This bill would end driver’s license suspensions for failure to pay traffic tickets and failure to appear in traffic court. The bill would also automatically reinstate licenses suspended for failure to pay and failure to appear with no need for individuals to pay reinstatement fees or suspension termination fees.
This legislation makes several changes to Texas courts’ imposition and collection of fines and fees, with a particular emphasis on defendants’ ability to pay and alternatives to fines and fees for indigent defendants.
Maryland HB 1267 allows individuals who owe fines and fees to enter into a payment plan to avoid driver’s license suspension for nonpayment.
This legislation requires Tennessee courts to conduct an ability to pay hearing before suspending a driver’s license for failure to pay fines and fees.
The bill provides that driver’s licenses may not be suspended for failure to pay fines and fees unless the person has the ability to pay but refuses to do so. It also provides that courts must provide alternatives to immediate payment of fines and fees for people who are indigent, such as payment plans and community service.
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.
Starting in 2018, Texas’ Office of Court Administration (OCA) made changes to the rule that requires Texas counties and cities with a population of 100,000 or more to implement a Collection Improvement Program (CIP). The CIP webpage also includes a variety of sample language for court and program staff to use, including “Sample Payment Plan Application” and “Sample First Written Notice.”
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.
With the help of Microsoft and a Department of Justice grant, the state of Washington launched a web-based Calculator to enable judges, defendants, and public defenders to calculate fines and fees owed.
The author argues for an exception to the Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971) abstention doctrine (Younger abstention) in cases challenging the criminalization of poverty.