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Court and bond fees set to rise

Staff Report

MONTGOMERY | Higher court and bail bond fees go into effect statewide Thursday, but the state’s court system will still be facing financial troubles if a related constitutional amendment doesn’t pass in September.

The new fees are expected to raise an estimated $9.04 million for the remainder of this fiscal year and $36.17 million next fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, according to the Legislative Fiscal Office.

The fees are repealed automatically on Sept. 30, 2015, unless the Legislature replaces them.

Among the new fess are an additional docket fee of $45 in circuit and district civil cases and an additional $15 in small claims court. A new docket fee of $40 will be added in circuit, district, and municipal court criminal cases except juvenile and traffic cases. In non-parking traffic cases, a new fee of $26 will be added.

In addition, a fee of $35 will be added to each bail bond. If a defendant is found guilty, additional fees will be added to the post-conviction bond.

The post-conviction bail bond fee for misdemeanors will be 3.5 percent of the bond, or a minimum of $100 but no more than $450. For felonies, the post-conviction bond fee will be 3.5 percent, or a minimum of $150 but no more than $750.

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Dozens of statewide docket fees already exist, ranging from $35 for a small claims filing in district court to $847 for a drug trafficking case.

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