As budgets tighten, municipalities have turned to fines and fees to fill empty coffers. The result is that the rich may walk away, while the poor must pay or stay.
This case challenged the constitutionality of a $3 surcharge imposed on litigants in municipal court for the sheriff’s retirement fund. The trial court dismissed for lack of standing. The appellants claimed to have standing as taxpayers, administrators, and as one who paid the surcharge.
This Note makes the case for considering state constitutional and statutory prohibitions on debtors’ prisons alongside Bearden v. Georgia claims in legal advocacy opposing excessive fines and fees.
The complaint alleged, among other things, that the City’s conduct related to the imposition and enforcement of fines and fees for traffic and other municipal code violations was unconstitutional.
On September 17, 2015, Circuit Judge Wiggins from Perry County Alabama threatened defendants who appeared before him for a previously scheduled “pay-due” docket. He informed them, “If you do not have any money and you do not want to go to jail…you can give blood today…bring in a receipt indicating that you gave blood…”
Hakes could not afford to make any payments. Probation was revoked because he was unable to pay. Hakes filed a complaint stating payment for the bracelet is punitive and does not promote public safety.
This report provides granular data on the imposition and payment of fines and fees in Alabama. The authors gathered and analyzed 200,000 court records over the last two decades to provide a comprehensive picture of the assessments of fines and fees across the state.
This article compares the fines and fees practices of Ferguson, Missouri and other municipal governments with the older economic technique of sharecropping.
The article provides an overview of criminal justice fines and fees; applies the Sixth Amendment jury trial right to these fines and fees; considers the question of “when criminal justice debt rises to the level of punishment; and suggests several solutions to the problem.
This Act reduces the amount of fees charged to individuals who receive a minor traffic or municipal ordinance violation and changes the procedure for charging fines and fees to people who receive minor traffic or municipal ordinance violations.