Date Requested:February 14, 2012
Time Requested:03:37 PM
Agency: Supreme Court of Appeals
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
2012R2178 Introduced SB582
CBD Subject: UNPAID MAGISTRATE COURT CHARGES
FUND(S)
Sources of Revenue
General Fund
Legislation creates:
A New Program

Fiscal Note Summary

Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.

    This bill provides a process for magistrate court clerks to notify the tax department of unpaid fines and fees. This process mirrors the process for municipalities. The bill authorizes withholding from income tax returns for those persons who have outstanding fines and fees in magistrate court.
    

Fiscal Note Detail
Over-all effect
Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2012
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2013
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 0 0
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 53,000,000 0 0
3. Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):
    Available Data:
     Because 54 of the counties have separate financial data systems, only detailed information from Greenbrier County is readily available to estimate the total uncollected fines and fees for Magistrate Court. Greenbrier County is the pilot county for the Court’s new Unified Judicial Application (UJA)system.
    
     For 2010, Greenbrier County, with 2,680 cases (all misdemeanors, including motor vehicle and natural resources violations) had an “unsatisfied amount”of $704,654.32. The average unsatisfied amount per case is $262.93 (704,654.32 divided by 2680).
    
    
    Estimate - $53 Million for 2010:
    
     If the average unsatisfied amount per case is applied to all the 2010 Magistrate Court Case filings (269,684 according to the Court’s 2010 Annual Report (Annual Report), p. 95), the total unsatisfied amount appears to be about $70 million.
    
     However, when the total of all 2010 Magistrate Court Case filing is reduced by 25% to reflect the difference in the number of cases reported for Greenbrier County in the UJA (2680) and the Annual Report (3599), the total unsatisfied amount is closer to $53 million.
    
    Method:
    1. The total 2010 Magistrate Court Case filings (269,694 by 25%) was reduced to 202,263. This was done to mirror difference in cases reported for Greenbrier County between the UJA (2680) and the Annual Report (3599).
    2. The adjusted number of 2010 Magistrate Court (202,263) was multiplied by the average unsatisfied amount ($262.93) to result in an estimate of $53 million in uncollect edfines and fees for 2010 Magistrate Court.
    
    Conclusion:
    
     This estimate is substantially higher than the 2008 estimate of $29 million when financial reports were conducted for all 55 counties. Given the difference in the economy between 2008 and 2010, this estimate of $53 million does not seem to be excessive.
    


Memorandum
Person submitting Fiscal Note:
Tina A. Sevy
Email Address:
tina.sevy@courtswv.gov