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State Citation Question Brief answer Language from the opinion When does the case apply?
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Alaska
Jones v. State, No. A-2629, 1989 WL 1595378, at *1–2 (Alaska Ct. App. Feb. 1, 1989) (quoting Zimmerman v. State, 706 P.2d 343, 344 (Alaska App.1985); Karr v. State, 686
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P.2d 1192, 1197 (Alaska 1984)); Alaska Stat. Ann. § 12.55.051
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).
Alaska courts must conduct a "serious" inquiry, considering the defendant's assets, as well as the defendant's past and future earning capacity. Statutory law requires the defendant to prove by a
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preponderance of the evidence an inability to pay.
"Under AS 12.55.035, the trial court is under a mandatory duty to consider a defendant's earning capacity in connection with the imposition of any fine. The court's inquiry must be
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“serious” and should include an analysis of any assets that the defendant presently owns, as well as his past and future earning capacity. A determination of a defendant's future earning capacity necessarily requires the court to make:preliminary findings of fact regarding [the defendant's] mental and physical health, [his] education, [his] job skills if any, the kinds of jobs which [he] has held in the past and is capable of performing in the future and the availability of such jobs in the communities in which [the defendant] will likely reside. Once these findings are made, the court is in a position to determine [the defendant's] likely future earnings and the extent to which those earnings will cover [his] likely future expenses for food, clothing and shelter and leave [him] a surplus out of which to pay restitution. The court must fix the amount of the fine and the terms of payment to fall within the realistic limits of the defendant's earning capacity. Failure to make the appropriate inquiry and findings requires automatic reversal and remand." " If, at a hearing under this subsection, the defendant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant will be unable through good faith efforts to satisfy the order requiring payment of the fine or restitution, the court shall modify the order so that the defendant can pay the fine or restitution through good faith efforts. The court may reduce the fine ordered, change the payment schedule, or otherwise modify the order. The court may not reduce an order of restitution but may change the payment schedule."
Ability to pay
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Alaska Alaska Const. art. IV, § 15; Alaska Stat. Ann. § 22.05.020(c); Alaska Stat. Ann. § 28.05.151(a) Does the state’s separation of powers doctrine limit the ability of courts to impose or collect revenue?
The Alasaka Constitution allows the Supreme Court to promulgate rules governing practice and procedure. Furthermore, Alaska Statutory Law allows the Supreme Court to prescribe the fees which may be charged
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for legal services. Indeed, the Supreme Court can also determine which fines and fees may be collected without a court disposition
"The supreme court shall make and promulgate rules governing the administration of all courts. It shall make and promulgate rules governing practice and procedure in civil and criminal cases in
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all courts. These rules may be changed by the legislature by two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house." "The supreme court may prescribe by rule the fees to be charged by all courts for judicial services." "The supreme court shall determine by rule or order those motor vehicle and traffic offenses, except for offenses subject to a scheduled municipal fine, that are amenable to disposition without court appearance and shall establish a scheduled amount of bail, not to exceed fines prescribed by law, for each offense. A municipality shall determine by ordinance the municipal motor vehicle and traffic offenses that may be disposed of without court appearance and shall establish a fine schedule for each offense. "The supreme court shall determine by rule or order those motor vehicle and traffic offenses, except for offenses subject to a scheduled municipal fine, that are amenable to disposition without court appearance and shall establish a scheduled amount of bail, not to exceed fines prescribed by law, for each offense. A municipality shall determine by ordinance the municipal motor vehicle and traffic offenses that may be disposed of without court appearance and shall establish a fine schedule for each offense."
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Alaska Alaska Stat. Ann. § 39.50.090
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?
No such instance is apparent under the case law. But statutory law prohibits using an official position for obtaining personal financial gain. As such, it is likely impermissible for courts
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or law enforcement to impose or enforce fines or fees when there is a personal interest at stake (as opposed to an institutional interest).
"A public official may not use the official position or office for the primary purpose of obtaining personal financial gain or financial gain for a spouse, dependent child, mother, father,
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or business with which the official is associated or in which the official owns stock. A public official other than an elected or appointed municipal official may not use the official's position or office for the primary purpose of obtaining financial gain for the official's domestic partner."
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Alaska Alaska R. Crim. P. 39; State v. Albert, 899 P.2d 103, 115, 123 (Alaska 1995) Are there limits to the state’s ability to recoup fees for counsel under the state constitution?
The ability to recoup fees is virtually limitless. If the Defendant is convicted of a crime, then the defendant is civilly liable for the costs of counsel regardless of ability
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to pay.
"Rule 39(b) makes all criminal defendants who are provided court-appointed counsel liable upon conviction for the cost of representation. This liability attaches without regard to an individual defendant's financial ability
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to repay. The liability automatically attaches in the form of a civil judgment entered without a prior request or demand for payment. Upon a defendant's conviction, the trial court must issue in all cases, sua sponte, a notice of judgment. . . . Criminal Rule 39 does not violate the equal protection guarantee of the Alaska Constitution."
Ability to pay
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Alaska Cont'l Ins. Companies v. Bayless & Roberts, Inc., 548 P.2d 398, 410 (Alaska 1976) Other applicable caselaw The legislature cannot impede the contempt power
"Thus, statutory enactments which endeavor to limit the necessary contempt powers of the Alaska superior and supreme courts are not binding. Nevertheless, statutory enactments, which reasonably regulate the contempt power,
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as representing the opinion of a coequal branch of the government, should be given effect as a matter of comity unless they fetter the efficient operation of the courts or impair their ability to uphold their dignity and authority."
Enforcement
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Alaska
Dodge v. Municipality of Anchorage, 877 P.2d 270, 272 (Alaska Ct. App. 1994) (quoting State v. Wortham, 537 P.2d 1117, 1120 (Alaska 1975); Collins v. State, 778 P.2d 1171, 1175
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(Alaska App.1989))
Defendants generally should not be sentenced to pay the maximum fine unless the court determines that the defendant is the "worst offender."
Generally, the maximum sentence should not be imposed “without some foundation for characterizing a defendant as the worst type of offender.” A worst offender finding may be based on the
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defendant's background, the seriousness of the current offense, or both."
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Iowa State v. Van Hoff, 415 N.W.2d 647, 649 (Iowa 1987)
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).
A determination of reasonableness ... is more appropriately based on [a defendant's] ability to pay the current installments than his ability to ultimately pay the total amount due. A determination of reasonableness ... is more appropriately based on [a defendant's] ability to pay the current installments than his ability to ultimately pay the total amount due. Ability to pay
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Iowa State v. Kurtz, 878 N.W.2d 469, 473 (Iowa Ct. App. 2016) A defendant who seeks to upset a restitution order has the burden to demonstrate either the failure of the court to exercise discretion or an abuse of that discretion. A defendant who seeks to upset a restitution order, however, has the burden to demonstrate either the failure of the court to exercise discretion or an abuse of that discretion. Ability to pay
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Iowa Goodrich v. State, 608 N.W.2d 774, 776 (Iowa 2000) Ability to pay must be determined before imposition.
Constitutionally, a court must determine a criminal defendant's ability to pay before entering an order requiring such defendant to pay criminal restitution pursuant to Iowa Code section 910.2. Section 910.2
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authorizes a court to order the offender to make restitution of court costs and court-appointed attorney's fees “to the extent that the offender is reasonably able to do so.
Ability to pay
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Iowa State v. Kurtz, 878 N.W.2d 469, 472 (Iowa Ct. App. 2016) Are there limits to the state’s ability to recoup fees for counsel under the state constitution?
The restitution ordered to the victim is made without regard to the defendant's ability to pay; however, other reimbursement and costs are ordered only to the extent that the defendant
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is reasonably able to pay.
The restitution ordered to the victim is made without regard to the defendant's ability to pay; however, other reimbursement and costs are ordered only to the extent that the defendant
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is reasonably able to pay. . . . Thus, before ordering payment for court-appointed attorney fees and court costs, the court must consider the defendant's ability to pay.
Ability to pay
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Missouri Spencer v. Basinger, 562 S.W.2d 350, 353 (Mo. 1978)
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).
After a prima facie showing of indigency has been made, an individual may not be incarcerated for nonpayment of fine and costs
A prima facie showing of indigency has been made. Under such circumstances petitioner may not be confined further at this time for nonpayment of fine and costs. See Hendrix v.
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Lark, 482 S.W.2d 427 (Mo. banc 1972). This is not to suggest that those who neglect or refuse to pay a fine may not be incarcerated for their refusal so to do within the constitutional standards described in Hendrix.
Enforcement
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Missouri Hendrix v. Lark, 482 S.W.2d 427, 428 (Mo. 1972) Other applicable caselaw Prisoner's incarceration to satisfy payment of fines and costs levied upon her without giving indigent prisoner option of paying the same by installments denied her the equal protection of law.
St. Louis must provide indigent defendants an opportunity to pay fines in reasonable installments and that portion of Sec. 773.070 of the Revised Code of the city providing the court
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shall not stay the payment of any fine and calling for its execution, i.e., immediate imprisonment in lieu of payment, *429 is unconstitutional under the above decisions.
Enforcement
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Missouri Davis v. City of Charleston, Mo., 635 F.Supp. 197, 198-199 (1986) upon raising inference that poverty is reason for non-payment rather than contempt, defendant is entitled to hearing on issue of indigency
As stated in this Court's Memorandum and Order dated March 28, 1986: It must be remembered that the remedy § 560.031 intends is not an imprisonment for non-payment of fine
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as such, but a penalty by contempt of court for the failure to obey—either intentionally or by want of good-faith effort to comply—the sentence of the court.
Ability to pay