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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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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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
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Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-353.3 Increased Fine for Bounced check/declined card
If a check is returned unpaid by the financial institution on which it is drawn or notice is received from the credit or debit card issuer that payment will not
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be made, for any reason, the fees, fine, restitution, forfeiture, penalty or costs shall be treated as unpaid, and the court may pursue all available remedies to obtain payment. The clerk of the court to whom the dishonored check or credit or debit card was tendered may impose a fee of $50 or 10 percent of the value of the payment, whichever is greater, in addition to the fine and costs already imposed.
Collection fee/interest All No
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Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 17.1-275(A)(27) Fees collected by clerks of circuit courts; generally- Credit Card convenience fee
27. For the acceptance of credit or debit cards in lieu of money to collect and secure all fees, including filing fees, fines, restitution, forfeiture, penalties and costs, the clerk
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shall collect from the person presenting such credit or debit card a reasonable convenience fee for the processing of such credit or debit card. Such convenience fee shall not exceed four percent of the amount paid for the transaction or a flat fee of $2 per transaction. The clerk may set a lower convenience fee for electronic filing of civil or criminal proceedings pursuant to § 17.1-258.3. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the clerk from outsourcing the processing of credit and debit card transactions to a third-party private vendor engaged by the clerk. Convenience fees shall be used to cover operational expenses as defined in § 17.1-295.
Collection fee/interest All Yes
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Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §176.0635 Administrative assessment, fine or fee for felony or gross misdemeanor: Additional costs and fees for collection.
1.  A defendant who pleads guilty or guilty but mentally ill or is found guilty or guilty but mentally ill who owes a fine, administrative assessment or fee, pursuant to NRS
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176.0625, must be assessed by and pay to the county treasurer or other office assigned by the county to make collections the following costs and fees if the county treasurer or other office assigned by the county to make collections is successful in collecting the fine, administrative assessment or fee: (a) The costs and fees actually incurred in collecting the fine, administrative assessment or fee; and (b) A fee payable to the county treasurer in the amount of 2 percent of the amount of the fine, administrative assessment or fee assigned to the county treasurer or other office assigned by the county to make collections. 2.  The total amount of the costs and fees required to be collected pursuant to subsection 1 must not exceed 35 percent of the amount of the fine, administrative assessment or fee or $50,000, whichever is less.
Collection fee/interest Felony Yes
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Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §176.064 (1) Collection fee for unpaid administrative assessment, fine, fee or restitution; use of collection agency; report to credit agencies; civil judgment; attachment or garnishment; suspension of driver’s license; imprisonment.
1.  If a fine, administrative assessment, fee or restitution is imposed upon a defendant pursuant to this chapter, whether or not the fine, administrative assessment, fee or restitution is in addition
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to any other punishment, and the fine, administrative assessment, fee or restitution or any part of it remains unpaid after the time established by the court for its payment, the defendant is liable for a collection fee, to be imposed by the court at the time it finds that the fine, administrative assessment, fee or restitution is delinquent, of: (a) Not more than $100, if the amount of the delinquency is less than $2,000. (b) Not more than $500, if the amount of the delinquency is $2,000 or greater, but is less than $5,000. (c) Ten percent of the amount of the delinquency, if the amount of the delinquency is $5,000 or greater.
Collection fee/interest All No
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Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 176.064 (3)(d)  Collection fee for unpaid administrative assessment, fine, fee or restitution; use of collection agency; report to credit agencies; civil judgment; attachment or garnishment; suspension of driver's license; imprisonment
3.  The court may, on its own motion or at the request of a state or local entity that is responsible for collecting the delinquent fine, administrative assessment, fee or restitution,
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take any or all of the following actions, in the following order of priority if practicable: . . . (d) For a delinquent fine or administrative assessment, order the confinement of the person in the appropriate prison, jail or detention facility, as provided in NRS 176.065 and 176.075.
Incarceration All No
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Louisiana LA Rev Stat §1381.2. Orleans ParishSheriff's detention and prison security fee fund
A. Any defendant, other than an indigent, who pleads guilty or is convicted of an offense by the Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans shall be assessed a
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fee of not less than twenty-five dollars, such costs to be in addition to any fine, clerk's fees, costs due to the criminal court cost fund or sentence imposed by the court. When any defendant, other than an indigent, fails to pay the costs referred to hereinabove, he shall be sentenced to a term of thirty days in the parish prison in default of the payment of same.
Incarceration All Yes
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Louisiana CCRP 895.5.A Restitution Recovery Division
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, each district attorney may establish a special division in the office designated as the "restitution recovery division" for the administration, collection,
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and enforcement of victim restitution, victim compensation assessments, probation fees, and payments in civil or criminal proceedings ordered by the court and payable to the state or to crime victims, judgments entered which have not been otherwise vacated, or judicial relief given from the operation of the order or judgment.
Collection fee/interest All No
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Louisiana CCRP 886.A Civil Process, offset of tax refund
In the event of nonpayment of a fine, nonpayment of restitution to the victim, or nonpayment of a fine and costs, within sixty days after the sentence was imposed, and
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if no appeal is pending, the court which imposed the sentence may sign a judgment against the defendant in a sum equal to the fine or restitution plus judicial interest to begin sixty days after the sentence was imposed plus all costs of the criminal proceeding and subsequent proceedings necessary to enforce the judgment in either civil or criminal court, or both. Collection of the judgment may be enforced in either criminal or civil court, or both, in the same manner as a money judgment in a civil case. In addition, particular courts may provide by court rule for enforcement by the filing of an offset claim against the defendant, in accordance with R.S. 47:299.1 through 299.20.
Collection fee/interest All No
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Louisiana CCRP 885 fine and costs
A defendant who has been imprisoned for default in the payment of a fine, or fine and costs, under a sentence imposed pursuant to Article 884, may, at any time
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before expiration of the term of imprisonment, obtain his release by paying to his custodian all of the costs imposed and a sum of money that bears the same proportion to the imposed fine as the term of alternate imprisonment yet to run bears to the whole of such term of imprisonment.
Incarceration All No
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Louisiana La. Stat. Ann. § 13:4611 Contempt
For any other contempt of court, including disobeying an order for the payment of child support or spousal support or an order for the right of custody or visitation, by
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a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisonment for not more than three months, or both.
Incarceration All No