In Chicago, Alderman Gilbert Villegas has introduced legislation that would reduce the burden of traffic fines and fees for low-income Chicago residents by providing alternatives to fines and fees and improving access to payment plans.
This report was published by the Kansas Supreme Court following a rigorous assessment of Kansas municipal court practices. It advances 18 recommendations for judges and courts to more fairly and constitutionally impose and enforce fines and fees and outlines an implementation plan for reform.
The American Bar Association developed ten guidelines to ensure that fines and fees do not punish people disproportionately for their poverty.
This bench card is meant to educate Washington State judges about procedural protections owed to defendants who are ordered to pay fines and fees in criminal court.
This report is a result of a comprehensive review of New Jersey municipal courts by the Supreme Court Committee on Municipal Court Operations, Fines, and Fees.
The National Council of Juvenile Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) passed a resolution advocating for the reduction or elimination of fines and fees in juvenile courts. The resolution was published alongside a judicial bench card that outlines types of financial obligations that youth and families may encounter in juvenile and family court, details the impacts of those obligations, and explains how judges can address fines and fees in their own courtrooms. The bench card includes several practice recommendations for juvenile and family court judges.
This bill would allow courts to reduce or waive fines and fees imposed on defendants in criminal and traffic court, require courts to consider ability to pay before sentencing a defendant to pay a fine or fee, and require that traffic tickets inform recipients of the court’s ability to waive or reduce fines and fees.
This bill was proposed to enshrine Rule 26.6(b) of the Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure in state law. Its provisions are nearly identical: it mandates a determination of willfulness before a court may sanction a defendant for nonpayment of fines and fees, and provides alternatives for courts when failure to pay was not willful.
This 2018 bill - which did not pass - marks the third consecutive year that Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) introduced legislation to end driver’s license suspension for nonpayment of fines and fees in Florida. This bill would also have required courts to provide reasonable payment alternatives for poor defendants, including payment plans and performing community service to pay fines.
The Mecklenburg County working group requested the assistance of Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program, which helped the group develop two bench cards. One bench card provides guidance for judges when imposing fines and fees; the other outlines a process for sanctioning defendants who fail to pay fines and fees.