it necessary to achieve an orderly and expeditious disposition of cases. Court costs and restitution are civil judgments and the state, the county and the crime victim may choose to pursue other collection alternatives which a court initiated contract may foreclose. For example, the state, through its department of administration, and the county may want to open the bidding process for collection services. As far as restitution is concerned, the idea behind it is to make the crime victim whole. State v. Hinckley, 13 Kan. App. 2d 417, 419 (1989). Laws enacted in 1995 suggest that the collection of restitution is a private right belonging to the crime victim by giving the latter the ability to file the award as a civil judgment and requiring the victim to credit any amount received from the restitution award against any subsequent civil recovery. L. 1995, ch. 257, § 9-12. Allowing the district court to pay a portion of the restitution award as a collection fee affects the victim's right to collect the entire amount and may reduce the amount a victim could recover against the convicted criminal."