To be released from jail in Denver, a person must pay the bond and the bond fee. Payment of the bond alone is insufficient to secure the release.
This case study of municipal courts in Colorado is based on a multi-year ACLU investigation which revealed that despite a bipartisan reform effort in the state legislature, many of Colorado’s municipal courts persistently ignore both constitutional standards and state law and continue to employ practices that punish defendants for their poverty.
The question before the U.S. Supreme Court was whether the State is required to return court fines and fees paid upon conviction when the conviction is reversed on appeal. Both Petitioners’ convictions were reversed on appeal, and they sought a refund of the fines and fees they paid.
Current law establishes procedures for when a sentence includes the payment of a monetary amount. This bill clarifies that the procedures also apply whenever a court enters a judgment or issues an order obligating a defendant to pay an amount to the court.
This bill requires the Municipal Court to appoint counsel in certain circumstances, including if a defendant is in custody or faces the possibility of custody for nonpayment of fines and fees.