Reference Guide: Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs), Dispositional Orders

This bench card details the Washington State Supreme Court Minority and Justice Commission’s recommendations for imposing, collecting, and granting relief from juvenile fines and fees in Washington State. The Youth Equality and Reintegration (YEAR) Act of 2015 abolished most fees imposed on minors, but this tool identifies which fees are still mandatory and provides guidance to courts for cases where juvenile court costs are still applicable.

Key Provisions
  • The DNA Collection Fee and the Crime Victims Penalty Assessment are the only two monetary sanctions that are mandatory for young people following the YEAR act. In a limited set of circumstances, both of those fees can be waived or reduced.
  • When the court orders restitution, the judge must consider conditions of payment, community restitution, whether to impose joint and several liability or divide restitution equally, and restitution to an insurance provider.
  • When youth default on restitution payments, courts must determine ability to pay before sanctioning them for nonpayment; “the respondent is entitled to the same due process of law as an adult probationer.” If the court finds that the youth cannot pay, certain debts may be converted to a community service requirement.
Washington State Supreme Court Minority and Justice Commission