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ATTORNEY GENERAL'S LEGAL ADVICE  

The Authority has received legal advice from the Attorney General's office on various topics relating to HB1EX. As legal advice is received, it will be posted on this page.

September 19, 2014 Letter:
Letter from the AGs office pertaining to the assessment of law library which concludes that law library is a surcharge to fines and filing fees for all civil and criminal cases except for Superior Court civil filings where it is a deduction from the filing fee.

August 14, 2012 Letter:
Letter from the AGs office providing guidance regarding the implantation of the new partial payment priority schedule for Superior and State courts concluding "The amended priority distribution schedule under O.C.G.A. § 15-6-95 should be applied to criminal fines, forfeitures, and costs assessed on or after July 1, 2012. As to fees assessed prior to July 1, 2012, the priority distribution schedule in effect at the time of the assessment should be applied, regardless of when the partial payments are made."

June 15, 2012 Letter:
Letter of advice pertaining to the assessment of O.C.G.A. § 15-21-73 surcharges on violations of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-163(d), overtaking a school bus, concludes they do not apply.

April 20, 2012 Letter:
Letter of advice providing guidance regarding the assessment of the 50% Drug Abuse Treatment and Education (DATE) fund fee on drug violations.

October 18, 2010 Letter:
Letter of advice pertaining to the assessment of the Judicial Operation Fund Fee (JOF) on Notary Public commissions when paid with a government check.
July 27, 2010 Official Opinion:
AG Official Opinion regarding the judicial operation fund fee imposed by O.C.G.A. § 15-21A-6.1(a) for the issuance of certificates of appointment and reappointment to notaries public.
November 05, 2008 Letter:
Letter of advice pertaining to the Crime Lab fee which concludes that OCGA § 42-8-30.1 exempts the fees ($23 monthly supervision and $50 one time) referenced under OCGA § 42-8-34(d)(1). However, OCGA § 42-8-30.1 does NOT exempt the fee ($25 one time) referenced under OCGA § 42-8-34(d)(2).
October 02, 2008 Letter:
The amount required to be withheld and paid over to the Sheriff’s Retirement Fund, Superior Court Clerk’s Retirement Fund, Probate Judge’s Retirement Fund and Law Library in criminal or quasi-criminal cases for violation of state statutes, county ordinances, or municipal ordinances is not required to be withheld and paid over in cases involving the failure to wear a seat safety belt in a motor vehicle under O.C.G.A. 40-8-76.1(e)
May 28, 2008 Official Opinion:
The amount required to be withheld and paid over to the Peace Officer's Annuity and Benefits Fund in criminal or quasi-criminal cases for violation of state statutes, county ordinances, or municipal ordinances is not required to be withheld and paid over in cases involving the failure to wear a seat safety belt in a motor vehicle under O.C.G.A. 40-8-76.1(e).
June 12, 2006 Letter:
Discusses how LVAP should be processed after June 30, 2006.
February 24, 2006 Official Opinion:
The additional penalty imposed under O.C.G.A. 15-21-131 should be collected in traffic cases, unless there is a specific exception, in which the accused posts a cash bond that is substantially forfeited and applied as a fine in lieu of the accused appearing in court.
December 19, 2005 Letter:
Concludes that in traffic cases in which a cash bond is forfeited in lieu of an appearance, the amount of cash bond imposed should take into account the additional penalty imposed by O.C.G.A. 15-21-131 related to the Local Victims Assistance Fund
September 27, 2005 Official Opinion:
AG Official Opinion regarding the definition of a “traffic law” for purposes of imposition of new 5% Driver Education Training Fund under Senate Bill 226 a/k/a Joshua’s Law.
July 12, 2005 Unofficial Opinion:
Monetary surcharges per OCGA 15-21-73 are not applicable to traffic violations captured on traffic-control signal monitoring devices producing images of motor vehicles being operated in disregard or disobedience of a CIRCULAR RED or RED ARROW signal.
April 13, 2005 Letter:
Discusses the imposition of a new 5% surcharge on all traffic violations as contained in Senate Bill 226.
November 1, 2004 Official Opinion:
Local governing authorities are not authorized to enact local ordinances that differ from O.C.G.A § 15-6-95 which establishes an order of priority for the distribution of partial payments toward criminal fines, forfeitures, or costs that are received by clerks of superior court.
July 23, 2004 Letter:
OCGA § 40-8-76.1(e)(2) appears to specifically prohibit adding any additional penalty, fee or surcharge to the $15 fine for failure to wear a seat safety belt.
June 22, 2004 Letter:
The bond surcharges required by OCGA § 15-21-73(a)(2) are not required to be paid over to the GSCCCA, unless the bond is forfeited
June 11, 2004 Letter:
Deals with the issue of whether the inclusion of costs in the original fine should be included in the calculation of the additional penalty. Also there is a reference to partial payment and priority of distributions.
June 7, 2004 Letter:
Defines what courts are affected by the new $15 filing fee on civil actions.
May 27, 2004 Letter:
Deals with section 26 of the HB1EX, specifically addressing where probation fees are remitted and who remits them.
May 21, 2004 Letter:
Deals with Section 5 of HB1EX and specifically whether the new fines and fees apply to offenses committed prior to the effective date of the legislation.
May 17, 2004 Letter:
HB 1Ex was signed by the Governor on June 15, 2004. The new fines and fees become effective upon his signature. These fees include, the 10% surcharge on criminal fines; $15 fee on civil filings; and a new surcharge of the lesser of 10% or $50 on bonds.

Also the question was asked if the new $15 civil fling fee applied to civil filings that currently have no cost, such as family violence petitions. We have concluded that it does not apply in such instances. See the attached letter for more information.

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