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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|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+ See more
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."
(1) State v. Stamm, 222 W. Va. 276, 278, 664 S.E.2d 161, 163 (2008) (2) State ex rel. Zirkle v. Fox, 203 W. Va. 668, 669, 510 S.E.2d 502, 503 (1998) (3)+ See more
W. Va. Code Ann. § 61-11A-5
|Case Law / W.V. Code||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||
(1) In criminal failure to meet obligation to minor (W. Va. Code § 61-5-29), the State has the burden of proof and the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt. (2)However,+ See more
in civil contempt cases, if contemnor alleges financial inability to pay, he bears the burden of proving such inability to comply with a court mandate in order to avoid imprisonment. (3)Finally, in restitution determinations, the burden is on the defendant and the standard is a preponderance of the evidence.
Where a contemnor alleges financial inability to pay in a civil contempt proceeding, he bears the burden of proving such inability to comply with a court mandate in order to+ See more
|Ability to pay|
|West Virginia||(1)State v. Murrell, 201 W.Va. 648, 499 S.E.2d 870 (1997)(2) W. Va. Code §50-3-2.||Case Law||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||
No. Ability to pay does not have to be considered when imposing fines or fees; certain fines and fees are required by law to be imposed (see, e.g., W. Va.+ See more
“An individual is not excused from the imposition of the maximum sentence allowed under a statute simply because he is indigent, even if that sentence includes the imposition of fines+ See more
pursuant to statute.”
|Ability to pay|
|West Virginia||W. Va. Const. art. VIII, § 3||State Constitution||What authority does the state supreme court have to impose binding state-wide rules on the imposition or collection of fees and fines?||West Virginia's Constitution allows the Court of Appeals to impose binding state-wide rules. No on point Attorney General Opinion.||
“The court shall have power to promulgate rules for all cases and proceedings, civil and criminal, for all of the courts of the State relating to writs, warrants, process, practice+ See more
and procedure, which shall have the force and effect of law.”