Massachusetts Senate Bill 2371, which passed in 2018, protects people from being incarcerated for their inability to pay or for nonpayment of fines and fees, prohibits indigent defendants from being charged for counsel, and allows for court-ordered monetary sanctions to be adjusted or waived.
This ordinance abolishes all discretionary fees imposed by San Francisco County.
In this report, Mario Salas and Angela Ciolfi analyze driver’s license suspension policies in all 50 states and describe the harmful consequences of “license-for-payment” systems.
This new rule requires Arizona courts to offer payment plans for those who are unable to immediately pay their fines and fees.
This new court rule approves the use of two bench cards to help judges determine defendants' ability to pay at sentencing and in collections.
This report is based on the authors’ research on traffic courts and driver’s license suspension practices in the San Francisco Bay Area. It details how much revenue courts collect from fines and fees, the harmful impacts those fees have on low-income Californians, and also advances several policy reform recommendations.
In late 2016, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors directed the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector to create a Fines and Fees Task Force (staffed by the Treasurer’s Financial Justice Project) to study the impact of fines and fees on San Franciscans & propose relevant reforms. About six months later, the Task Force published this initial report in order to provide an overview of fines and fees in San Francisco as well as an array of reform recommendations.
In March 2017, New Orleans nonprofit Stand with Dignity sponsored a Warrant Clinic in New Orleans. Over 1,200 people (who owed an average of $8,000 in fines and fees) participated in the clinic.
This bench card, which can be modified for state and local jurisdictions, advises judges on how to sanction indigent defendants for nonpayment of fines and fees without resorting to incarceration, outlines procedural protections for defendants who are unable to pay, and outlines standards for determining indigence.
For individuals who are unable to pay their fines and fees, their total debt may be cited and entered into the district court judgement docket. A judge may also replace fines and fees with court-ordered community service (credited at a minimum rate of at least federal minimum wage), if community service doesn’t cause undue hardship.