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|State||Citation||Description/Statute Name||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|Indiana||2003 Ind. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2 (Jan. 31, 2003)||RE: Local Ordinances and State Laws||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||Cities and towns may not enact local ordinances similar to state laws in order to generate revenue||
The Home Rule Act expressly prohibits local units of government from adopting local ordinances which assign a penalty for an act that constitutes a crime or infraction under state statute.+ See more
A state statute must be evaluated to determine if the statute deals comprehensively with a subject matter; local ordinances might not be preempted if a state statute does not deal comprehensively with a subject matter and there is room for supplemental local regulation. However, a city or town may not enact a local ordinance where there is an existing state statute dealing comprehensively with the subject matter and local law is considered preempted by state law.
|Indiana||2010 Ind. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 1 (May 12, 2010)||Re: Civil Forfeitures and the Common School Fund||Other applicable opinions||Civil forfeitures are not committed to the common school funds like criminal fines and fees under the state constitution||
It is our opinion that Article 8, § 2 of the state constitution does not apply to forfeiture actions brought under Ind. Code ch. 34-24-1. Article 8 of the Indiana+ See more
Constitution provides for the funding of the common school fund, part of which is derived “from the fines assessed for breaches of the penal laws of the State; and from all forfeitures which may accrue.” Art. 8, § 2. A proceeding under Indiana's forfeiture law is civil in nature, and it is only fines and forfeitures from criminal proceedings that must be paid into the common school fund.
|Mississippi||1981 WL 39784 (Miss.A.G.); Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-20 (2)||Mississippi-Attorney General opinion||Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution?||apparently not, because judges rule on indigency on a case-by-case basis||
In the event an indigent is unable to pay his fine, a justice court judge may rely upon Section 99-19-20 of the Mississippi Code, 1972 , as amended, as an+ See more
alternative procedure in working with indigents.
|Ability to pay|
|Mississippi||1994 WL 497828 (Miss.A.G.)||Mississippi-Attorney General opinion||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||Any kind of fine or fee, at least for municipalities.||
Section 21-17-l, Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, provides that a “. . .municipality may contract with a private attorney or privatecollection agent or agency to collect any type of delinquent payment owed to the municipality including, but+ See more
not limited to, past due feesand fines.”
|Mississippi||1996 WL 224005 (Miss.A.G.)||Mississippi-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||The court has the authority to impose "reasonable" fees for costs incurred by the court system.||In response, see the Primeaux opinion which states that Mississippi Code Annotated Section 21-23-7(11) allows a municipal court to impose reasonable costs of court which could include a service of process fee.||Fines and fees|
|Mississippi||1996 WL 369442 (Miss.A.G.)||Mississippi-Attorney General opinion||Other applicable opinions||Court costs that are statutorily mandated must be collected from defendant by the country clerk, whether a judge decides to impose them or not.||
In response, we direct your attention to Mississippi Code Annotated Section 99-19-73 (Supp. 1995), which sets forth the standard state monetary assessments for criminal violations. Specifically, subsection (7) states: If a+ See more
fine or other penalty imposed is suspended, in whole or in part, such suspension shall not affect the state assessment under this section. No state assessment imposed under the provisions of this section may be suspended or reduced by the court. Based on the above quoted statute, the state assessment court costs are collected by the clerk of the court regardless of whether the judge imposes them or not. There are several statutorily imposed fees or costs which are to be collected regardless of whether the judge imposes them or not, e.g. Mississippi Code Annotated Section 19-7-31 allows the boards of supervisors to impose a court cost for the support of a public county law library in their respective counties. This court cost is automatically assessed regardless of whether the judge imposes it or not. Also, upon conviction for writing a bad check, Section 97-19-67(4) directs the court to impose a fee in the amount of up to 85% of the face value of a bad check in addition to any other fine, fee, cost or penalty imposed by the judge. Section 37-26-9(4) imposes a supplemental court education and training cost in all criminal cases where a fine of $10 or more is imposed by the judge. The general rule is that if the cost is statutorily imposed, there is no need for the judge to impose the cost. However, from time to time, a court cost may be incurred in which there is no statutory imposition. In such a case it is within the judge's discretion to impose such a court cost on the defendant.
|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."