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2017 SESSION

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SB 854 Unpaid court fines, etc.; increases grace period for collection.

Introduced by: William M. Stanley, Jr. | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles

SUMMARY AS ENACTED WITH GOVERNOR'S RECOMMENDATION: (all summaries)

Collection of unpaid court fines, etc. Increases the grace period after which collection activity for unpaid court fines, costs, forfeitures, penalties, and restitution may be commenced from 30 days to 90 days after sentencing or judgment. The bill also establishes the requirements for deferred or installment payment agreements that a court must offer a defendant who is unable to pay court-ordered fines, costs, forfeitures, and penalties. The bill requires that a court take into account a defendant's financial circumstances, including whether the defendant owes fines and costs to other courts, in setting the terms of a payment agreement, but such decision shall not be based solely on the amount of fines and costs owed. The bill fixes the maximum down payments that a court may require as a condition of entering a payment plan and provides that payments made within 10 days of their due date are timely made. The bill precludes a court from denying a defendant the opportunity to enter into a payment agreement solely because of the crime committed, the total amount owed or that such amount has been referred to collections, any previous default by the defendant or failure to establish a payment history, or the defendant's eligibility for a restricted driver's license. The bill allows all costs and fines owed by a defendant to any one court to be incorporated into one payment agreement and allows a defendant to request a modification of the terms of the agreement, which shall be granted upon a good faith showing of need. The bill requires a court to consider a request by a defendant who has defaulted on a payment agreement to enter into a subsequent agreement and requires the court to fix a down payment for subsequent payment agreements. Finally, the bill provides that the payment agreement includes restitution unless the court has entered a separate order regarding the payment of restitution. This bill is identical to HB 2386.


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