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Laredo Municipal Court
4610 Maher Ave.
Laredo, Texas 78042

Email: tochoa@ci.laredo.tx.us

 

 

INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN

I. AUTHORITY

 

A. Government Code section 51.921, provides, in relevant part:

 

  1. In addition to other fees authorized or required by law, the clerk of each district court, statutory county court, county court at law, justice court, and municipal court shall collect a fee of $25.00 from a person who:

 

a.      has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor;

b.      has been ordered to pay a fine, court costs, or restitution by the court;

c.      and seeks to pay the fine, court costs, or restitution over a period of time rather than immediately.

 

B. Attorney General Opinion No. DM-464 dated December 22, 1997
" Summary - Section 51.921 of the Government Code, which imposes a "time payment fee" on every convicted defendant who chooses to pay his fine, court costs, or restitution "over a period of time" rather than "immediately," is not violation of due process or equal protection under the Texas Constitution for the reasons expressed in Attorney General Opinion DM-123 (1992). The time payment fee is applicable only for offenses committed on or after September 1, 1997. It applies to all trial courts in the state, including constitutional county courts, but not to an individual who has been granted deferred adjudication. "Immediately" means "within a reasonable time as directed by the court." If the court consolidates several charges, and imposes a fine, court costs, or restitution in a single order, only one time payment fee may be assessed. The time payment fee is a "cost of court" for purposes of priority payment.

C. The Government Code was revised effective 9-1-99 and 51.921(a)(1), (2), and (3) amended to state that "a person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and pays any part of a fine, court costs, or restitution on or after the 31st day after the date on which a judgment is entered assessing the fine, court costs, or restitution" must be charged the $25.00 "Time Payment Fee." The language used states that "municipal court shall collect" this fee under these circumstances.

II. POLICY

A. Time Payment Fee will be collected as a one-time assessment in the following situations:

  1. Whenever the defendant is found guilty, ordered to pay the fine and the Judge grants an extension beyond 31 days for payment of fine, fees, costs, the $25.00 Time Payment Fee will be collected on each case.
  2. Whenever any deferral ( deferred adjudication, driving safety class, teen court, alcohol awareness, seat belt class) becomes a conviction and fines, fees, and costs are not paid by the thirty-first day following the date of conviction, the $25.00 Time Payment Fee will be collected.

 

B. Time Payment Fee will not be collected in the following situations:

  1. If the defendant pays the full amount of fines, fees, and costs, within 31 Days from date of conviction; and
  2. If the defendant is granted deferred adjudication, driving safety course, seat belt class, or deferred to complete an alcohol awareness program.

 

 

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