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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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
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Pennsylvania Pa. R. Crim. P. 142 Defaults in Payment of Fine Imposed as Punishment for Contempt
(A) If a contemnor defaults on the payment of a fine imposed as punishment for contempt pursuant to Rule 140(A)(1) and (B)(3), the issuing authority shall notify the contemnor
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in person or by first class mail that within 10 days of the date on the default notice the contemnor must either: (1) pay the amount due as ordered, or (2) appear before the issuing authority to explain why the contemnor should not be imprisoned for nonpayment as provided by law, or a bench warrant for the contemnor’s arrest shall be issued. (B) When the contemnor appears either in response to the paragraph (A)(2) notice or following an arrest with a warrant issued pursuant to paragraph (A), the issuing authority shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the contemnor is financially able to pay as ordered. (1) Upon a determination that the defendant is financially able to pay as ordered, the issuing authority may impose imprisonment for nonpayment, as provided by law.
Incarceration All No
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Pennsylvania Pa. R. Crim. P. 142(b)(2) Defaults in Payment of Fine Imposed as Punishment for Contempt
(B) When the contemnor appears either in response to the paragraph (A)(2) notice or following an arrest with a warrant issued pursuant to paragraph (A), the issuing authority shall
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conduct a hearing to determine whether the contemnor is financially able to pay as ordered. . . . (2) Upon a determination that the contemnor is financially unable to pay as ordered, the issuing authority may order a schedule for installment payments.
Payment plan/installment plan All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 9730(b)(2) Failure to pay court costs, restitution and fines
(b) Procedures regarding default.--(1) If a defendant defaults in the payment of a fine, court costs or restitution after imposition of sentence, the issuing authority or a senior judge or
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senior magisterial district judge appointed by the president judge for the purposes of this section may conduct a hearing to determine whether the defendant is financially able to pay. (2) If the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge determines that the defendant is financially able to pay the fine or costs, the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge may turn the delinquent account over to a private collection agency or impose imprisonment for nonpayment, as provided by law.
Incarceration All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 9730 Failure to pay court costs, restitution and fines
(b) Procedures regarding default.-- . . . (3) If the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge determines that the defendant is without the financial means to pay
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the fine or costs immediately or in a single remittance, the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge may provide for payment in installments. In determining the appropriate installments, the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge shall consider the defendant's financial resources, the defendant's ability to make restitution and reparations and the nature of the burden the payment will impose on the defendant. If the defendant is in default of a payment or advises the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge that default is imminent, the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge may schedule a rehearing on the payment schedule. At the rehearing the defendant has the burden of proving changes of financial condition such that the defendant is without the means to meet the payment schedule. The issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge may extend or accelerate the schedule, leave it unaltered or sentence the defendant to a period of community service as the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge finds to be just and practicable under the circumstances.
Community service All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 9730 Failure to pay court costs, restitution and fines
(b) Procedures regarding default.-- . . . (3) If the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge determines that the defendant is without the financial means to pay
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the fine or costs immediately or in a single remittance, the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge may provide for payment in installments. In determining the appropriate installments, the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge shall consider the defendant's financial resources, the defendant's ability to make restitution and reparations and the nature of the burden the payment will impose on the defendant. If the defendant is in default of a payment or advises the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge that default is imminent, the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge may schedule a rehearing on the payment schedule. At the rehearing the defendant has the burden of proving changes of financial condition such that the defendant is without the means to meet the payment schedule. The issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge may extend or accelerate the schedule, leave it unaltered or sentence the defendant to a period of community service as the issuing authority, senior judge or senior magisterial district judge finds to be just and practicable under the circumstances.
Payment plan/installment plan All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 9772 Failure to pay fine
Unless there is proof that failure to pay a fine or that portion of the fine that is due is excusable, the court may after a hearing find the defendant
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guilty of contempt and sentence him to not more than six months imprisonment, if a term of confinement of that amount could have been imposed for the offense charged.
Incarceration All No