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Standards Relating to Court Costs: Fees, Miscellaneous Charges and Surcharges and a National Survey of Practice

NCJ Number
Date Published
112 pages
This document presents and explains standards relating to court costs as adopted by the Conference of State Court Administrators at its 1986 annual meeting and reports on the national survey of practice by courts nationwide regarding fees, miscellaneous charges, and surcharges.
The standards pertain to uniform definitions, establishing fees and miscellaneous charges, prohibiting surcharges and local charges, court funding and proceeds from fees and charges, and accounting and administration of court costs. The 1984 survey by the National Center for State Courts for the Conference of State Court Administrators solicited information on the management of court costs from the 50 State court administrators and comparable administrators in the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Responses were received from all but Guam. Responses on fee setting authority and funding indicate that a majority of the States placed the locus for civil and criminal fee-setting authority with the legislature. The most common methods for calculating civil filing fees were flat fee systems and itemized or step fee systems. Eighty-three percent of the States were authorized to assess fees or miscellaneous charges in criminal court. Criminal surcharges were authorized in 68 percent of the States, including six States that did not assess criminal fees or charges. The respondents also reported on traffic court-generated monies. Appended documentation of narrative response classifications.