On January 1, 2018, California became the first state to abolish all administrative fees in juvenile delinquency cases.
In response to the Judicial Council of California’s directives, the Traffic and Criminal Law Advisory Committees authored this report which includes a proposal for three new rules, a rule amendment, and related commentary from stakeholders regarding their proposal. The recommended rules concern procedures for bail, fines, fees, and assessments imposed for infraction offenses; mandatory courtesy notices; and ability to pay determinations.
Alameda County Court informed the California Department of Motor Vehicles when someone failed to pay their traffic debt. Failure to pay resulted in the suspension of the person’s driver’s license.
Orange County Probation Department sent a bill of $16,372 to a juvenile’s mother for reimbursement of reasonable costs of support while her son was in detention. The County sought $23.90 for each day of detention and $2199 in legal expenses. Doing her best to pay the debt, Rivera sold her house and paid $9508. Unable to pay the rest, she was served, and a default judgment of $9905 was issued against her for failure to appear. Ms. Rivera eventually filed for bankruptcy.
The Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles referred people who owed court fines and fees for traffic tickets to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) without any inquiry into the individual’s ability to pay. A referral to the DMV resulted in the suspension of the person’s driver’s license.
Summary of the cause of action Solano County Superior Court routinely informed the DMV of persons who fail to pay their court fines and fees or fail to appear to …
At the time this report was written, by California law, counties were authorized to recoup the costs of their juvenile justice systems by charging administrative fees to juvenile defendants and their families. This policy report takes a close look at Alameda County’s system of administrative fees.
This report is the result of a collaborative research project from 20 community-based organizations that studied the costs of incarceration on families across 14 states.
California's statewide traffic and misdemeanor amnesty program led to the reinstatement of 246,000 driver's licenses and $45M in new revenue.
This 2015 report provides a comprehensive overview of how California’s approach to the enforcement of fines and fees for traffic violations creates a two-tiered justice system—those who can afford to pay escape the system, while those who are too poor to pay are trapped.