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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69983 Find in a Library
Title: Use of Fees in Judicial and Legal Records Administration - A Survey of Selected States
Corporate Author: Texas Advisory Cmssn on Intergovernental Relations
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Texas Advisory Cmssn on Intergovernental Relations
Austin, TX 78711
Texas Governor's Office of Budget and Planning
Austin, TX 78711
US Dept of Housing and Urban Development
Washington, DC 20410
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

Texas Advisory Cmssn on Intergovernental Relations
1700 N Congress
P.O. Box 13206
Austin, TX 78711
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Findings from a Texas survey focus on the approaches of 20 States in establishing and revising schedules imposed in the judicial process and in handling and safekeeping legal records.
Abstract: To determine State policies from regarding fees charged by county governments in connection with the administration of courts and of legal records, two brief questionnaires were prepared and mailed to 20 States. The legal records survey was sent to the county government in each State, and the judicial fees survey was sent to the office of court administration. States contacted included Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michiagan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Eleven responses were received from the judicial fees survey and six from the legal records fees survey. Judicial fees included charges made for such actions as filing a civil or criminal case, issuance of a writ, and other activities related to court proceedings. The legal records survey referred to such activities as issuing copies of deeds, licenses, and other business and commerce papers. Both surveys used the term 'local government' rather than 'county.' As in Texas, the State legislatures in most States responding to the surveys establish and revise both types of fees. Local governments in most States are responsible for financing most of the costs of court or legal records administration and receive all or a significant portion of fee revenue. Fee changes have been much more frequent and extensive in States where financing is principally a local government responsibility. Judicial fees particularly have been increased more often and to a greater extent. Generally, the States do not prepare financial reports that include these fees, and no State body makes legislative recommendations for fee changes. Both types of fees are uniform statewide in each State. Cost considerations have not been a matter of organized concern by most States in setting fees, as the responsibility is generally left to local officials. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Budgets; Court costs; Fee schedules; Legal fees; Local government; Surveys; Texas
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