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Contents
Letter of Transmittal

Acknowledgements

Executive Summary

INTRODUCTION
Table 1: State Court Costs Levied by Cities and Counties

Background: State Court Costs Levied by Cities and Counties

Table 2: Changes to State Court Costs Since 1989
I. SIMPLIFYING ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES
Recommendation 1: Consolidate all state court costs on criminal convictions into a single cost; report all criminal court costs quarterly as a single total; and require that any new state court costs, fees, or fines and any changes to these costs be included in the consolidated fee structure.

Recommendation 2: Consolidate court costs on civil fees in district courts and require a quarterly due date for all civil fees.

Recommendation 3: Establish reporting for the Sexual Assault Program and Substance Abuse Felony Program on a quarterly basis.

Other Findings
II. CREATING STATUTORY UNIFORMITY
Recommendation 4: Make the definition of “conviction” consistent in state law.

Recommendation 5: Section 706.002 of the Transportation Code should be clarified to enumerate the offenses to which the cost for Failure to Appear is applicable.

Other Findings:
III. FUTURE LEGISLATIVE IMPLEMENTATION AND OVERSIGHT
Recommendation 6: Change effective dates of all court-cost legislation from September 1 to January 1.

Recommendation 7: The State Auditor should conduct periodic reviews and maintain continuing oversight of each fund in which court costs are deposited to determine if the funds are being used as intended.
EXHIBIT I: Report forms for criminal court costs and civil fees – current
(All forms below are PDF files. If you have Acrobat Reader 3.0 or later, you can fill in the blanks on the form, print it, and mail it in. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you will need to download the latest version to view and print the forms.)

MUNICIPAL:
State Court Costs and Arrest Fees - Quarterly Report (PDF file)
Texas Motor Carrier Weight Violations (due quarterly) (PDF file)
Time Payment Fee (due monthly) (PDF file)

COUNTY:
State Court Costs and Arrest Fees - County Quarterly Report (PDF file)
Texas Motor Carrier Weight Violations (due quarterly) (PDF file)
Time Payment Fee (due monthly) (PDF file)
District Clerk Filing Fees - Monthly Report (PDF file)
Judicial Fund - County Clerk's Monthly Report (PDF file)
Filing Fee for Legal Services for Indigents (due quarterly) (PDF file)
Texas Birth Certificate Fee (due quarterly) (PDF file)
Children's Trust Fund - Monthly Report (PDF file)
Compensation to Victims of Crime Auxiliary fund/Sexual Assault Program Fund (due "as needed") (PDF file)
Substance Abuse Felony Program (due "as needed") (PDF file)
EXHIBIT II: Court cost rate charts – current
MUNICIPAL:
CHART 2-1: State Court Costs and Fees for Municipal Courts
Effective September 1, 1991, through August 29, 1993

CHART 2-2: State Court Costs and Fees for Municipal Courts
Effective August 30, 1993, through August 31, 1995

CHART 2-3: State Court Costs and Fees for Municipal Courts
Effective September 1, 1995, through August 31, 1997

CHART 2-4: State Court Costs and Fees for Municipal Courts
Effective September 1, 1997, through August 30, 1999

CHART 2-5: State Court Costs and Fees for Municipal Courts
Effective August 31, 1999

COUNTY:
CHART 2-6: State Court Costs and Fees for Justice, County and District Courts
Effective September 1, 1991 through August 31, 1993

CHART 2-7: State Court Costs and Fees for Justice, County and District Courts
Effective August 30, 1993 through August 31, 1995

CHART 2-8: State Court Costs and Fees for Justice, County and District Courts
Effective September 1, 1995 through August 31, 1997

CHART 2-9: State Court Costs and Fees for Justice, County and District Courts
Effective September 1, 1997 through August 30, 1999

CHART 2-10: State Court Costs and Fees for Justice, County and District Courts
Effective SEffective August 31, 1999
EXHIBIT III: Allocation formulas for court costs and civil fees – proposed
MUNICIPAL:
CHART 3-1: Proposed Court Cost Allocations By Time Period

CHART 3-2: Revenue Distribution, Fiscal Years 1992-93

CHART 3-3: Revenue Distribution, Fiscal Years 1994-95

CHART 3-4: Revenue Distribution, Fiscal Years 1996-97

CHART 3-5: Revenue Distribution, Fiscal Years 1998-99

CHART 3-6: Revenue Distribution, Fiscal Year 2000

CHART 3-7: Revenue Distribution, For Court Costs On or After January 1, 2002

CHART 3-8: Proposed Allocation Percentages, For Class C Misdemeanor Court Costs On or After January 1, 2002

CHART 3-9: Proposed Allocation Percentages, For Class A/B Misdemeanor Court Costs On or After January 1, 2002

CHART 3-10: Allocation Percentages, For Felony Court Costs On or After January 1, 2002

CHART 3-11: Estimated Cases By Type
EXHIBIT IV: Report forms for criminal court costs and civil fees – proposed
MUNICIPAL:
State Court Costs and Arrest Fees - City Quarterly Report (PDF file)

COUNTY:
State Court Costs and Arrest Fees - County Quarterly Report (PDF file)
EXHIBIT V: Court cost rate charts – proposed
MUNICIPAL:
CHART 5-1: State Court Costs and Fees for Municipal Courts
Effective On or After January 1, 2002

COUNTY:
CHART 5-2: State Court Costs and Fees for Justice, County and District Courts
Effective On or After January 1, 2002
ENDNOTES