Jun 07 2017

The Mayor’s Corner 06/07/2017

Last week I wrote about the structure of our court system because I am working with a team of folks to look at funding for the courts. We received an overview of current fees related to criminal and infraction cases I thought I would share so when you see the listings you might have a better understanding of them.

The following fees are charged in all cases whether felony, misdemeanors, or infractions and does not include any fines. Felony costs are $245.50 which is broken down in the following way: $17.50 Court costs, $10 County justice fund, $15 POST Academy, $75 Crime Victims Compensation, $10 Court Technology Fund, $3 Peace Officer Disability, $100 surcharge which I understand goes to Supreme Court, $15 Victim Notification Fund. Misdemeanor fees are $157.50 which includes $17.50 Court costs, $10 County Justice Fund, $15 POST Academy, $37 Crime Victims Compensation, $10 Court Technology Fund, $3 Peace Officer Disability $50 Surcharge, $15 Victim Notification Fund. Infraction fees are $56.50; $16.50 Court costs, $5 County Justice Fund, $15 POST Academy, 0 Crime Victims Fund, $10 Court Technology Fund, 0 Peace Officer Disability, $10 Surcharge, 0 Victim Notification. There are additional fees in specific cases such as Community Service Fee $.60 per hour, Felony Probation Fee $75 per month or less and a list of other cases depending on the charges.

There are also fees established by the courts that are collected by the County Clerk for civil and criminal filings. Civil fees would include filings like divorce, guardianship, conservatorships, adoptions, small claims court, etc.

The fines charged are set by statute or law and the percentages that are allocated are also set by law. The Supreme Court also established the priority list when payment of fees and fines is made. The actual Criminal fine is number 16 on the priority list so the other 15 items must be paid if the judge orders them as part of the fine before the criminal fine is allocated payment. There are another eight items on the list that may need to be addressed in payment if they apply to the case. Now when you see those numbers in the paper you may have a little more understanding of them. Funding courts is complex as is the funding for our law enforcement. Funding for law enforcement at the County level comes primarily from taxes and in the City, it is taxes through the general fund.

Fiddle Contest is not far off. It is time to look at clean up around the community. City crews have already started getting crosswalks repainted and streets clean for our visitors. There are some changes to the location of the contest and changes in the parks. Many organizations are looking for volunteers to help with projects so watch the paper for opportunities to help out.

Remember if traveling I-84 on the weekends, that the lanes of traffic between Caldwell and Nampa will be restricted from 7 pm. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday for construction. Watch local news and the ITD website for the specific plans for crossover to one-lane in each direction during these times. Initial construction began May 21 and is expected to continue through mid-July.