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Fines and Fees
State Statute Description/Statute Name Statutory language Amount Level of offense Mandatory Imposed by Delegation of authority
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Louisiana CCRP 883.2 A Restitution to Victim
In all cases in which the court finds an actual pecuniary loss to a victim, or in any case where the court finds that costs have been incurred by the
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victim in connection with a criminal prosecution, the trial court shall order the defendant to provide restitution to the victim as a part of any sentence that the court shall impose.
cost of restitution
All No Court N/A
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Louisiana CCRP 895.1 A(1) Probation; Restitution to victims
When a court places the defendant on probation, it shall, as a condition of probation, order the payment of restitution in cases where the victim or his family has suffered
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any direct loss of actual cash, any monetary loss pursuant to damage to or loss of property, or medical expense. The court shall order restitution in a reasonable sum not to exceed the actual pecuniary loss to the victim in an amount certain. However, any additional or other damages sought by the victim and available under the law shall be pursued in an action separate from the establishment of the restitution order as a civil money judgment provided for in Subparagraph (2) of this Paragraph. The restitution payment shall be made, in discretion of the court, either in a lump sum or in monthly installments based on the earning capacity and assets of the defendant.
reasonable cost of pecuniary loss
All No Court N/A
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Louisiana CCRP 895.1 B Probation; restitution; discretionary amounts
B. When a court suspends the imposition or the execution of a sentence and places the defendant on probation, it may in its discretion, order placed, as a condition of
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probation, an amount of money to be paid by the defendant to any or all of the following:(1) To the indigent defender program for that court. (2) To the criminal court fund to defray the costs of operation of that court. (3) To the sheriff and clerk of court for costs incurred. (4) To a law enforcement agency for the reasonable costs incurred in arresting the defendant, in felony cases involving the distribution of or intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances. (5) To the victim to compensate him for his loss and inconvenience. Such an amount may be in addition to any amounts ordered to be paid by the defendant under Paragraph A herein. (6) To a duly incorporated crime stoppers organization for the reasonable costs incurred in obtaining information which leads to the arrest of the defendant. (7) To a local public or private nonprofit agency involved in drug abuse prevention and treatment for supervising a treatment program ordered by the court for a particular defendant, provided that such agency is qualified as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States. Any nonprofit agency receiving money under the provisions of this Paragraph must be licensed by the Department of Health and Hospitals in the supervision of drug abuse prevention and treatment.
cost of indigent defender program, cost of court operations, cost incurred by sheriff and clerk of the court, cost to victim, cost
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to crim stopper organization, cost to drug abuse prevention center
All No Court Authority is delegated to court to set an amount of money to be paid by defendant as condition of probation
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Louisiana CCRP 895.1 C Probation; supervisory fee
When the court places the defendant on supervised probation, it shall order as a condition of probation a monthly fee of not less than sixty nor more than one hundred
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ten dollars payable to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections or such other probation office, agency, or officer as designated by the court, to defray the cost of supervision. If the probation supervision services are rendered by an agency other than the department, the fee may be ordered payable to that agency. These fees are only to supplement the level of funds that would ordinarily be available from regular state appropriations or any other source of funding.
$60 - $100 All Yes Court N/A
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Louisiana CCRP 895.1 E Probation; DUI fee
When the court places any defendant convicted of a violation of the controlled dangerous substances law, R.S. 40:966 through 1034, on any type of probation, it shall order as a
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condition of probation a fee of not less than fifty nor more than one hundred dollars, payable to the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement to be credited to the Drug Abuse Education and Treatment Fund and used for the purposes provided in R.S. 15:1224.
$50 - $100 All Yes Court N/A
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Louisiana CCRP 895.1 F Probation; supervisory monthly fee
When the court places the defendant on supervised probation, it shall order as a condition of probation the payment of a monthly fee of eleven dollars. The monthly fee established
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in this Paragraph shall be in addition to the fee established in Paragraph C of this Article and shall be collected by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections and shall be transmitted, deposited, appropriated, and used in accordance with the following provisions:
$11

Monthly charge
All Yes Court N/A
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Louisiana CCRP 895.4 I Crime Stoppers funding fee
When a defendant in a criminal or traffic matter is convicted of any criminal offense or of any traffic offense in any court for which the appropriate certifying officer has
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certified one or more organizations as certified crime stoppers organizations, the court shall assess an additional cost of court for each offense for which the defendant is convicted. This cost of court shall be in the amount of two dollars and shall be in addition to all other fines, penalties, and costs imposed by the court. The court shall not suspend the payment of this cost of court.
$2 All Yes Court N/A
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Louisiana CCRP 887.A Defendant's liability for costs; suspension of costs; no advance costs
A defendant who is convicted of an offense or is the person owing a duty of support in a support proceeding shall be liable for all costs of the prosecution
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or proceeding, whether or not costs are assessed by the court, and such costs are recoverable by the party or parties who incurred the expense. However, such defendant or person shall not be liable for costs if acquitted or if the prosecution or proceeding is dismissed. In addition, any judge of a district court, parish court, city court, traffic court, juvenile court, family court, or magistrate of a mayor's court within the state shall be authorized to suspend court costs.
Costs of prosecution or proceeding
All No Court Judge or magistrate is authorized to suspend costs
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Louisiana CCRP 887.C Blood/breath/urine analysis fee
In addition to the costs provided in Paragraph A, a person convicted of a violation of R.S. 14:98, R.S. 14:98.1, or of any municipal or parochial ordinance defining the offense
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of operating a motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, vessel, or other motorized means of conveyance under the influence of alcohol or drugs, who was subjected to a blood, breath, or urine analysis for alcohol or any controlled dangerous substance listed in R.S. 40:964, Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V, shall be assessed an additional seventy-five dollars as special costs. Such costs shall be paid in the following manner: twenty-five dollars to the governing authority owning the instrument used to perform the analysis, and fifty dollars to the governing authority whose agency performed the analysis. If the office of state police performed or participated in a blood, breath, or urine analysis for which these costs are assessed, that portion of the costs applicable to the office of state police shall be forwarded to the applied technology unit within the office of state police and forwarded for disposition in accordance with R.S. 40:1379.7. In the event the person is unable to pay the fine when assessed, the court may allow payment within certain time limits, based on the person's ability to pay such costs.
$75 All Yes Court N/A
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Louisiana CCRP 887.D DUI additional fee
In addition to the costs provided in Paragraphs A and C, a person convicted of a violation of R.S. 14:98, R.S. 14:98.1, or of any municipal or parochial ordinance defining
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the offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, shall be assessed an additional fifty dollars as special costs to be used to defray expenses of administering conditions of probation or of incarceration. If the offender is incarcerated, such costs shall be paid to the sheriff or other custodian of the facility in which the offender is incarcerated. If the offender is placed on probation as provided in R.S. 14:98(B) or (C) or R.S. 14:98.1(D) or (E), the court may order the apportionment and payment of all or a part of such costs to the agencies or persons responsible for administering the prescribed substance abuse program, driver improvement program, or community service activities. In addition, the person convicted of a violation of R.S. 14:98, R.S. 14:98.1, or of any such municipal or parochial ordinance shall be assessed costs of the witness fee provided by R.S. 15:255.
$50 All Yes Court N/A
Poverty Penalties and Poverty Traps
State Statute Description/Statute Name Statutory language Type of poverty penalty or poverty trap Level of offense Mandatory
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat §1381.2. Orleans ParishSheriff's detention and prison security fee fund
A. Any defendant, other than an indigent, who pleads guilty or is convicted of an offense by the Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans shall be assessed a
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fee of not less than twenty-five dollars, such costs to be in addition to any fine, clerk's fees, costs due to the criminal court cost fund or sentence imposed by the court. When any defendant, other than an indigent, fails to pay the costs referred to hereinabove, he shall be sentenced to a term of thirty days in the parish prison in default of the payment of same.
Incarceration All Yes
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Louisiana CCRP 895.5.A Restitution Recovery Division
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, each district attorney may establish a special division in the office designated as the "restitution recovery division" for the administration, collection,
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and enforcement of victim restitution, victim compensation assessments, probation fees, and payments in civil or criminal proceedings ordered by the court and payable to the state or to crime victims, judgments entered which have not been otherwise vacated, or judicial relief given from the operation of the order or judgment.
Collection fee/interest All No
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Louisiana CCRP 895.5.A.2 Property lien
(2)(a) The order to pay restitution together with any order to pay costs or fines, as provided in this Article, is deemed a civil money judgment in favor of the
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person to whom restitution, costs, or fines is owed, if the defendant is informed of his right to have a judicial determination of the amount and is provided with a hearing, waived a hearing, or stipulated to the amount of the restitution, cost, or fine ordered. In addition to proceedings had by the court which orders the restitution, cost, or fine, the judgment may be enforced in the same manner as a money judgment in a civil case. Likewise, the judgment may be filed as a lien as provided by law for judgment creditors. Prior to the enforcement of the restitution order, or order for costs or fines, the defendant shall be notified of his right to have a judicial determination of the amount of restitution, cost, or fine. Such notice shall be served personally by the district attorney's office of the respective judicial district in which the restitution, cost, or fine is ordered. (b) In addition to the powers under R.S. 13:1336, the Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans shall have the authority to order the payment of restitution as provided in this Paragraph. The enforcement of the judgment for restitution shall be filed in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans.
Property liens All No
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Louisiana CCRP 895.5.C Compliance Enforcement
The district attorney may take all lawful action necessary to require compliance with court-ordered payments, including filing a petition for revocation of probation, filing a petition to show cause for
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contempt of court, or institution of any other civil or criminal proceedings which may be authorized by law or by rule of court. In addition, the district attorney may issue appropriate notices to inform the defendant of his noncompliance and of the penalty for noncompliance. In the event that the district attorney institutes any other civil or criminal proceedings pursuant to this Paragraph, the defendant shall be charged costs of court and such costs shall be added to the amount due.
Condition or extension of supervision All No
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Louisiana CCRP 895.5.D Collection Fee
As provided for in Paragraph A of this Article, when an amount payable to the state or to a crime victim has not been satisfied in accordance with Article 888,
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or when a matter has been transferred to the district attorney as provided in Paragraph B of this Article, the district attorney may assess a collection fee of twenty percent of the funds due, which shall be added to the amount of funds due. Any fees collected pursuant to this Paragraph shall be distributed to the district attorney's restitution recovery division to be expended for lawful purposes for the operation of the office of the district attorney. Funds provided to the district attorney by this provision shall not reduce the amount payable to the district attorney under any other provision of law or reduce or affect the amounts of funding allocated by law to the budget of the district attorney. The funds shall be audited as other state funds are audited. This provision shall not affect the right of the office of the district attorney to proceed with the prosecution of any violation as currently provided by law.
Increased fine All No
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Louisiana CCRP 884 Sentence of fine with imprisonment for default
If a sentence imposed includes a fine or costs, the sentence shall provide that in default of payment thereof the defendant shall be imprisoned for a specified period not to
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exceed one year; provided that where the maximum prison sentence which may be imposed as a penalty for a misdemeanor is six months or less, the total period of imprisonment upon conviction of the offense, including imprisonment for default in payment of a fine or costs, shall not exceed six months for that offense.
Incarceration All No
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Louisiana CCRP 885.1 Suspension of driving privileges
A. When a fine is levied against a person convicted of any criminal offense, including any violation of the Louisiana Highway Regulatory Act or any municipal or parish ordinance regulating
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traffic in any municipality or in any parish and the defendant is granted an extension of time to pay the fine, the judge of the court having jurisdiction may order the driver's license to be surrendered to the sheriff or official of the court collecting fines for a period of time not to exceed one hundred eighty days. If, after expiration of one hundred eighty days, the defendant has not paid the fine, the sheriff or official of the court designated to collect fines shall forward the license to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.... C. If, after expiration of one hundred eighty days, the defendant has not paid the fine, the sheriff or official of the court designated to collect fines shall forward the license to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Upon receipt of the defendant's surrendered driver's license, the department shall suspend the driver's license of the defendant. The suspension shall begin when the department receives written notification from the court, and the department shall send immediate written notification to the defendant informing him of the suspension of driving privileges. D. The department shall not reinstate, return, reissue, or renew a driver's license in its possession pursuant to this Section until payment of the fine and any additional administrative cost, fee, or penalty required by the judge having the jurisdiction and any other cost, fee, or penalty required by the department in accordance with R.S. 32:414(H) or other applicable cost, fee, or penalty provision.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All No
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Louisiana CCRP 886.A Civil Process, offset of tax refund
In the event of nonpayment of a fine, nonpayment of restitution to the victim, or nonpayment of a fine and costs, within sixty days after the sentence was imposed, and
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if no appeal is pending, the court which imposed the sentence may sign a judgment against the defendant in a sum equal to the fine or restitution plus judicial interest to begin sixty days after the sentence was imposed plus all costs of the criminal proceeding and subsequent proceedings necessary to enforce the judgment in either civil or criminal court, or both. Collection of the judgment may be enforced in either criminal or civil court, or both, in the same manner as a money judgment in a civil case. In addition, particular courts may provide by court rule for enforcement by the filing of an offset claim against the defendant, in accordance with R.S. 47:299.1 through 299.20.
Collection fee/interest All No
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Louisiana CCRP 885 fine and costs
A defendant who has been imprisoned for default in the payment of a fine, or fine and costs, under a sentence imposed pursuant to Article 884, may, at any time
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before expiration of the term of imprisonment, obtain his release by paying to his custodian all of the costs imposed and a sum of money that bears the same proportion to the imposed fine as the term of alternate imprisonment yet to run bears to the whole of such term of imprisonment.
Incarceration All No
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Louisiana CCRP 886 Enforcement of fine by civil process; offset of tax refund
A. In the event of nonpayment of a fine, nonpayment of restitution to the victim, or nonpayment of a fine and costs, within sixty days after the sentence was
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imposed, and if no appeal is pending, the court which imposed the sentence may sign a judgment against the defendant in a sum equal to the fine or restitution plus judicial interest to begin sixty days after the sentence was imposed plus all costs of the criminal proceeding and subsequent proceedings necessary to enforce the judgment in either civil or criminal court, or both. Collection of the judgment may be enforced in either criminal or civil court, or both, in the same manner as a money judgment in a civil case. In addition, particular courts may provide by court rule for enforcement by the filing of an offset claim against the defendant, in accordance with R.S. 47:299.1 through 299.20. B. The provisions of Paragraph A of this Article shall apply to all fines and costs due and owing, regardless of whether they become due and owing prior to September 6, 1991.
Wage/bank account garnishment All No
Ability to Pay
State Statute Description/Statute Name Statutory language Level of offense Definition of ability to pay Timeline Burden of proof Method of determination Mandatory Remedies if unable to pay
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat § 15:175 Proceedings to determine indigency
A.(1)(a) A preliminary inquiry and determination of indigency of any accused person shall be made by the court not later than arraignment and such determination may be reviewed by the
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court at any other stage of the proceedings. (b) A person will be deemed "indigent" who is unable, without substantial financial hardship to himself or to his dependents, to obtain competent, qualified legal representation on his own. "Substantial financial hardship" is presumptively determined to include all defendants who receive public assistance, such as Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, Disability Insurance, resides in public housing, or earns less than two hundred percent of the Federal Poverty Guideline. A defendant is presumed to have a substantial financial hardship if he or she is currently serving a sentence in a correctional institution or is housed in a mental health facility. (c) Defendants not falling below the presumptive threshold will be subjected to a more rigorous screening process to determine if their particular circumstances, including seriousness of the charges being faced, monthly expenses, local private counsel rates, would result in a "substantial hardship" were they to seek to retain private counsel. (d) If the court makes the preliminary determination that the accused is or may be indigent, the court shall require the accused to make application to the district public defender office or an attorney appointed or under contract to provide indigent defender services, who shall inquire further into the accused's economic status and, upon determining that the accused is indigent, shall file a certification thereof, in such form as the court may require and without paying costs in advance, in the record of the proceeding or enroll as counsel. (e) The accused shall be responsible for applying for indigent defense counsel and for establishing his indigency and entitlement to appointment of counsel. Any oral or written statements made by the accused in or for use in the criminal proceeding and material to the issue of his indigency shall be made under oath or an equivalent affirmation. (f) An accused person or, if applicable, a parent or legal guardian of an accused minor or an accused adult person who is claimed as a dependent on the federal income tax submission of his parent or legal guardian, who makes application to the district office certifying that he is financially unable to employ counsel and requesting representation by indigent defense counsel or conflict counsel, shall pay a nonrefundable application fee of forty dollars to the district office or its designee, which fee shall be in addition to all other fees or costs lawfully imposed. If the board or other appropriate official determines that the person does not have the financial resources to pay the application fee based upon the financial information submitted, the fee may be waived or reduced. An accused who is found to be indigent may not be refused counsel for failure to pay the application fee. (g) The proceeds shall be deposited to the judicial district indigent defender fund in the judicial district in which the application was made. (h) The funds collected pursuant to this Section and all interest or other income earned from the investment of such funds shall be used and administered by each district public defender. (i) The district public defender shall maintain a record of all persons applying for representation and the disposition of the application and shall provide this information to the board on a monthly basis as well as reporting the amount of funds collected or waived. (2) The district public defender or his assistants or an attorney providing indigent defender services pursuant to a contract with the board shall be allowed to summon witnesses to testify before the court concerning the financial ability of any accused person to employ counsel for his defense. (3) Failure of the judge to comply with provisions of this Section shall result in deduction of reasonable criminal defense costs from the Judicial Expense Fund. B.(1) In determining whether or not a person is indigent and entitled to the appointment of counsel, the court shall consider whether the person is a needy person and the extent of his ability to pay. The court may consider such factors as income or funds from employment or any other source, including public assistance, to which the accused is entitled, property owned by the accused or in which he has an economic interest, outstanding obligations, the number and ages of dependents, employment and job training history, and level of education. (2) Release on bail alone shall not disqualify a person for appointment of counsel. In each case, the person subject to the penalty of perjury shall certify in writing such material factors relating to his ability to pay as the court prescribes. C. Nothing in this Chapter shall prevent a criminal defendant from obtaining representation through the board at no charge.
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A person will be deemed "indigent" who is unable, without substantial financial hardship to himself or to his dependents, to obtain competent, qualified legal representation on his own. "Substantial financial

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hardship" is presumptively determined to include all defendants who receive public assistance, such as Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, Disability Insurance, resides in public housing, or earns less than two hundred percent of the Federal Poverty Guideline. A defendant is presumed to have a substantial financial hardship if he or she is currently serving a sentence in a correctional institution or is housed in a mental health facility.

Before imposition of fine or fee Burden on defendant to show inability to pay Determined by judge after hearing Yes

Indigent defendant is assigned a public defender after paying $40

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Louisiana LA RS §176 Partial reimbursement by indigents
A. To the extent that a person is financially able to provide for an attorney, other necessary services, and facilities of representation and court costs, the court shall order him
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to pay for these items. The court may order payment in installments, or in any manner which it believes reasonable and compatible with the defendant's financial ability. B.(1) Payments so made shall be transmitted to and become a part of the indigent defender fund of the district in which the person is prosecuted. (2) The district public defender, or service region, where applicable, shall have the authority to recoup funds expended under this Section through the refund offset provisions pursuant to R.S. 47:299.1 through 299.20. C.(1) When an accused is initially determined to be indigent and appointed counsel but subsequently hires private counsel, the court shall conduct a contradictory hearing to determine the expenses of representing the accused incurred by the district office or the service region, where applicable. Upon determining the expenses incurred, the accused shall, within the discretion of the court, be liable to reimburse the district office or service region, where applicable, those expenses, upon a determination that the accused was in fact not initially indigent. A judgment for the amount owed may be recorded in the mortgage records in favor of the board for the payment of money against the accused and may be enforced as provided by law. (2) All funds received by the district office shall be deposited into the judicial district indigent defender fund as provided for in R.S. 15:168. (3) Failure of the accused to disclose the full amount involved in the hiring shall constitute grounds for contempt of court.
All

When an accused is initially determined to be indigent and appointed counsel but subsequently hires private counsel, the court shall conduct a contradictory hearing to determine the expenses of representing

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the accused incurred by the district office or the service region, where applicable.

Not provided for Burden on defendant to show inability to pay Not provided for No Not provided for
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Louisiana CCRP 890.2 A Fines for individual defendants
When a defendant has been convicted of a felony, and upon a determination that a defendant has the ability and resources available to pay an additional fine and that such
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a fine would not unduly burden the defendant's dependents, the court may impose as an additional fine . . .
All

if the fine would not 'unduly burden the defendant's dependents'

Not provided for Not provided for Not provided for No Not provided for
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Louisiana CCRP 895.1 A(1) Probation; restitution; judgment for restitution; fees ..The restitution payment shall be made, in discretion of the court, either in a lump sum or in monthly installments based on the earning capacity and assets of the defendant All

based on the earning capacity and assets of the defendant'

Not provided for Not provided for Not provided for No

Payment plan

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Louisiana CCRP 887.C Defendant's liability for costs; suspension of costs; no advance costs
...In the event the person is unable to pay the fine when assessed, the court may allow payment within certain time limits, based on the person's ability to pay such
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costs.
All

based on the person's ability to pay such costs'

Not provided for Not provided for Not provided for No

deferred payment

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Louisiana CCRP 903.3(B) Substance abuse treatment program; cost
If the defendant does not have the financial resources to pay all the related costs of the probation program, the court may do either of the following:(1) To the
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extent practicable, arrange for the defendant to be assigned to a treatment program funded by the state or federal government. (2) With the recommendation of the treatment program, order the defendant to perform supervised work for the benefit of the community in lieu of paying all or a part of the costs related to his treatment and supervision. The work shall be performed for and under the supervising authority of a parish, municipality, or other political subdivision or agency of the state or a charitable organization that renders service to the community or its residents.
All

If the defendant does not have the financial resources to pay all the related costs of the probation program'

Not provided for Not provided for Not provided for No

Defendant assigned to treatment program funded by the government Or supervised work program

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Louisiana LA Rev Stat §13:1000.13.D Twenty-Seventh Judicial District Court; additional warrant recall fees
In the event that an individual is unable to pay the cost when assessed, the court may allow payment to be deferred within a certain time frame, based on the
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person's ability to pay the costs.
All Not provided for Not provided for Not provided for Not provided for No

deferred payment

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Louisiana CCRP 883.2.D Restitution to victim
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, if the defendant is found to be indigent and therefore unable to make restitution in full at the time of conviction,
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the court may order a periodic payment plan consistent with the person's financial ability.
All

Indigency

Not provided for Not provided for Not provided for No

Payment plan

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Louisiana LA Rev Stat § 15:708 Labor by prisoners permitted; workday release program; indemnificaiton
D.(1)(a) Whenever a person is convicted of a misdemeanor for violation of any state law or any parish or municipal ordinance and is sentenced to imprisonment, the sentencing court may
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order the person so sentenced to report, during the term of imprisonment, to the sheriff to participate in a court-approved workday release program as established and administered by the sheriff. (b) The person so sentenced shall pay the sum of fifty dollars to the sheriff to defray the cost of participation in the program. The payment of the costs shall be based upon the defendant's ability to pay.
All Not provided for Not provided for Not provided for Not provided for No Not provided for
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Louisiana CCRP 914.1 Designation of record; payment of costs; sanction
(2) Except in indigent cases, the costs for preparing the transcript must be paid to the court reporter or the appropriate agency and the costs as required for filing
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the appeal must be paid in the appellate court, both within twenty days of the mailing of notice, including the payment of any additional costs owed upon notice.
All Not provided for Not provided for Not provided for Not provided for Yes Not provided for
Transparency
State Statute Description/Statute Name Statutory language Type of obligation Actor
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat § 32:388 G(2) Traffic violations
The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, public safety services, shall keep a set of books showing from whom every dollar is paid and for what purpose. It also shall
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keep in its file vouchers or receipts for all monies paid out.
Obligation to collect or record State/statewide agency
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Louisiana La. Stat. Ann. § 44:31 Public Records Requests
Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter or as otherwise specifically provided by law, and in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, any person of the age of majority
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may inspect, copy, or reproduce any public record.
Obligation to respond to public records requests All
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Louisiana La. Stat. Ann. § 44:32 Reasonable fees
For all public records, except public records of state agencies, it shall be the duty of the custodian of such public records to provide copies to persons so requesting. The
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custodian may establish and collect reasonable fees for making copies of public records
Obligation to respond to public records requests All
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Louisiana La. Stat. Ann. § 44:31.1 Exception to general duty to respond to public record requests
For the purposes of this Chapter, person [to whom a custodian must provide records] does not include an individual in custody after sentence following a felony conviction who has exhausted
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his appellate remedies when the request for public records is not limited to grounds upon which the individual could file for post conviction relief under Code of Criminal Procedure Article 930.3. Notwithstanding the provisions contained in R.S. 44:32, the custodian may make an inquiry of any individual who applies for a public record to determine if such individual is in custody after sentence following a felony conviction who has exhausted his appellate remedies and the custodian may make any inquiry necessary to determine if the request of any such individual in custody for a felony conviction is limited to grounds upon which such individual may file for post conviction relief.
Obligation to respond to public records requests All
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Louisiana La Rev. Stat. §571.11. Court costs fund audit
D. All fines and forfeitures, including forfeitures of criminal bail bonds, imposed in criminal cases and prosecutions by the courts of Orleans Parish and any payments ordered as a condition
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of probation under Code of Criminal Procedure Article 895.1(B)(2) shall, upon collection, be paid to the criminal sheriff of Orleans Parish who shall deposit same in a special account, and shall thereafter be divided equally between the district attorney of Orleans Parish and the criminal district court of Orleans Parish in two special accounts . . . Disbursements from the account to the criminal district court and district attorney shall be made on an equal basis. Said accounts shall be annually audited by the director of finance of the city of New Orleans.
Obligation to report/conduct analysis Local jurisdiction
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat §1000.1.B Additional costs for CASA program
The clerk of court shall place all sums collected or received under this Section in a separate account, to be expended on order of the judges of the district, en
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banc, for the support of court-appointed special advocate (CASA) programs in the district. The court shall cause to be conducted annually an audit of the fund and the books and accounts relating thereto and shall file the same with the office of the legislative auditor where it shall be available for public inspection.
Obligation to collect or record State/statewide agency
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat §1000.3.B   Audit for CASA fund
The sheriff shall place all sums collected or received under this Section into an account and remit the sum monthly to the Family and Youth Counseling Agency for the support
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of the court-appointed special advocate (CASA) and the children's advocacy center (CAC) programs in the judicial district. The court shall cause to be conducted annually an audit of the account and the books and accounts relating thereto and shall file the audit with the office of the legislative auditor where it shall be available for public inspection.
Obligation to collect or record State/statewide agency
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat §1000.4.B Audit for CASA fund
The sheriff shall transfer all sums collected or received under this Section to the court-appointed special advocate (CASA) program in the judicial district to be expended on order of the
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judges of the district, en banc. CASA shall cause to be conducted annually an audit of the account and the books and accounts relating thereto and shall file the audit with the office of the legislative auditor where it shall be available for public inspection.
Obligation to collect or record State/statewide agency
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat §1000.5. B Audit for CASA fund
The court shall place all sums collected or received under this Section into an account, to be expended on order of the judges of the district, en banc, for the
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support of the court-appointed special advocate (CASA) and Families in Need of Services (FINS) programs in the judicial district. The court shall cause to be conducted annually an audit of the account and the books and accounts relating thereto and shall file the audit with the office of the legislative auditor where it shall be available for public inspection.
Obligation to collect or record State/statewide agency
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat §1000.6. B Audit for drug division
A judge of the drug division shall cause to be conducted annually an audit of the account and the books and accounts relating thereto and shall file the audit with
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the office of the legislative auditor where it shall be available for public inspection.
Obligation to collect or record State/statewide agency
Collections Infrastructure
State Statute Description/Statute Name Statutory language Who may collect
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Louisiana La. CCRP 886.A Collection of judgment
In the event of nonpayment of a fine, nonpayment of restitution to the victim, or nonpayment of a fine and costs, within sixty days after the sentence was imposed, and
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if no appeal is pending, the court which imposed the sentence may sign a judgment against the defendant in a sum equal to the fine or restitution plus judicial interest to begin sixty days after the sentence was imposed plus all costs of the criminal proceeding and subsequent proceedings necessary to enforce the judgment in either civil or criminal court, or both. Collection of the judgment may be enforced in either criminal or civil court, or both, in the same manner as a money judgment in a civil case. In addition, particular courts may provide by court rule for enforcement by the filing of an offset claim against the defendant, in accordance with R.S. 47:299.1 through 299.20.
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat § 13:10.3 Distribution of proceeds
The judicial administrator of the supreme court shall be responsible for the distribution of the proceeds of the fund. He shall keep detailed and accurate records to be examined by
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the legislative fiscal office annually.
State courts
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat §15:571.21 Private collection
In addition to the provisions set forth in R.S. 47:299.21, the secretary of the department is authorized to enter into contracts with private collection contractors to collect past due fees
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owed to the department by offenders, regardless of whether the offenders are currently on active supervision. Nothing in this Subsection shall prohibit the department from utilizing its own personnel to collect fees that are past due.
Private actors
Revenue Flow
State Statute Description/Statute Name Statutory language Who receives the funding Other beneficiaries Level of offense
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat §15:571.21 Deposit of Fees and Assessments
A. All probation supervision fees received by the department pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Article 895.1(C) shall be deposited immediately upon receipt into the state treasury.B. For all monetary
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assessments imposed as a condition of probation or parole except supervision fees, the division of probation and parole shall assess a collection fee of ten percent of the funds due, which shall be added to the total amount of funds due. The ten percent collection fee shall be appropriated to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to be reinvested in additional resources for the division of probation and parole.
State/statewide agency Supervision agency All
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Louisiana La Rev Stat §13:10.4.A Witness Protection Services Program
The sheriff or appropriate court official shall place all sums collected or received pursuant to this Section and remit the sums monthly into an account to be designated as the
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"Witness Protection Services Program". The monies in this account shall be used by the district attorney's office of each parish solely and exclusively for the witness protection program, as provided for in R.S. 15:262, and as may be further provided by law.
District attorney N/A All
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Louisiana 15§571.12. Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children to receive fines
All fines, penalties, and forfeitures incurred and appearance bonds forfeited in prosecutions instituted or conducted by the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children shall be turned over
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to the Society. The Society shall have a right of action to recover all fines, penalties, and forfeitures, and forfeited appearance bonds in its own name in the civil courts of this state when they are not collected in the court in which incurred or the existing laws do not provide for their collection.
State/statewide agency Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children All
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat 13:1899 Assessment and disposition of costs in criminal cases(sort of an omnibus bill, not sure if this is really the only one that matters; attorney general cites it directly)
A.(1)(a) All fines and forfeitures, except for forfeitures of criminal bail bonds posted by a commercial security imposed by district courts and district attorneys, conviction fees in criminal cases, and
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prosecutions for violations of state law or parish ordinances, upon collection by the sheriff or executive officer of the court, shall be paid into the treasury of the parish in which the court is situated and deposited in a special "Criminal Court Fund" account, which, on motion by the district attorney and approval order of the district judge, may be used or paid out in defraying the expenses of the criminal courts of the parish as provided in Ch.C. Articles 419 and 421 and R.S. 16:6, in defraying the expenses of those courts in recording and transcribing of testimony, statements, charges, and other proceedings in the trial of indigent persons charged with the commission of felonies, in defraying their expenses in the preparation of records in appeals in such cases, for all expenses and fees of the petit jury and grand jury, for witness fees, for attendance fees of the sheriff and clerk of court, for costs and expenses of a parish law library, and for other expenses related to the judges of the criminal courts and the office of the district attorney. In the Second Judicial District, the criminal court fund shall be used to defray the expenses of the criminal court system. (b) The sheriffs throughout the state, the parish of Orleans excepted, shall retain twelve percent of the amount of fines collected to go into the sheriff's general fund in each parish and an additional twelve percent of the amount of fines collected shall be transmitted to the district attorney of the judicial district or be used by the district attorney in defraying such expenses of his office as in his discretion may be necessary. (c) After compliance with this Section, the remainder of the fines collected for violations of parking restrictions established pursuant to R.S. 40:1742 and for false certification of mobility impairment by a physician as provided by R.S. 47:463.4(G)(4) shall be forwarded in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 46:2583(A). (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the additional penalty collected for safety belt violations occurring in Orleans Parish shall be deposited into the indigent defender fund in accordance with R.S. 32:295.1(G)(2). (2) All fines and forfeitures, except for forfeitures of criminal bail bonds posted by a commercial surety imposed by district courts and collected by the sheriff or executive officer of the court for violations of municipal ordinances shall be disbursed as follows, except in the case of violations of any of the provisions of Title 32 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, wherein such proceeds shall be distributed in accordance with Subparagraph A(1)(a) of this Section: (a) Twelve percent thereof shall be remitted to the office of the district attorney. (b) Twelve percent shall be remitted to the sheriff's general fund. (c) The remainder shall be transmitted to the municipality for deposit in its treasury. (3) In addition to all the fines and forfeitures authorized under the provisions of this Subsection, in all criminal cases, including traffic violations, in the Thirty-First Judicial District Court an additional fee of not more than five dollars shall be imposed on every defendant who is convicted after trial or plea of guilty, which fee shall be deposited into the "Criminal Court Fund" to be used solely to defray the expenses of the criminal court system of the parish. B. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 16:6 and the other provisions of this Section, a district judge of the state of Louisiana, except in the parishes of Calcasieu and Cameron, shall have the right to order the sheriff of the parish wherein his principal office is domiciled, to pay, on the voucher of that district judge alone, without the concurrence of the other judges of his district, and without motion of the district attorney, a salary for a secretary for that district judge's office, which amount shall be paid by the sheriff prior to depositing the fines and forfeitures into the treasury of the parish. C.(1) One-half of any surplus remaining in the special account or fund on December thirty-first of each year shall be transferred to the parish general fund. No money shall be paid out of the special account except upon the order or warrant of the district judge and district attorney as above provided. (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law to the contrary, the Criminal Court Fund for the Sixteenth Judicial District shall be operated as a single fund, and one-half of any surplus remaining in the single special account or fund on December thirty-first of each year shall be transferred to the general funds of the parishes of the district in the same proportion as the revenues in the fund were produced from the parishes. (3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the Criminal Court Fund accounts for the Second Judicial District shall be operated as a single account or fund. One-half of any surplus remaining in the single account or fund on December thirty-first of each year shall be transferred to the general funds of the parishes of the district in the same proportion as the revenues in the single account or fund were produced from the parishes. (4)(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the criminal court fund for the Fifth Judicial District shall be operated as a single fund. Except as provided in this Paragraph, one-half of any surplus remaining in the single fund on December thirty-first of each year shall be transferred to the general fund of the parishes of the district in the same proportion as the revenues in the fund were produced from the parishes. (b) Upon motion of the district attorney, with the concurrence of the chief judge of the Fifth Judicial District, a certain amount of the surplus monies remaining in the single fund on December thirty-first of each year shall be deposited into a special excessive costs account for the Fifth Judicial District. The total amount of monies deposited into the special excessive costs account, in any calendar year, shall not exceed fifty thousand dollars. (c) No money shall be paid out of the special excessive costs account except upon the order or warrant of the chief judge and district attorney of the Fifth Judicial District. Monies in the account shall only be used to defray excessive costs incurred in first degree murder cases or very serious felony trials wherein venue has been changed. (5) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the Criminal Court Fund for the Twenty-First Judicial District shall be operated as a single account or fund, commencing on January 1, 2004. One-half of any surplus remaining in the single account or fund on December thirty-first of each year thereafter shall be transferred to the general funds of the parishes of the district in the same proportion as the revenues in the fund were produced from the parishes. D. All fines and forfeitures, including forfeitures of criminal bail bonds, imposed in criminal cases and prosecutions by the courts of Orleans Parish and any payments ordered as a condition of probation under Code of Criminal Procedure Article 895.1(B)(2) shall, upon collection, be paid to the criminal sheriff of Orleans Parish who shall deposit same in a special account, and shall thereafter be divided equally between the district attorney of Orleans Parish and the criminal district court of Orleans Parish in two special accounts, one account to be administered by the judges of the criminal district court of Orleans Parish, and the other account to be administered by the district attorney of Orleans Parish to be used in defraying the expenses of the criminal courts of the parish, extraditions, and such other expenses pertaining to the operation of the criminal court of Orleans Parish and the office of the district attorney of Orleans Parish. Disbursements from the account to the criminal district court and district attorney shall be made on an equal basis. Said accounts shall be annually audited by the director of finance of the city of New Orleans. K.(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the Ninth Judicial District Court and the office of the district attorney for the Ninth Judicial District shall cause to be prepared a comprehensive budget presenting their financial plan for expenditure of monies deposited to the Criminal Court Fund for the Ninth Judicial District for the ensuing fiscal year. Such proposed budget shall be completed and submitted by the court and district attorney to the governing authority of Rapides Parish, hereinafter referred to as the governing authority, no later than thirty-five days prior to the beginning of each fiscal year. (2) No later than fifteen days prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, the governing authority shall cause a notice to be published in the official journal of Rapides Parish stating that the proposed budget of the court and district attorney is available for public inspection at the office of the governing authority. The notice shall also state that a public hearing on the proposed budget shall be held, with the date, time, and place of the hearing specified in the notice. At least one public hearing shall be conducted on the proposal. (3) The governing authority of the parish shall monitor the expenditures from the budget on a quarterly basis during the year. N.(1) In the Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court, the judges en banc of the court may provide that various operational funds related to the proper administration or function of the court be deposited in one or more accounts in the parish treasury to be managed and administered by the parish treasurer in accordance with an annual budget submitted by the judges and approved by the parish governing authority. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the fines and forfeitures comprising the Criminal Court Fund, except as provided in Paragraph (A)(2) and Subsection L of this Section, shall be operated as part of the court's annual budget in the parish treasury. (2) Notwithstanding any general or specific law to the contrary, in appeals by an indigent in felony criminal cases in the Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court, the court reporter shall transcribe the testimony after the order of appeal is granted. Upon completion of the transcription, the court reporter shall file the transcript with the clerk of court, together with a statement of the fees due in connection therewith, which shall be paid in accordance with general or specific laws applicable to the Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court. O. Sheriffs and executive officers of any court in the state may accept payment for all fines, forfeitures, penalties, and costs by means of credit card, electronic fund transfer, money order, bank check, teller's check, cashier's check, traveler's check, electronic fund transfer terminal, electronic financial terminal, automated banking device, or similar device or terminal. Any sheriff or executive officer of the court who accepts payments by credit card shall collect a fee for processing the payments in an amount that is reasonably related to the expense incurred in processing the payment by credit card as provided by this Subsection, not to exceed five percent of the amount of taxes and any penalties or interest being paid. The fee shall be in addition to the amount of fines, forfeitures, penalties, or costs imposed.
Municipality/municipal agency State courts, law enforcement, All
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat § 32:388 F Traffic violations Payments for penalties imposed by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, public safety services, shall be remitted to the Transportation Trust Fund. State/statewide agency Department of public safety and corrections; traffic officers Traffic
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat § 15:571.21 (2015) Deposit of fees and assessments
A. All probation supervision fees received by the department pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Article 895.1(C) shall be deposited immediately upon receipt into the state treasury. B. For all monetary
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assessments imposed as a condition of probation or parole except supervision fees, the division of probation and parole shall assess a collection fee of ten percent of the funds due, which shall be added to the total amount of funds due. The ten percent collection fee shall be appropriated to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to be reinvested in additional resources for the division of probation and parole. C. In addition to the provisions set forth in R.S. 47:299.21, the secretary of the department is authorized to enter into contracts with private collection contractors to collect past due fees owed to the department by offenders, regardless of whether the offenders are currently on active supervision. Nothing in this Subsection shall prohibit the department from utilizing its own personnel to collect fees that are past due.
State/statewide agency State treasury receives the deposit All
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Louisiana CCRP 883.2.C victims restitution
The court shall order that all restitution payments be made by the defendant to the victim through the court's designated intermediary, and in no case shall the court order the
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defendant to deliver or send a restitution payment directly to a victim, unless the victim consents.
Other Victims All
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Louisiana CCRP 895.1.C Probation Department fee
When the court places the defendant on supervised probation, it shall order as a condition of probation a monthly fee of not less than sixty nor more than one hundred
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ten dollars payable to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections or such other probation office, agency, or officer as designated by the court, to defray the cost of supervision. If the probation supervision services are rendered by an agency other than the department, the fee may be ordered payable to that agency.
State/statewide agency Department of Public Safety and Corrections All
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Louisiana CCRP 895.1.E Drug Abuse Education and Treatment Fund
When the court places any defendant convicted of a violation of the controlled dangerous substances law, R.S. 40:966 through 1034, on any type of probation, it shall order as a
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condition of probation a fee of not less than fifty nor more than one hundred dollars, payable to the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement to be credited to the Drug Abuse Education and Treatment Fund and used for the purposes provided in R.S. 15:1224.
State/statewide agency Drug Abuse Education and Treatment Fund All
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Louisiana CCRP 895.1.F(2) Sex Offender Registry Technology Fund
After compliance with the requirements of Article VII, Section 9(B) of the Constitution of Louisiana relative to the Bond Security and Redemption Fund, and prior to monies being placed in
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the state general fund, an amount equal to that deposited as required by Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph shall be credited to a special fund which is hereby created in the state treasury to be known as the "Sex Offender Registry Technology Fund". The monies in this fund shall be used solely as provided in Subparagraph (3) of this Paragraph and only in the amounts appropriated by the legislature.
State/statewide agency Sex Offender Registry Technology Fund All
Structure of Courts
State Statute Description/Statute Name Statutory language Court/legal body Function
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Louisiana LA RS §13:101. Supreme court jurisdiction The state shall be divided into seven supreme court districts. The supreme court shall be composed of one justice elected from each of the seven districts as set forth below: Jurisdiction of the courts
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Louisiana LA RS §13:312. Court of appeals circuits There shall be five court of appeal circuits, which shall be subdivided into districts as follows: Jurisdiction of the courts
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Louisiana LA RS §13:477 District Court There shall be forty-one judicial districts in the state and each district shall be composed as follows: Jurisdiction of the courts
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Louisiana LA RS §13:1335 Parish of Orleans District court There shall be one criminal district court for the parish of Orleans, which shall be composed of twelve judges. Jurisdiction of the courts
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Louisiana LA RS §13:1445 Parish court - juvenile jurisdiction
The parish court shall be a juvenile court for the parish and shall exercise jurisdiction, concurrent with that of the district court, over juvenile matters, except where a separate juvenile
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or family court with exclusive jurisdiction is established by law.
Jurisdiction of the courts
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Louisiana LA RS §13:446 Parish court - criminal jurisdiction
A. The parish court shall have criminal jurisdiction over all violations of state law and parish or municipal ordinances committed within its territorial jurisdiction which are punishable by a fine
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not exceeding one thousand dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both. This jurisdiction shall be concurrent with any jurisdiction conferred by law upon the district court. B. As to all other violations of state law or of a parish or municipal ordinance, the parish court shall have the power to issue warrants of arrest, to examine, commit, admit to bail and discharge, and to hold preliminary examinations in all cases not capital.
Jurisdiction of the courts
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Louisiana LA RS § 15:1097 Youth court - territorial jurisdiction
A. The Ware Youth Center Authority is hereby established as a political subdivision of the state, with a territorial jurisdiction throughout the parishes of Claiborne, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine,
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and Webster. If the governing authority of Claiborne Parish or the governing authority of Webster Parish elects to withdraw its respective parish from the district, the territorial jurisdiction of the district shall not include such parish or parishes.
Jurisdiction of the courts
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Louisiana La. Const. Art. 3 Sec. 1 Judicial power The judicial power is vested in a supreme court, courts of appeal, district courts, and other courts authorized by this Article. Jurisdiction of the courts
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Louisiana La. Const. Art. 3 Sec. 8 Court of appeals circuits - panels
Section 8.(A) Circuits; Panels. The state shall be divided into at least four circuits, with one court of appeal in each. Each court shall sit in panels of at least
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three judges selected according to rules adopted by the court.
Jurisdiction of the courts
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Louisiana La. Const. Art. 3 Sec. 9 District courts - elected judges
Section 9. Each circuit shall be divided into at least three districts, and at least one judge shall be elected from each. The circuits and districts and the number of
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judges as elected in each circuit on the effective date of this constitution are retained, subject to change by law enacted by two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature.
Creation of the courts
Case Law
State Citation Question Brief Answer Language from the opinion When does the case apply?
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Louisiana State v. Frank, 803 So.2d 1, 7 (La.2001), as revised (Apr. 16, 2001)
Under state constitutional or statutory law, what are the minimum requirements for a constitutionally adequate ability-to-pay determination? Include any guidance about the substantive standards to apply, the burden of proof,
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the sources of information that should be considered, and the timing of the determination (i.e. before imposition, before enforcement action, only if incarceration is threatened).
The court may consider such factors as income or funds from employment or any other source, including public assistance, to which the accused is entitled, property owned by the accused
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or in which he has an economic interest, outstanding obligations, the number and ages of dependents, employment and job training history, and level of education.
A trial court must consider several factors before determining whether a defendant is indigent and may review its determination at any time during the proceedings. Louisiana Rev.Stat. 15:147(B)(1) provides that:In
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determining whether or not a person is indigent and entitled to the appointment of counsel, the court shall consider whether the person is a needy person and the extent of his ability to pay. The court may consider such factors as income or funds from employment or any other source, including public assistance, to which the accused is entitled, property owned by the accused or in which he has an economic interest, outstanding obligations, the number and ages of dependents, employment and job training history, and level of education. **5 See also State v. Adams, 369 So.2d 1327, 1329 (La.1979) (citing La.Rev.Stat. 15:147 and 15:148); W. LaFave and J. Israel, 2 Criminal Procedure § 11.2(e) (1984) (“recognizing that the Supreme Court has never offered a specific definition of indigency, but noting that most jurisdictions consider the following factors: (1) income from employment and governmental programs such as social security and unemployment benefits; (2) money on deposit; (3) ownership of real and personal property; (4) total indebtedness and expense; (5) the number of persons dependent on the appellant for support; (6) the cost of the transcript on appeal; and (7) the likely fee of retained counsel for the appeal.”).
Ability to pay
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Louisiana State v. Lanclos, 980 So.2d 643, 651 (La.2008) Does the state’s separation of powers doctrine limit the ability of courts to impose or collect revenue? Fines and fees collected must go towards 'functions of the judicial system'
This Court stated that “[f]following the trend restricting the imposition of court fees to instances where they fund functions of the judicial system, we hold that court filing fees may
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be imposed only for purposes relating to the administration of justice.  This requirement is inherent in our constitutional right of access to the courts and the constitutional separation of powers doctrine. Moreover, our clerks of court should not be made tax collectors for our state, nor should the threshold to our justice system **12 be used as a toll booth to collect money for random programs created by the legislature.” After examining the statute, we found that the money collected did not go to court services, or to any other entity associated with the judicial system. Instead, the money went to a private, nonprofit corporation to be used at its discretion for domestic violence programs. Because the “fee” was not assessed to defray the expenses of litigation or to support the court system, and was a revenue raising measure designed to fund a particular social program, we found that the “fee” imposed by the statute was, in reality, a tax. Safety Net, 692 So.2d at 1041. This Court held that La. R.S. 13:1906 imposed an unconstitutional filing fee in violation of the right of access to the *652 courts and of the separation of powers doctrine because its purpose—to fund domestic abuse services—was unrelated to the administration of justice. Id. at 1043.
Revenue flow
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Louisiana Villanueva v. Comm'n on Ethics for Pub. Employees, 812 So.2d 1, 5–6 (La. Ct. App.1999)
Under state constitutional or statutory law, under what circumstances will the imposition or enforcement of fees or fines create conflicts of interest for courts, police departments, probation departments, or other
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law enforcement agencies?
There does not need to be an actual conflict of interest, only the appearance of one
Furthermore, the mere fact that there is no evidence indicating that Mr. Villanueva attempted to use his influence to obtain the permit or refused to enforce the law with respect
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to Dauvill, or that his officers ever attempted to refrain from inspection duties out of loyalty to their Chief does not preclude a finding of a violation of § 1112B. It is well settled that the Ethics Code is not a criminal statute whose aim is the punishment of persons guilty of public wrongdoing. Rather, its purpose is to prevent public officers and employees from becoming involved in conflicts of interest situations by prohibiting public servants from engaging in certain conduct. Bankston v. Board of Ethics for Elected Officials, 98–0189, p. 1 (La.6/22/98); 715 So.2d 1181, 1181–1182.  The Code prohibits not only actual conflicts of interest, but also guards against the appearance of impropriety, and prevents situations which create the perception of conflicts of interest. Id. at p. 9; 1187; Fulda v. Louisiana Office of Public Health, 96–0647, p. 2 (La.5/10/96); 673 So.2d 201, 202; In Re Beychok, 495 So.2d 1278, 1281 (La.1986); *6 In re Marceaux, 96–1215, p. 4 (La.App. 1 Cir. 2/14/97); 689 So.2d 670, 673. In Glazer v. Commission on Ethics for Public Employees, 431 So.2d 752, 756 (La.1983), the court explained:A conflict of interest is a situation which would require an official to serve two masters, presenting a potential, rather than an actuality, of wrongdoing. The wrongdoing does not have to occur in order for a prohibited conflict to exist. A public official may have done no wrong in the ordinary sense of the word, but a conflict of interest may put him in danger of doing wrong.... The Code is aimed at avoiding even this danger. (Citation omitted) Villanueva v. Comm'n on Ethics for Pub. Employees, 812 So.2d 1, 5–6 (La. Ct. App.1999)
Transparency
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Louisiana State v. Rideau, 943 So.2d 559, 568 (La. Ct. App.2006), writ denied, 963 So.2d 395 (La.2007) Are there limits to the state’s ability to recoup fees for counsel under the state constitution? Yes; especially with indigent defendants the reviewing courts often set aside excessive recoupment fines
Our supreme court has recognized, especially against indigent defendants, the constitution of this State and the United States, does place limits on the power of courts to assess fines and
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costs. Additionally, when enforcement of a statute, as written, violates constitutional principles, the courts have consistently declined to read the statute to reach an unconstitutional result. For example, La.Code Crim.P. art. 884 provides “[i]f a sentence imposed includes a fine or costs, the sentence shall provide that in default of payment thereof the defendant shall be imprisoned for a specified period not to exceed one year.” Despite the clear mandate of this provision, the courts have consistently held an indigent person may not be incarcerated because he is unable to pay a fine or court costs.
Fines and fees
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Louisiana State v. McGowan, 359 So.2d 972, 975 (La.1978) Other applicable caselaw
(b) Release on bail alone shall not disqualify a person for appointment of counsel. In each case, the person subject to the penalty of perjury shall certify in writing such
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material factors relating to his ability to pay as the court prescribe State v. McGowan, 359 So.2d 972, 975 (La.1978)
Ability to pay
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Louisiana State v. Williams, 489 So.2d 286, 291–92 (La. Ct. App.1986) Other applicable caselaw
Louisiana courts have consistently held that an indigent may not be given a fine in default of which a prison term is imposed in excess of the statutory maximum State
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v. Williams, 489 So.2d 286, 291–92 (La. Ct. App.1986)
Enforcement
Attorney General Opinions
State Citation Description/Statute Name Question Brief answer Language from the opinion When does the case apply?
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Louisiana Op. Att'y Gen. No. 97-237 (June 18, 1997) Uniform eligibility criteria for indigency standards Does allowing different municipalities to set their own indigency standards or fines/fees violate the equal protection afforded by the state’s constitution? Unclear, but different municipalities are required by statute to have the same standards
(d) uniform eligibility criteria for determining  indigency and the eligibility of defendants to qualify for indigent defender representation at the district and state level;(citing language from statute creating the Louisiana
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Defense Board)
Ability to pay
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Louisiana Op. Att'y Gen. No. 95-449 (Nov. 8, 1995) Collection contracts with private vendors Which fines and/or fees may be collected by a private vendor? no stated limit
You have requested our opinion as to whether it is permissible for the Sheriff, with the formal approval of the District Court, to enter into such an agreement.  If so,
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you ask whether the public bid laws apply in procuring the services of a collection agency. We have reviewed the constitutional and statutory provisions relating to the powers and duties of sheriffs and can find nothing that would prohibit the Sheriff from entering into such an agreement. Our opinion is predicated upon the concurrence to the agreement of all parties enumerated hereinabove, and a formal order of the District Court Judge authorizing the contract and the percentage and/or fee to be retained by the collection agency. As discussed, this opinion is limited to only those fines that have been previously assessed, are currently delinquent and which you have been unable to collect. While a contract for the services of a collection agency are not required to be publicly bid by the Sheriff, we recommend that you solicit several proposals to ensure the confection of a contract that is most favorable to your office.
Revenue flow
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Louisiana Op. Att'y Gen. No. 83-183 (June 17, 1983) Court's authority to impose costs Other applicable opinions
It is well settled that the recovery and allowance of costs in criminal prosecutions is dependent entirely on statutory provisions. Absent statutory authority, a court has no power to award
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costs against a defendant on conviction. See C. J. S. Costs Section 435, 437. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 83-183 (June 17, 1983)
Fines and fees