State Waiver For Court Fees Will Affect County Income

The state is implementing a new program that will waive or reduce the civil filing fees and criminal fees assessment  for low income residents, the Washington County Board learned at its meeting last week. It goes into effect July 1.

The new fee structure will be 0 for a single person making less than $12,000 or a person in a household of 4 making less than $25,000.  Fees will be discounted 75 percent, 50 percent and 25 percent for intervals of income up to $48,000 for a single person and $100,000 for a person in a household of 4.

The new state-mandated fee structure will not affect fines assessed in criminal court or amount awarded in civil court.

The financial impact on the county cannot be determined, Circuit Judge Dan Emge told the board.

The state is also implementing a uniform fee structure for all counties.  As of now, counties set their own fees, which vary widely. Washington County set its fees based on the average of surrounding counties.

Get full coverage of the County Board meeting in this week’s issue.

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