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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Michigan Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.4803 Failure to pay as subject to late penalty
A person who fails to pay a penalty, fee, or costs in full within 56 days after that amount is due and owing is subject to a late penalty equal
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to 20% of the amount owed. The court shall inform a person subject to a penalty, fee, or costs that the late penalty will be applied to any amount that continues to be unpaid 56 days after the amount is due and owing. . . . A late penalty may be waived by the court upon the request of the person subject to the late penalty.
Collection fee/interest 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 fines 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
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 10.01.180(1),(3) Fine or costs--Default in payment--Contempt of court--Enforcement, collection procedures
(1) A defendant sentenced to pay a fine or costs who defaults in the payment thereof or of any installment is in contempt of court as provided in chapter 7.21
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RCW. The court may issue a warrant of arrest for his or her appearance….(3) If a term of imprisonment for contempt for nonpayment of a fine or costs is ordered, the term of imprisonment shall be set forth in the commitment order, and shall not exceed one day for each twenty-five dollars of the fine or costs, thirty days if the fine or assessment of costs was imposed upon conviction of a violation or misdemeanor, or one year in any other case, whichever is the shorter period. A person committed for nonpayment of a fine or costs shall be given credit toward payment for each day of imprisonment at the rate specified in the commitment order.
Incarceration All No
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 10.01.180(5) Fine or costs--Default in payment--Contempt of court--Enforcement, collection procedures
(5) A default in the payment of a fine or costs or any installment thereof may be collected by any means authorized by law for the enforcement of a judgment.
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The levy of execution for the collection of a fine or costs shall not discharge a defendant committed to imprisonment for contempt until the amount of the fine or costs has actually been collected.
Incarceration All No
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 10.70.010  Commitment until fine and costs are paid
When the defendant is adjudged to pay a fine and costs, the court shall order him or her to be committed to the custody of the sheriff until the fine
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and costs are paid or secured as provided by law.
Incarceration All Yes
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 10.82.090(1)  Interest on judgments--Disposition of nonrestitution interest
financial obligations imposed in a judgment shall bear interest from the date of the judgment until payment, at the rate applicable to civil judgments. All nonrestitution interest retained by the
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court shall be split twenty-five percent to the state treasurer for deposit in the state general fund, twenty-five percent to the state treasurer for deposit in the judicial information system account as provided in RCW 2.68.020, twenty-five percent to the county current expense fund, and twenty-five percent to the county current expense fund to fund local courts.
Collection fee/interest All No
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 3.62.040(5) Costs, fines, forfeitures, and penalties from city cases--Disposition--Interest
(5) Penalties, fines, bail forfeitures, fees, and costs may accrue interest at the rate of twelve percent per annum, upon assignment to a collection agency. Interest may accrue only while
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the case is in collection status.
Collection fee/interest All No
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.94B.030 Post release supervision-violations
If the offender violates any condition of post release supervision, a hearing may be conducted in the same manner as provided in RCW 9.94B.040. Jurisdiction shall be with the court
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of the county in which the offender was sentenced. However, the court may order a change of venue to the offender's county of residence or where the violation occurred, for the purpose of holding a violation hearing. After the hearing, the court may order the offender to be confined for up to sixty days per violation in the county jail.
Incarceration All No
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 4.56.110 (West) Interest on judgments
Except as provided under subsections (1), (2), and (3) of this section, judgments shall bear interest from the date of entry at the maximum rate permitted under RCW 19.52.020 on
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the date of entry thereof. In any case where a court is directed on review to enter judgment on a verdict or in any case where a judgment entered on a verdict is wholly or partly affirmed on review, interest on the judgment or on that portion of the judgment affirmed shall date back to and shall accrue from the date the verdict was rendered. The method for determining an interest rate prescribed by this subsection is also the method for determining the “rate applicable to civil judgments” for purposes of RCW 10.82.090.
Collection fee/interest All Yes
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Washington DC DC ST § 11-741 Contempt powers (DC Court of Appeals)
(a) Subject to the limitation described in subsection (b), and in addition to the powers conferred by section 402 of title 18, United States Code, the District of Columbia Court
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of Appeals, or a judge thereof, may punish for disobedience of an order or for contempt committed in the presence of the court.... (3)(A) An individual imprisoned for 6 consecutive months for civil contempt for disobedience of an order in a proceeding described in paragraph (1) who continues to disobey such order may be prosecuted for criminal contempt for disobedience of such order at any time before the expiration of the 12-month period that begins on the first day of such individual's imprisonment, except that an individual so imprisoned as of the date of the enactment of this subsection may be prosecuted under this subsection at any time during the 90-day period that begins on the date of the enactment of this subsection. ...
Incarceration All No
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Washington DC DC ST § 11-944 Contempt power (Superior Court of DC)
(a) Subject to the limitation described in subsection (b), and in addition to the powers conferred by section 402 of title 18, United States Code, the Superior Court, or a
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judge thereof, may punish for disobedience of an order or for contempt committed in the presence of the court.... (3)(A) An individual imprisoned for 6 consecutive months for civil contempt for disobedience of an order in a proceeding described in paragraph (1) who continues to disobey such order may be prosecuted for criminal contempt for disobedience of such order at any time before the expiration of the 12-month period that begins on the first day of such individual's imprisonment, except that an individual so imprisoned as of the date of the enactment of this subsection may be prosecuted under this subsection at any time during the 90-day period that begins on the date of the enactment of this subsection.
Incarceration All No
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West Virginia W. Va. Code §62-4-9. Criminal procedure - Recovery of fines in criminal cases - Capias pro fine; release of defendant on bond.
When a judgment for fine and costs is rendered by a circuit court, or other court of record having jurisdiction in criminal cases, the court may order a capias pro
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fine to be issued thereon at any time during the term at which the judgment is rendered, and if not such order be made, such capias shall be issued by the clerk of the court in vacation if he be ordered to do so by the prosecuting attorney. If the judgment of the court in such case be that the defendant be imprisoned and fined, or that he be fined and imprisoned until the fine and costs be paid, or if the defendant be imprisoned by virtue of such capias pro fine, in either event, the defendant may be released from such imprisonment, where he is detained for a failure to pay such fine and costs, only upon his giving bond with good security before the court, or before the clerk thereof in vacation, or before the sheriff of the county in which such judgment is rendered, payable to the state of West Virginia, for the payment of such fine and costs, at a time not exceeding twelve months after the date of such bond. If default be made in the payment of such bond, the same may be proceeded against to judgment and execution as if it were a forthcoming bond.
Incarceration 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. § 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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New Jersey N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:46-2 Consequences of Nonpayment
If the court finds that the person defaulted on payment of a court-imposed financial obligation, restitution, or child support or other support or maintenance ordered by a court without good cause and finds
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that the default was willful, the court may, in addition to the action required by paragraph (1) of this subsection a., impose a term of imprisonment or participation in a labor assistance program or enforced community service to achieve the objective of the court-imposed financial obligation, restitution, or child support or other support or maintenance ordered by a court. These options shall not reduce the amount owed by the person in default. The term of imprisonment or enforced community service or participation in a labor assistance program in such case shall be specified in the order of commitment. It need not be equated with any particular dollar amount but, in the case of a fine it shall not exceed one day for each $50 of the fine nor shall it exceed a period of 90 consecutive days. In no case shall the total period of imprisonment in the case of a disorderly persons offense for both the sentence of imprisonment and for failure to pay a fine exceed six months.
Incarceration All No
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Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-354(A) Fee to cover cost of managing installment plan
If the defendant is unable to make payment within 30 days of sentencing, the court may assess a one-time fee not to exceed $10 to cover the costs of management
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of the defendant's account until such account is paid in full. This one-time fee shall not apply to cases in which costs are assessed pursuant to § 17.1-275.1, 17.1-275.2, 17.1-275.3, 17.1-275.4, 17.1-275.7, 17.1-275.8, or 17.1-275.9.
Collection fee/interest All No
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Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-358(B) Incarceration for Default
A. When an individual obligated to pay a fine, costs, forfeiture, restitution or penalty defaults in the payment or any installment payment, the court upon the motion of the Commonwealth
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in the case of a conviction of a violation of a state law, or attorney for a locality or for the Commonwealth in the event of a conviction of a violation of a local law or ordinance, or upon its own motion, may require him to show cause why he should not be confined in jail or fined for nonpayment. A show cause proceeding shall not be required prior to issuance of a capias if an order to appear on a date certain in the event of nonpayment was issued pursuant to subsection A of § 19.2-354 and the defendant failed to appear. B. Following the order to show cause or following a capias issued for a defendant's failure to comply with a court order to appear issued pursuant to subsection A of § 19.2-354, unless the defendant shows that his default was not attributable to an intentional refusal to obey the sentence of the court, or not attributable to a failure on his part to make a good faith effort to obtain the necessary funds for payment, or unless the defendant shows that any failure to appear was not attributable to an intentional refusal to obey the order of the court, the court may order the defendant confined as for a contempt for a term not to exceed sixty days
Incarceration All No
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Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-340 presentment, indictment, information or warrant in recovery of fine
When any statute or ordinance prescribes a fine, unless it is otherwise expressly provided or would be inconsistent with the manifest intention of the General Assembly, it shall be paid
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to the Commonwealth if prescribed by a statute and recoverable by presentment, indictment, information or warrant and paid to the locality if prescribed by an ordinance and recoverable by warrant. Fines imposed and costs taxed in a criminal or traffic prosecution, including a prosecution for a violation of an ordinance adopted pursuant to § 46.2-1220, for committing an offense shall constitute a judgment and, if not paid at the time they are imposed, execution may issue thereon in the same manner as upon any other monetary judgment, subject to the period of limitations provided by § 19.2-341.
Incarceration All Yes
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Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-341 warrant, presentment, indictment, or information in recovery of other costs
When any statute or ordinance prescribes a monetary penalty other than a fine, unless it is otherwise expressly provided or would be inconsistent with the manifest intention of the General
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Assembly, it shall be paid to the Commonwealth if prescribed by a statute and paid to the locality if prescribed by an ordinance and recoverable by warrant, presentment, indictment, or information. Penalties imposed and costs taxed in any such proceeding shall constitute a judgment and, if not paid at the time they are imposed, execution may issue thereon in the same manner as upon any other monetary judgment.
Incarceration All Yes