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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."
|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|
|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.
|Ohio||1990 Ohio Op. Atty. Gen. No. 90-088 (Nov. 14 1990)||Fines and fees||Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution?||Indigency should be determined on a case-by-case basis, not through set standards||
A gleaning of the aforementioned authorities clearly reveals that there are no set criteria for determining whether an individual is indigent. Rather, the preferred approach is to determine indigency on+ See more
a case by case basis so as to accord attention to any and all factors tending to indicate an individual's financial condition. . . . [T]he the criteria for determining . . . whether an individual is indigent, include the ready availability of real or personal property owned; employment benefits; pensions; annuities; social security; unemployment compensation; inheritances; number and age of dependents; outstanding debts, obligations and liabilities; and any other relevant considerations concerning the financial condition of an individual.
|Ohio||no||fines and fees||Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor?||
Neither the courts nor the State AG has considered this question. However, the Ohio Revised Code provides that both misdemeanor fines, § 2928.18(F) and felony fines, § 2928.28(G)(1), may be+ See more
collected by private vendors
|Ohio||no||ability to pay||Who has the burden of proof in an ability to pay determination? What is the standard of proof required?||See Case Law: Liming v. Damos, 979 N.E.2d 297 (Ohio 2012)||Fines and fees|
|Ohio||no||Ohio-Attorney General opinion||Should ability to pay be considered when imposing fines or fees or only when collecting fines or fees?||See Case Law: State v. Meyer, 706 N.E.2d 378, 380 (1997); Ohio Rev. Code § 2947.14||ability to pay||Fines and fees|
|Ohio||2012 Ohio Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2012-039 (Nov. 14, 2012)||fines and fees||What authority do county or municipal courts have to set fines or fees?||County courts can use their fining power to fund various projects, programs, and services of the court||
Although a county court has authority to use a special projects fund established under R.C. 1907.24(B)(1) to finance community service programs, nothing in the Ohio Constitution, Revised Code, Ohio Rules+ See more
of Criminal Procedure, or Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio directs the manner in which a county court may use moneys in a special projects fund to provide such financing. This means that the judges of a county court have the discretion and implied power to use special projects fund moneys in whatever manner is reasonably necessary to make community service programs available to persons who are convicted of, or plead guilty to, a misdemeanor.
|Fines and fees|
|Ohio||no||Fines and fees||What authority does the state supreme court have to impose binding state-wide rules on the imposition or collection of fees and fines?||
This has not been considered by courts or the State AG. But the Ohio Supreme Court issues "bench cards" guiding the lower courts on how to implement fines. See, e.g.,+ See more
The Supreme Court of Ohio, Office of Judicial Services, Collection of Fines and Court Costs (2014)
|Ohio||no||no||Under what circumstances does a conflict of interest in the imposition or enforcement of court debt violate state law?||This has not been considered to date|