Poverty Penalties and Poverty Traps

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State Statute Description/Statute Name Statutory language Type of poverty penalty or poverty trap Level of offense Mandatory
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Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 534.020(3)(b),(4) Methods of imposing fines; installment payment plan; determination of reason for defendant's default; show cause hearing; certain installment payments not to be reported as liquidated debt

(b) If the defendant fails to appear at the show cause hearing, the court may issue a warrant for the defendant's arrest. Any warrant for arrest issued for nonpayment of

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court costs, fees, or fines pursuant to this subsection shall include a notice to the jailer that the defendant shall be released upon payment or completion of daily credit pursuant to KRS 534.070.

(4) When a defendant is sentenced to pay court costs, fees, or fines, an alternative sentence of imprisonment that is to be served in the event the court costs, fees, or fines are not paid shall not be imposed at the same time. The response of a court to nonpayment shall be determined only after:

(a) The court costs, fees, or fines have not been paid; and

(b) 1. The show cause hearing has been held pursuant to subsections (2)(a) and (3)(a) of this section; or 2. The defendant has failed to appear at the show cause hearing as outlined in subsection (3)(b) of this section.

Other All No
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Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 534.070(1) Incarceration for failure to pay fine or court costs or failure to appear in court; daily credit against fine or court costs for time served; application of partial payment

 

(1) A defendant who has been sentenced to jail for failure to pay court costs, fees, or fines or for failure to appear in court on a date set for

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the sole purpose of addressing nonpayment of court costs, fees, or fines shall receive credit against the court costs, fees, or fines owed for each day the defendant spends in jail . . . 

Incarceration All No
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Kentucky Ky. RCr 2.05 Bench Warrants

Whenever a witness or defendant fails to appear in court as duly required, the presiding judge may issue a warrant for his or her arrest without the necessity of a

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supporting affidavit or complaint.

Other All No
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Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 534.020(1) Methods of imposing fines; installment payment plan; determination of reason for defendant's default; show cause hearing; certain installment payments not to be reported as liquidated debt

When a defendant is sentenced to pay a fine, the court may provide for payment to be made within a specified period of time or in specified installments. If no

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such provision is made a part of the sentence, then the fine shall be payable forthwith.

Payment plan/installment plan All No
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Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 24A.175(4) Court cost enforcement

(4) If the court finds that the defendant does not meet the standard articulated in subsection (3) of this section and that the defendant is nonetheless unable to pay the

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full amount of the court costs, fees, or fines at the time of sentencing, then the court may establish an installment payment plan in accordance with KRS 534.020.

Payment plan/installment plan All No
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Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 441.265(3),(5)-(7) Required reimbursement by prisoner of costs of confinement; local policy of fee and expense rates; billing and collection methods

(3) The jailer or his designee may bill and attempt to collect any amount owed which remains unpaid. The governing body of the county may, upon the advice of the

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jailer, contract with one (1) or more public agencies or private vendors to perform this billing and collection. Within twelve (12) months after the date of the prisoner's release from confinement, the county attorney, jailer, or the jailer's designee, may file a civil action to seek reimbursement from that prisoner for any amount owed which remains unpaid . . .

(6) Payment of any required fees may be automatically deducted from the prisoner's property or canteen account. If the prisoner has no funds in his account, a deduction may be made creating a negative balance. If funds become available or if the prisoner reenters the jail at a later date, the fees may be deducted from the prisoner's property or canteen account.

(7) Prior to the prisoner's release, the jailer or his designee may work with the confined prisoner to create a reimbursement plan to be implemented upon the prisoner's release. At the end of the prisoner's incarceration, the prisoner shall be presented with a billing statement produced by the jailer or designee. After the prisoner's release, the jailer or his designee may, after negotiation with the prisoner, release the prisoner from all or part of the prisoner's repayment obligation if the jailer believes that the prisoner will be unable to pay the full amount due.

Civil judgment All No
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Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 532.162(2) Order as lien upon earnings; circuit clerk to disburse; fee

(2) The circuit clerk's office shall disburse all collected reimbursement, restitution, and fees to the victim, the Kentucky Claims Commission, or the local government, whichever is appropriate. The clerk shall

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be entitled to collect a fee of two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) from each account for which a disbursement is made at the time of disbursement. In the event of challenge to a garnishment, the appropriate clerk's office shall not disburse those sums associated with the challenged garnishment until determination by the sentencing court regarding the propriety of the garnishment.

Increased fine All No
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Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 532.160(1) Criminal garnishment

(1) If a convicted person is unable to pay all court costs, fees, fines, and other monetary penalties at the time of sentencing, then the sentencing court may, consistent with

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KRS 23A.205, 24A.175, 534.020, and KRS 534.060, issue a criminal garnishment order for all fines under KRS Chapter 534 or KRS 49.480 and for court costs, restitution, and reimbursement charges in this chapter.

Wage/bank account garnishment All No
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Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 532.168 Show cause hearing for failure to comply with criminal garnishment order

If a garnishee fails to comply with the terms of the order of criminal garnishment within thirty (30) days after its issuance, the attorney for the Commonwealth may move the

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court to order the garnishee to show cause why he should not be held in contempt. If the court finds that the failure was willful or grossly negligent, the court shall find the garnishee in contempt and shall award reasonable attorney's fees and costs, in addition to any contempt sanction it imposes.

Incarceration All No
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Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 532.356(1)(a) Reimbursement and restitution as additional sanctions; ineligibility to operate motor vehicle upon conviction of certain theft, fraud, and organized crime offenses

(1) Upon a person's conviction and sentencing for any nonstatus juvenile offense, moving traffic violation, criminal violation, misdemeanor, or Class D felony offense, and, for the purposes of paragraph (b)

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of this subsection, any Class C felony offense listed in subsection (3) of this section, the court shall impose the following sanctions in addition to any imprisonment, fine, court cost, or community service:
(a) Reimbursement to the state or local government for the person's incarceration, determined by the per person, per diem, expenses of each prisoner incarcerated by the respective local government, times the number of days he has spent or shall spend in confinement, plus any medical services received by the prisoner, less copayments paid by the prisoner. The convicted person's ability to pay all or part of the reimbursement shall be considered by the sentencing court in imposing the sanction

Increased fine All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 4137 Contempt powers of Magisterial District Judges
(a) General rule.-- A magisterial district judge shall have the power to issue attachments and impose summary punishments for criminal contempts of a magisterial district judge court in the
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following cases:(1) Misbehavior of any person in the presence of the court, thereby obstructing the administration of justice. (2) Failure of a person to obey lawful process in the nature of a subpoena issued by a magisterial district judge. (3) Failure to comply with an order of a magisterial district judge directing a defendant in a criminal proceeding to compensate the victim of the criminal conduct for the damage or injury sustained by the victim. (4) Failure to comply with an order of a magisterial district judge directing a defendant in a criminal proceeding to pay fines and costs in accordance with an installment payment order. (5) Violation of an order issued pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6110 (relating to emergency relief by minor judiciary). (c) Punishment - Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(1) or (3) may be a fine of not more than $100 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(2) shall be a fine of not more than $100. Failure to pay within a reasonable time could result in imprisonment for not more than ten days. Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(5) shall be in accordance with that specified in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6114(b) (relating to contempt for violation of order or agreement). Punishment for contempt in subsection (a)(4) would be imprisonment for not more than 90 days.
Incarceration All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 4137 Contempt powers of Magisterial District Judges
(a) General rule.-- A magisterial district judge shall have the power to issue attachments and impose summary punishments for criminal contempts of a magisterial district judge court in the
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following cases:(1) Misbehavior of any person in the presence of the court, thereby obstructing the administration of justice. (2) Failure of a person to obey lawful process in the nature of a subpoena issued by a magisterial district judge. (3) Failure to comply with an order of a magisterial district judge directing a defendant in a criminal proceeding to compensate the victim of the criminal conduct for the damage or injury sustained by the victim. (4) Failure to comply with an order of a magisterial district judge directing a defendant in a criminal proceeding to pay fines and costs in accordance with an installment payment order. (5) Violation of an order issued pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6110 (relating to emergency relief by minor judiciary). (c) Punishment - Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(1) or (3) may be a fine of not more than $100 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(2) shall be a fine of not more than $100. Failure to pay within a reasonable time could result in imprisonment for not more than ten days. Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(5) shall be in accordance with that specified in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6114(b) (relating to contempt for violation of order or agreement). Punishment for contempt in subsection (a)(4) would be imprisonment for not more than 90 days.
Increased fine All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 4138 Contempt powers of Pittsburgh Magistrates Court
(a) General Rule.— The Pittsburgh Magistrates Court shall have the power to issue attachments and impose summary punishments for criminal contempts in the following cases:(1) Misbehavior of any person in
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the presence of the court thereby obstructing the administration of justice. (2) Failure of a person to obey lawful process in the nature of a subpoena issued by a judge of the Pittsburgh Magistrate Court. (3) Failure to comply with an order of a judge of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court directing a defendant in a criminal proceeding to pay fines and costs in accordance with an installment payment order. (c) Punishment.— Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(1) or (3) may be a fine of not more than $100 or to imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(2) shall be a fine of not more than $100. Failure to pay within a reasonable time could result in imprisonment for not more than ten days.
Incarceration All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 4138 Contempt powers of Pittsburgh Magistrates Court
(a) General Rule.— The Pittsburgh Magistrates Court shall have the power to issue attachments and impose summary punishments for criminal contempts in the following cases:(1) Misbehavior of any person in
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the presence of the court thereby obstructing the administration of justice. (2) Failure of a person to obey lawful process in the nature of a subpoena issued by a judge of the Pittsburgh Magistrate Court. (3) Failure to comply with an order of a judge of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court directing a defendant in a criminal proceeding to pay fines and costs in accordance with an installment payment order. (c) Punishment.— Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(1) or (3) may be a fine of not more than $100 or to imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(2) shall be a fine of not more than $100. Failure to pay within a reasonable time could result in imprisonment for not more than ten days.
Incarceration All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 4139 Contempt powers of Traffic Court of Philadelphia
(a) General rule.— The Traffic Court of Philadelphia shall have the power to issue attachments and impose summary punishments for criminal contempts in the following cases:(1) Misbehavior of any person
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in the presence of the court thereby obstructing the administration of justice. (2) Failure of a person to obey lawful process in the nature of a subpoena issued by a traffic court judge. (3) Failure to comply with an order of a traffic court judge directing a defendant in a criminal proceeding to pay fines and costs in accordance with an installment payment order. (c) Punishment.— Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(1) or (3) may be a fine of not more than $100 or to imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(2) shall be a fine of not more than $100. Failure to pay within a reasonable time could result in imprisonment for not more than ten days.
Incarceration Traffic No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 4139 Contempt powers of Traffic Court of Philadelphia
(a) General rule.— The Traffic Court of Philadelphia shall have the power to issue attachments and impose summary punishments for criminal contempts in the following cases:(1) Misbehavior of any person
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in the presence of the court thereby obstructing the administration of justice. (2) Failure of a person to obey lawful process in the nature of a subpoena issued by a traffic court judge. (3) Failure to comply with an order of a traffic court judge directing a defendant in a criminal proceeding to pay fines and costs in accordance with an installment payment order. (c) Punishment.— Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(1) or (3) may be a fine of not more than $100 or to imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Punishment for contempt specified in subsection (a)(2) shall be a fine of not more than $100. Failure to pay within a reasonable time could result in imprisonment for not more than ten days.
Increased fine Traffic No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 9758 Fine- installment plan
Except for fines imposed under Title 34 (relating to game), the court may permit installment payments as it considers appropriate to the circumstances of the defendant, in which case its
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order shall specify when each installment payment is due. Installment payments for fines imposed for summary offenses under Title 34 shall not exceed one year for summary offenses and, except for 34 Pa.C.S. § 2522 (relating to shooting at or causing injury to human beings), shall not exceed two years for misdemeanor offenses.
Payment plan/installment plan All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 9728(a) Collection - interest
Except as provided in subsection (b)(5), all restitution, reparation, fees, costs, fines and penalties shall be collected by the county probation department or other agent designated by the county commissioners
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of the county with the approval of the president judge of the county for that purpose in any manner provided by law. However, such restitution, reparation, fees, costs, fines and penalties are part of a criminal action or proceeding and shall not be deemed debts. A sentence, pretrial disposition order or order entered under section 6352 (relating to disposition of delinquent child) for restitution, reparation, fees, costs, fines or penalties shall, together with interest and any additional costs that may accrue, be a judgment in favor of the probation department upon the person or the property of the person sentenced or subject to the order.
Collection fee/interest All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 9728(b)(5) Collection - procedure
The county correctional facility to which the offender has been sentenced or the Department of Corrections shall be authorized to make monetary deductions from inmate personal accounts for the purpose
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of collecting restitution or any other court-ordered obligation or costs imposed 
Wage/bank account garnishment All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 9728(e)(1) Preservation of assets - restitution
Upon the filing of a criminal complaint, information or indictment charging a criminal violation or a petition alleging delinquency for which restitution may be ordered and alleging that the property
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with respect to which the order is sought appears to be necessary to satisfy such restitution order and judgment
Property liens All No