Keyword search across all of the laws in the states. Subject-area tabs above allow you to narrow results. Click the advanced search for further refinement.
Every law can be saved to the Reform Builder
Below are the attorney general opinions that meet your search criteria.
|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."
|Kansas||Kan. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 84-25 (Mar. 20, 1984)||Criminal ProcedureCosts in Criminal CasesLiability for Costs||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||
A district magistrate or municipal court judge may not assess a defendant for "room and board" costs associated with his or her confinement in a city or county jail, unless+ See more
the legislature enacts a statute so providing.
it is our opinion that there is no statutory authority whereby a district magistrate judge or municipal court judge may assess a defendant for room and board costs associated with his or her+ See more
confinement in a city or county jail. Although what has been said above is dispositive of the question raised, we are impelled to note that, where the legislature enacts a statute so providing, the state or a subdivision thereof may initiate proceedings against a prisoner for reimbursement of the expenses attributable to his or her incarceration. See 72 C.J.S., Prisons § 26(e); 139 A.L.R. 1028; McAuliffe v. Carlson, 377 F.Supp. 896, 900 (1974).
|Fines and fees|
|Maryland||83 Md. Op. Att'y Gen. 33 (1998)||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||
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?
|The same procedural protections apply when a defendant may be incarcerated. Otherwise, they do not apply.||
In similar language, the Maryland Public Defender Act requires representation by that office “at all stages” of specified proceedings. When incarceration is sought in a civil contempt proceeding, a hearing+ See more
before a master is a critical stage of such a proceeding. Accordingly, both the right to counsel and the obligation of the Public Defender to provide representation for indigents apply.If incarceration is not sought as a remedy in a contempt proceeding, the constitutional right to counsel is not implicated.6 Nor is the Public Defender obligated to provide representation.
|Ability to pay|
|Maryland||79 Md. Op. Att'y Gen. 354 (1994)||Maryland-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?||No. A case-by-case standard could be used for each defendant. However, uniform eligibility requirements must be used under the Administrative Procedure Act||
In theory, the Office of the Public Defender might administer these eligibility provisions on an entirely individualized basis, through an ad hoc assessment of each applicant's financial ability. [However, i]t+ See more
is our opinion that the eligibility criteria established by the Public Defenders Office must be adopted under the rulemaking procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act in order to be legally effective.
|Fines and fees|
|Maryland||See Md. Code Ann., State Fin. & Proc. § 3-302||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||N/A. Maryland has a state central collection agency which collects fees.||Revenue flow|
|Maryland||86 Md. Op. Att'y Gen. 183 (2001)||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||No burden or standard has been established. Instead, the Court simply inquires into the reason for inability to pay the fine.||
"Thus, the Constitution places both procedural and substantive limitations on a court's power to incarcerate a criminal defendant in lieu of payment of a fine. First, the court must inquire+ See more
into the reason why the defendant has failed to pay the fine. If the failure to pay is attributable to indigency the court must also consider alternate methods of punishment. If the court ultimately decides that an additional period of incarceration is necessary to serve the interests of deterrence and punishment, the aggregate period of incarceration cannot exceed the maximum sentence for the underlying offense."
|Ability to pay|
|Maryland||Simms v. State, 501 A.2d 1338, 1342 (1986)||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||Case law says at the time of collection.||"A hearing to determine ability to pay is appropriate not at the time of the imposition of the sentence but at the time of its enforcement"||Ability to pay|
|Maryland||Md. Const. art. IV, § 18; See, e.g., MD R ADR Rule 17-208||Maryland-Attorney General opinion||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||They have authority as granted to them by the Court of Appeals||
"Subject to the approval of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the county administrative judge of each circuit court shall develop and adopt maximum hourly rate fee schedules+ See more
for court-designated individuals conducting each type of fee-for-service ADR"
|Fines and fees|
Md. Const. art. IV, § 18 (granting the Court of Appeals the authority to enacts rules with the force of law); see, e.g., MD R ADR Rule 17-208 (the Court+ See more
of Appeals authorizes its Chief Judge to approve fee schedules)
|Maryland-Attorney General opinion||What authority does the state supreme court have to impose binding state-wide rules on the imposition or collection of fees and fines?||Maryland's highest court can impose binding state-wide rules, including fines and fees.||
"The Court of Appeals from time to time shall adopt rules and regulations concerning the practice and procedure in and the administration of the appellate courts and in the other+ See more
courts of this State, which shall have the force of law until rescinded, changed or modified by the Court of Appeals or otherwise by law. The power of courts other than the Court of Appeals to make rules of practice and procedure, or administrative rules, shall be subject to the rules and regulations adopted by the Court of Appeals or otherwise by law." "Subject to the approval of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the county administrative judge of each circuit court shall develop and adopt maximum hourly rate fee schedules for court-designated individuals conducting each type of fee-for-service ADR"
|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.