Given the significant differences in purpose and effect between victim restitution and the fines and fees at issue in Dueñas, the rule of Dueñas does not extend to victim restitution and a defendant’s ability to pay is not a proper factor to consider in setting a victim restitution award.
In this report, the Criminal Justice Policy Program (CJPP) at Harvard Law School proposes a framework where courts would impose means-adjusted fines as a proportionate sentence for an offense. The authors assert that by adopting the proposed recommendations, courts can ease or prevent the worst harms that excessive financial sanctions create for poor people without waiting for legislative reforms.
his brief describes the various ways in which payment plans are administered inconsistently across Florida’s counties. The author argues that these conflicting procedures breed confusion among people who have court debt, especially those who owe money to courts in different jurisdictions.
Felony convictions and court debt have become barriers to restoring voting rights for millions of people living in the U.S. This report provides a history of poll taxes and explains how felony disenfranchisement serves as a barrier perpetuating the same inequality-producing results: African-Americans and poor people lose the right to vote and struggle to regain voting rights at disproportionate rates.
In this article, Todd Jermstad argues that relying on court-imposed fines, fees, and costs to fund the court system in Texas is not financially feasible.
The American Bar Association developed ten guidelines to ensure that fines and fees do not punish people disproportionately for their poverty.
This bench card provides guidance to North Carolina judges regarding the imposition and collection of fines and fees in criminal cases. In particular, the bench card outlines the law as applicable to court costs, attorney fees, other fees, fines, and restitution, and highlights when each obligation applies as well as when and how courts can provide relief.
This ordinance abolishes all discretionary fees imposed by San Francisco County.
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 report is a culmination of a year of research that involved interviews conducted with 380 people who made contact with systems of justice in eight states and were assessed fines and fees.