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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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-50-507 Community Service Work
By a majority vote of the applicable local legislative body, any county or city may, by resolution or ordinance, establish a program that allows any person who is indigent and
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who has been convicted of driving while the person's license is cancelled, suspended, or revoked in violation of § 55-50-504(a) to complete community service work in lieu of paying the fines and other costs imposed for the conviction. The community service program shall be administered and monitored by the appropriate entity that administers court-ordered community service within the applicable jurisdiction.
Community service All No
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 41-2-129(b)(4) Compensation and salaries; work release (4) If the prisoner is gainfully self-employed, the prisoner shall pay for such board, in default of which the prisoner's privilege under §§ 41-2-127 -- 41-2-132 shall be automatically forfeited. Other All Yes
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 41-2-128(5) Prisoners who may apply for release -- Procedure.
(5) (A) The judge shall, at the time of sentencing, cause the sentencing order to reflect the defendant's cost of incarceration and treatment and shall affix to the order,
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taking into consideration the defendant's ability to pay, the time and manner in which the costs are to be paid. The court shall enter the necessary orders requiring that the costs of incarceration and treatment be paid or secured, including, but not limited to, orders of probation that include, as a condition thereof, the payment of costs covered by this subdivision (c)(5).
Condition or extension of supervision All Yes
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-24-104(b) Revocation of Driver's License
Whenever a court orders a defendant to pay a fine, imposed as a result of a traffic violation, in installment payments, the court shall revoke the defendant's privilege to operate
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a motor vehicle in this state upon the failure of the defendant to comply with the order of the court. If the defendant's privilege to operate a motor vehicle has been revoked for the failure to comply with the court order, the privilege shall remain so revoked until the total amount of the fine imposed is paid.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-24-104(a) Imprisonment
If the defendant fails to pay the fine as directed, or is unable to pay the fine and so represents upon application to the court, the court, after inquiring into
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and making further investigation, if any, which it may deem necessary with regard to the defendant's financial and family situation and the reasons for nonpayment of the fine, including whether the nonpayment was contumacious or was due to indigency, may enter any order that it could have entered under § 40-24-101, or may reduce the fine to an amount that the defendant is able to pay, or may direct that the defendant be imprisoned until the fine, or any portion of it, remaining unpaid or remaining undischarged after a pro rata credit for any time that may already have been served in lieu of payments, is paid. The court shall determine and specify, in the light of defendant's situation and means and of defendant's conduct with regard to the nonpayment of the fine, the period of any imprisonment in default of payment of the fine within the limits of the penalties for a Class C misdemeanor.
Incarceration All No
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-24-101(a) Installments
(a) When any court of this state, including municipal courts for violation of municipal ordinances, imposes a fine upon an individual, the court may direct as follows: (1) That the
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defendant pay the entire amount at the time sentence is pronounced; (2) That the defendant pay the entire amount at some later date; (3) That the defendant pay the fine in specified portions or installments at designated periodic intervals and that the portions be remitted to a designated official, who shall report to the court in the event of any failure to comply with the order; or (4) Where the defendant is sentenced to a period of probation as well as a fine, that payment of the fine be a condition of the sentence.
Payment plan/installment plan All No
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-24-105(a) Collection; fines, costs and litigation taxes; license revocation
Unless discharged by payment or service of imprisonment in default of a fine, a fine may be collected in the same manner as a judgment in a civil action. The
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trial court may also enforce all orders assessing any fine remaining in default by contempt upon a finding by the court that the defendant has the present ability to pay the fine and willfully refuses to pay. Costs and litigation taxes due may be collected in the same manner as a judgment in a civil action, but shall not be deemed part of the penalty, and no person shall be imprisoned under this section in default of payment of costs or litigation taxes. The following shall be the allocation formula for moneys paid into court: the first moneys paid in any case shall first be credited toward payment of litigation taxes and once litigation taxes have been paid, the next moneys shall be credited toward payment of costs; then additional moneys shall be credited toward payment of the fine.
Property liens All No
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-24-105(b) Collection; fines, costs and litigation taxes; license revocation
A license issued under title 55 for any operator or chauffeur shall be revoked by the commissioner of safety if the licensee has not paid all litigation taxes, court costs,
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and fines assessed as a result of disposition of any offense under the criminal laws of this state within one (1) year of the date of disposition of the offense. The license shall remain revoked until such time as the person whose license has been revoked provides proof to the commissioner of safety that all litigation taxes, court costs, and fines have been paid.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-24-105(d)(2) Collection; fines, costs and litigation taxes; license revocation
On or after January 1, 2015, if an agent is used, the agent's collection fee shall be added to the total amount owed. The agent's collection fee shall not exceed
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forty percent (40%) of any amounts actually collected. When moneys are paid into court, the allocation formula outlined in subsection (a) shall be followed, except up to forty percent (40%) may be withheld for the collection agent, with the remainder being allocated according to the formula.
Collection fee/interest All Yes
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-24-105(g) Collection; fines, costs and litigation taxes; license revocation
After a fine, costs, or litigation taxes have been in default for at least five (5) years, the criminal or general sessions court clerk may, subject to approval by a
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court of competent jurisdiction, accept a lump-sum partial payment in full settlement of the outstanding balance due on a case. The court shall not approve a settlement unless the amount accepted is equal to or greater than fifty percent (50%) of the combined outstanding balance of all fines, costs, and litigation taxes due on the case. When moneys are paid into court pursuant to this subsection (g), the allocation formula outlined in subsection (a) shall be followed, except the percentage that may be retained by the clerk pursuant to subsection (d) may be withheld, with the remainder being allocated according to the formula.
Payment plan/installment plan All No
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-4-106 Fines and Costs
On conviction, the offender shall immediately pay the fine and costs, or give security to pay them, or be imprisoned until they are paid. The fine and costs, if paid
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before execution, shall be paid to the clerk; if paid after execution, to the officer having the execution.
Incarceration All Yes
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-24-105(d)(1) Collection; fines, costs and litigation taxes; license revocation
(d)(1) Any fine, costs, or litigation taxes remaining in default after the entry of the order assessing the fine, costs, or litigation taxes may be collected by the district attorney
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general or the criminal or general sessions court clerk in the manner authorized by this section and otherwise by the trial court by contempt upon a finding by the court that the defendant has the present ability to pay the fine and willfully refuses to pay. After a fine, costs, or litigation taxes have been in default for at least six (6) months, the district attorney general or criminal or general sessions court clerk may retain an agent to collect, or institute proceedings to collect, or establish an in-house collection procedure to collect, fines, costs and litigation taxes. If an agent is used, the district attorney general or the criminal or general sessions court clerk shall request the county purchasing agent to utilize normal competitive bidding procedures applicable to the county to select and retain the agent. If the district attorney general and the criminal or general sessions court clerk cannot agree upon who collects the fines, costs and litigation taxes, the presiding judge of the judicial district or a general sessions judge shall make the decision. The district attorney general or criminal or general sessions court clerk may retain up to fifty percent (50%) of the fines, costs and litigation taxes collected pursuant to this subsection (d) in accordance with any in-house collection procedure or, if an agent is used, for the collection agent. The proceeds from any in-house collection shall be treated as other fees of the office. When moneys are paid into court, the allocation formula outlined in subsection (a) shall be followed, except up to fifty percent (50%) may be withheld for in-house collection or, if an agent is used, for the collection agent, with the remainder being allocated according to the formula.
Collection fee/interest All No
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 41-2-111 Hard labor; good time credit; disciplinary review boards
(a) In all cases where a person is by law liable to be imprisoned in the county jail for punishment or for failure to pay a fine, that person shall
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be sentenced to be confined, and shall be confined, at hard labor in the county workhouse until the expiration of the sentence of imprisonment or, subject to the limitations imposed by § 40-24-104, until the fine has been worked out, paid or secured to be paid.
Work program/jail industry program All Yes
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 41-3-104 Fines and costs; payment
If a prisoner is confined for failure to pay a fine and costs, the prisoner shall be detained until the fine and costs, except litigation tax, have been paid by
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the proceeds of the prisoner's labor.
Work program/jail industry program All Yes
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-6-108 Fines, penalties and forfeitures; transmittal
(a) All fines, penalties and forfeitures of bonds imposed or collected under chapters 1-6 of this title shall be paid over immediately after receipt thereof to the commissioner, with an
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accompanying statement setting forth the action or proceedings in which these moneys were collected, the name and residence of the defendant, the nature of the offense and fines, penalty, forfeiture or sentence, if any, imposed.(b) The commissioner is empowered, in the name of the state, to take all steps necessary to enforce the collection and prompt return of all fines, penalties and forfeitures of bonds, and the fines, penalties and forfeitures of bonds, when so collected, shall be deposited by the commissioner with the state treasurer and shall become a part of the general funds of the state.
Collection fee/interest All No
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-1-1203 Garnishment issuance and execution
Garnishments may be issued and executed by the sheriff, any deputy sheriff or constable in the same manner as garnishments are issued and executed on executions at law. Before issuing
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a garnishment, the sheriff, any deputy sheriff or constable shall cause such distress warrant to be entered on the docket of any court of general sessions or circuit court of the county, and the procedure in the execution of such garnishment shall be the same as now provided by the statute for the execution of garnishments in civil cases.
Wage/bank account garnishment All No
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-18-114 Record and disbursement of wages; exemption from process; confidentiality of amount

(a) Wages earned by an inmate, parolee or offender while in an adult community corrections program shall be retained and accounted for by the program operator and shall be disbursed

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for the purposes provided in this subsection and in the order specified: (i) Personal necessities; (ii) Room and board to the program operator at a rate to be established by the department; (iii) Support of dependent relations; (iv) Court ordered restitution, fines, sanctions and reimbursement for the services of public defender or court appointed counsel, the surcharge imposed under W.S. 1-40-119, victims compensation obligations under W.S. 1-40-112(g) and the surcharge imposed under W.S. 7-13-1616; (v) Repealed by Laws 1999, ch. 62, § 2. (vi) Costs of health insurance; and (vii) Remaining funds shall be paid to the inmate, parolee or offender upon parole or final discharge.

(b) Wages earned by offenders, other than parolees or inmates, while in a residential adult community corrections program shall be retained and accounted for by the program operator and shall be disbursed only for the purposes and in the order specified in subsection (a) of this section unless otherwise ordered by the sentencing court. Any remaining funds shall be paid to the offender upon his satisfactory discharge from the program. Upon revocation of an offender's probation, the program operator shall forward any remaining funds to the court or to the institution to which the offender is sentenced as directed by the court.

(c) Program operators shall keep an accurate record and account of all wages earned by inmates, parolees and offenders pursuant to the rules promulgated by the department.

(d) The earnings of inmates under this act are not subject to garnishment, attachment or execution.

(e) Information relating to the amount of wages earned by an inmate, parolee or offender in an adult community corrections program is confidential and is not subject to public inspection.

Wage/bank account garnishment All Yes
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-16-101 Persons subject to required work

(a) The sentencing court may require the following persons to perform work pursuant to W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104: (i) Persons sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment in the county jail,

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whether or not a fine is imposed as a part of the sentence; (ii) Persons committed to jail pursuant to W.S. 6-10-105 for refusal to pay a fine or costs; and (iii) Persons for whom work is imposed as a condition of probation pursuant to W.S. 7-13-304(b). (b) No person charged with a crime and awaiting the action of the grand jury or awaiting trial shall be required to perform work pursuant to W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104.

Condition or extension of supervision, Work program/jail industry program All No
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-10-105 Commitment for refusal to pay fine or costs; rate per day

A person committed to jail for willfully refusing to pay a fine or costs may be imprisoned if the court determines that the defendant has an ability to pay or

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that a reasonable probability exists that the defendant will have an ability to pay, until the imprisonment, at the rate of fifteen dollars ($15.00) per day, equals the amount of the fine or costs, or the amount shall be paid or secured to be paid when he is discharged.

Incarceration All No
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-11-504 Commitment until fine and costs paid

If a defendant sentenced to pay a fine or costs defaults in payment, the court may order the defendant to show cause why he should not be committed to jail.

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If the court finds that the defendant's default is willful or is due to a failure on defendant's part to make a good faith effort to obtain the funds required for the payment and the court determines that the defendant has an ability to pay or that a reasonable probability exists that the defendant will have an ability to pay, the court may order him committed until the fine or costs, or a specified part thereof, is paid. The defendant shall be given a credit for each day of imprisonment at the rate provided by W.S. 6 10 105, and may earn additional credits against his fine or costs for work performed as provided by W.S. 7 16 101 through 7 16 104.

Incarceration All No