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|State||Citation||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|Ohio||State v. Meyer, 124 Ohio App. 3d 373, 377 (1997)||
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,+ See more
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).
An ability-to-pay hearing is not required when a fine is merely imposed. Rather, it is only required when the trial court decides to incarcerate the defendant for failure to pay.+ See more
Defendant is entitled to representation and an opportunity to present evidence.
We hold, therefore, that R.C. 2947.14(A) did not require a hearing in the present case because the trial court merely imposed a fine. Because the trial court has not yet+ See more
sought to enforce the fine with incarceration, the duty to hold a hearing under R.C. 2947.14(A) is not triggered. We note, further, that payment of the fine in this case was technically a condition of Meyer's probation, and therefore, should he be unable to pay and his probation sought to be revoked, he is entitled to a hearing under Crim.R. 32.3. In either case, the hearing requirement is conditioned upon the trial court's decision to incarcerate him.
|Ability to pay|
|Ohio||State ex rel. Hague v. Ashtabula Cty. Bd. of Commrs., 2009-Ohio-6140, ¶ 18, 123 Ohio St. 3d 489, 493 (Ohio 2009)||Does the state’s separation of powers doctrine limit the ability of courts to impose or collect revenue?||No. In fact, one case found that county commissioners violated the separation-of-powers doctrine for not funding courts when the court could not collect enough revenue from cases||
"The board and commissioners claim that they have rebutted the presumed reasonableness of the requesting funding because Judge Hague failed to make sufficient operational changes to reduce the courts' budget,+ See more
failed to cooperate with the budget process in a timely manner, and has sufficient money to operate the courts for the remainder of 2009. These claims lack merit. For the board's claim that the judge failed to timely pursue various alternatives for reducing costs, Judge Hague submitted evidence that the majority of juveniles appearing before the juvenile court are indigent and that an increase in court fees and costs would simply increase unpaid sums instead of increasing county revenue."
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+ See more
law enforcement agencies?
|Ohio Courts have not addressed this question||no|
|Ohio||State v. Fisher, No. CA98-09-190, 2002 WL 745330 (Ohio Ct. App. 2002)||Are there limits to the state’s ability to recoup fees for counsel under the state constitution?||Probably not. Courts rest their opinions on statutory law which provides that an indigent defendant may be required to pay attorneys fees only after an ability-to-pay determination is made.||
Thus, an indigent defendant may properly be required to pay his attorney fees only after the court makes an affirmative determination on the record that the defendant has, or reasonably+ See more
may be expected to have, the means to pay all or some part of the cost of the legal services rendered to him.
|Fines and fees|
|Ohio||City of Alliance v. Kelly, 548 N.E.2d 952 (Ohio Ct. App. 1988)||Other applicable caselaw||Contempt proceedings may not be used to incarcerate people for non-payment of fines. A person may only be sentenced pursuant to the procedural safeguards provided in Section 2947.14||
The appellee in this action urges that we accept the trial court's characterization of these proceedings as contempt for failure to obey an order of the court pursuant to R.C.+ See more
2705.02. However, appellee does not suggest precisely which order appellant was charged with disobeying. We find that the court should have recognized that this case invoked the *134 procedures required under R.C. 2947.14 for committing an offender to jail for failure to pay a fine. This statute and its predecessor1were designed by the legislature to provide a method for collecting a fine from one who is unwilling to pay.
|Ohio||Liming v. Damos, 133 Ohio St. 3d 509, 514 (Ohio 2012)||The Burden of proving inability to pay is on the party subject to a contempt order||
Placing the burden of showing inability to pay on the party charged with contempt is not unreasonable. As we explained in Cook, “[t]he defendant's financial condition and ability to pay+ See more
were peculiarly within his own knowledge. They could not be known with the same certainty to the complainant, nor could she easily produce evidence to maintain the proposition were the burden of proof placed upon her.”
|Ability to pay|
|Ohio||Strattman v. Studt, 20 Ohio St. 2d 95, 95 (1969)||Court costs and fees are civil, not criminal, obligations and may be collected only by the methods provided for the collection of civil judgments||
The duty to pay court costs is a civil obligation arising from an implied contract. Obligations arising upon implied contracts and judgments *96 thereon are debts, within the purview of+ See more
Section 15, Article I of the Ohio Constitution, which forbids imprisonment for debt in civil actions. (Paragraph one of the syllabus of Second National Bank of Sandusky v. Becker, 62 Ohio St. 289, 56 N.E. 1025, 51 L.R.A. 860, approved and followed.) Section 2947.20, Revised Code, insofar as it lodges authority in the judge or magistrate to order a defendant committed to jail or to a workhouse for failure to pay court costs, is violative of Section 15, Article I of the Ohio Constitution, and is unconstitutional [. . .] An indigent person taxed with costs in a civil action is not jailed to work off this obligation. Section 15, Article I of the Ohio Constitution, expressly prohibits imprisonment for civil debt.6 In criminal cases, court costs, assessed *103 to defray the administrative costs of the litigation, are likewise subject to the same prohibition. The purpose of assessing costs in criminal and in civil cases is the same and there is no justification for imprisonment for nonpayment of costs in criminal cases but not in civil cases [. . .] By being involved in court proceedings, any litigant, by implied contract, becomes liable for the payment of court costs if taxed as a part of the court's judgment. A judgment for costs in a criminal case is a civil, not a criminal, obligation, and may be collected only by the methods provided for the collection of civil judgments. To hold otherwise would permit that which is constitutionally prohibited.
|Ohio||Strongsville v. Waiwood ,577 N.E.2d 63 (Ohio 1989)||A court may not order a person to appear orissue a warrant for unpaid court costs.||
An arrest warrant issued after defendant failed to attend a hearing for failure to pay court costs was defective because failure to pay court costs is a civil liability not+ See more
an obligation, such as a fine, that subjects a debtor to arrest.
|Ohio||State v. Ellis, 2d Dist., 2008 Ohio 2719.||If community service is in lieu of either fines or court costs, contempt may not be imposed for failure to perform||Accordingly, the trial court's judgment finding Ellis in criminal contempt for nonperformance of community service work to satisfy his fines and court costs is reversed.||Enforcement|
|Ohio||Ohio State Bar Assn. v. Goldie, 894 N.E.2d 1226 (2008).||Failing to follow the dictates of R.C. 2947.14 and using contempt as a sanction to collect fines can result in disciplinary violations||#VALUE!||Enforcement|
|Ohio||In re GMS Mgt. Co., Inc. v. Unpaid Court Costs, Fees and Delinquencies, 932 N.E.2d 405 (2010).||The court may not collect fines by refusing to accept filings.||
Plaintiff-appellant, GMS Management Company, Inc., appeals a decision of Judge David D'Apolito of Mahoning County Court No. 4, which found that GMS owes over $3,000 for court costs and ordered+ See more
the clerk of that court to refuse to accept any new pleadings even if court costs are advanced until all prior delinquent costs and fees have been paid in full. We agree with appellant's argument that this decision was unconstitutionally entered without notice or an opportunity to be heard and is an unconstitutional denial of access to the courts. For the following reasons, the judgment of the trial court is reversed, and the case is remanded based upon constitutional violations.
|Ohio||State v. Short, 2nd Dist. Darke No. 2011 CA 16, 2012-Ohio-2546.||The court may not order the forfeiture of a driver's license as a means of collecting costs.||
We agree that the municipal court lacked authority to order the forfeiture of Short's license for his failure to pay court costs. Accordingly, the court's order of forfeiture of Short's driver's+ See more
license is vacated.
|Ohio||State v. Cruise, 185 Ohio App. 3d 230, 233 (2009)||The court may not use money forfeited by a defendant as a means of collecting costs.||The trial court erred as a matter of law in diverting money forfeited by the appellee to pay court costs and attorney fees.||Enforcement|