Court Fees and Surcharges: Reforms and Post-Pandemic Impact

Monday, March 29, 2021

CART Transcript of the Webinar available here.

Over the past two decades, the use of fines, fees, surcharges and other monetary costs in the criminal justice system has expanded rapidly, particularly for misdemeanors and minor infractions. In many jurisdictions, these fees, court costs and surcharges accruing for even a minor infraction can run to hundreds of dollars. These fees are rarely tailored to an individual’s financial circumstances, yet, in many jurisdictions, failure to pay can result in an arrest warrant, jail time, the suspension of a driver’s license and/or the deprivation of fundamental rights, including the right to vote. In the wake of increased awareness of these fees and their impact on vulnerable populations, many are calling for reform.

This program examined the issue of fees and their impact on defendants, as well as the legislative reforms proposed or instituted in several jurisdictions. This program also examined the future of court fee reform in light of the pandemic and its impact on courts and budgets. 

This non-CLE webinar is co-sponsored by the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and the ABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division

Panelists

Materials

ABA:

Maryland:

Minnesota

California:

Federal:

Fines and Fees Justice Center Clearinghouse