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|State||Citation||Question||Brief answer||Language from the opinion||When does the case apply?|
|Wisconsin||State v. Ramel, 743 N.W.2d 502, 510 (Wis. Ct. App. 2007).||
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).
|None. Case law instructs courts to look to the guidelines listed in the American Bar Association's Standards on Sentencing Alternatives and Procedures.||
The court "require[s] that the court, by reference to the relevant facts and factors, explain how the sentence's component parts promote the sentencing objectives. By stating this linkage on the+ See more
record, courts will produce sentences that can be more easily reviewed for a proper exercise of discretion." Id. at 507. In further reliance on its earlier holding in Pedersen, the Will court noted: In Pedersen, we set out the following procedure to be followed in cases where the defendant claims he is unable to pay a fine: (1) We encouraged trial courts to follow a practice of ascertaining the defendant's ability to pay a fine at the time of sentencing. At this time the court should determine an amount and payment schedule in keeping with the defendant's means. (2) If, thereafter, the defendant is unable to pay the fine imposed, he has the burden to apply to the court for relief. Will, 84 Wis.2d at 40304, 267 N.W.2d 357." "Kuechler was remanded to the trial court because the defendant's ability to pay the fine imposed *671 had not been determined, although he raised the issue in his post conviction motion, id., ¶ 13, and the court characterized as unsatisfactory the evidence in the record of inability to pay, id., ¶ 14. On remand, the trial court was reminded of the supreme court's instructions in Pedersen and Iglesias, which instructions relied upon the American Bar Association Standards on Sentencing Alternatives and Procedures: (c) In determining whether to impose a fine and its amount, the court should consider: (i) the financial resources of the defendant and the burden that payment of a fine will impose, with due regard to his other obligations; (ii) the ability of the defendant to pay a fine on an installment basis or on other conditions to be fixed by the court; (iii) the extent to which payment of a fine will interfere with the ability of the defendant to make any ordered restitution or reparation to the victim of the crime; and (iv) whether there are particular reasons which make a fine appropriate as a deterrent to the offense involved or appropriate as a corrective measure for the defendant." State v. Ramel, 743 N.W.2d 502, 510
|Ability to pay|
|Wisconsin||City of Milwaukee v. Kilgore, 517 N.W.2d 689, 697-98 (Wis. Ct. App. 1994)||Does the states separation of powers doctrine limit the ability of courts to impose or collect revenue?||Collections of fines and fees by the court are permitted so long as their collection is not "clearly illegal."||
By enacting §§ 800.09 and 800.095, STATS., the legislature explicitly granted municipal courts the authority to suspend drivers' licenses. Whether that constitutes a lawful exercise of police power depends on+ See more
whether it is rationally related to furthering a proper public purpose. See State v. McManus, 152 Wis.2d 113, 130, 447 N.W.2d 654, 660 (Ct.App.1989). That is determined by a two-step analysis. First, we consider whether the statutes promote a proper public purpose. Id. Second, we determine whether the statutory scheme is reasonably related to the accomplishment of that purpose. City of Milwaukee v. Kilgore, 517 N.W.2d at 696-97. Courts must not interfere with the municipal exercise of police power unless the exercise is clearly illegal. J & N Corp. v. City of Green Bay, 28 Wis.2d 583, 585, 137 N.W.2d 434, 436 (1965). As the supreme court explained: Municipalities glean their powers from the state constitution and statutes. Under sec. 62.11(5), STATS., municipal legislative bodies are granted the power to act for the government and good order of the city, for its commercial benefit, and for the health, safety, and welfare of the public, and may carry out [their] powers by license, regulation, suppression, borrowing of money, tax levy, appropriation, fine, imprisonment, confiscation, and other necessary or convenient means. The powers hereby conferred shall be in addition to all other grants, and shall be limited only by express language. City of Milwaukee v. Kilgore at 697. Conceivably, this rule is applicable to all state and local courts in the state of Wisconsin.
|Wisconsin||Will v. State, 267 N.W.2d 357, 359 (Wis. S. Ct. 1978).||Other applicable case law||
[T]he Court held that the equal protection clause restricts the state's power to collect a fine from a defendant without the means to pay. We have previously held that: What+ See more
these cases (Williams, Morris, and Tate ) teach is that one who has been convicted of a crime and fined is not to be imprisoned in satisfaction of the fine or in lieu thereof if he is unable to pay the fine. State ex rel. Pedersen v. Blessinger, 56 Wis.2d 286, 289, 201 N.W.2d 778, 780 (1972). Under the Williams, Morris, and Tate rationale, no equal protection violation occurs when an indigent offender is originally sentenced to confinement; for when he is originally sentenced to confinement, he is being punished for the crime. But once a sentencing judge has determined a fine to be the appropriate penalty, a defendant who is incarcerated merely because he is without the means to pay the fine is being incarcerated not for the crime but for his poverty, and such incarceration is illegal. On the other hand, when an indigent defender upon whom a fine has been imposed lacks the diligence to meet a reasonable payment schedule, his refusal to pay the fine results from contumacy and not indigence, and incarceration is permissible to punish the refusal to pay. But once the sentencing court determines that a fine is an appropriate sanction under the circumstances and that the defendant has the ability to pay it, an indigent offender should be accorded a fair method of paying his fine. Though in Pedersen this court declined to require the trial court to use the installment method when dealing with indigent offenders holding that a future date for total payment in lieu of payment in installments is acceptable, some commentators on sentencing have observed that in almost every case imprisonment can be avoided by allowing the indigent to pay his fine over time. We encourage trial courts to use the installment method, since a simple installment checkoff system at the trial court level would not be difficult to establish. Id. at 360. [W]e find no authority, either in the statutes or our cases, for the permanent suspension of a sentence. As long as the defendant is afforded a reasonable payment schedule and as long as he is not imprisoned for his inability to pay the fine, we find no constitutional bar to the state's attempting to collect a fine for an indeterminate period of time. Id. at 361.