Texas Code of Criminal Procedure – Chapter 103. Collection and Recordkeeping

TEXAS CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

TITLE 2. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

CHAPTER 103. COLLECTION AND RECORDKEEPING

Art. 103.001. COSTS PAYABLE.  A cost is not payable by the person charged with the cost until a written bill is produced or is ready to be produced, containing the items of cost, signed by the officer who charged the cost or the officer who is entitled to receive payment for the cost.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Art. 103.002. CERTAIN COSTS BARRED.  An officer may not impose a cost for a service not performed or for a service for which a cost is not expressly provided by law.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Art. 103.003. COLLECTION.  (a)  District and county attorneys, clerks of district and county courts, sheriffs, constables, and justices of the peace may collect money payable under this title.

(b)  A community supervision and corrections department may collect money payable under this title with the written approval of the clerk of the court or fee officer, and may collect money payable as otherwise provided by law.

(c) This article does not limit the authority of a commissioners court to contract with a private vendor or private attorney for the provision of collection services under Article 103.0031.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.  Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 217, Sec. 3, eff. May 23, 1995;  Subsec. (c) added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1279, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1064, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2005.

Art. 103.0031. COLLECTION CONTRACTS.  (a)  The commissioners court of a county or the governing body of a municipality may enter into a contract with a private attorney or a public or private vendor for the provision of collection services for one or more of the following items:

(1)  debts and accounts receivable such as unpaid fines, fees, court costs, forfeited bonds, and restitution ordered paid by:

(A)  a court serving the county or a court serving the municipality, as applicable; or

(B)  a hearing officer serving the municipality under Chapter 682, Transportation Code;

(2)  amounts in cases in which the accused has failed to appear:

(A)  as promised under Subchapter A, Chapter 543, Transportation Code, or other law;

(B)  in compliance with a lawful written notice to appear issued under Article 14.06(b) or other law;

(C)  in compliance with a lawful summons issued under Article 15.03(b) or other law;

(D)  in compliance with a lawful order of a court serving the county or municipality; or

(E)  as specified in a citation, summons, or other notice authorized by Section 682.002, Transportation Code, that charges the accused with a parking or stopping offense; and

(3)  false alarm penalties or fees imposed by a county under Chapter 118 or 233, Local Government Code, or by a municipality under a municipal ordinance.

(b)  A commissioners court or governing body of a municipality that enters into a contract with a private attorney or private vendor under this article may authorize the addition of a collection fee in the amount of 30 percent on each item described in Subsection (a) that is more than 60 days past due and has been referred to the attorney or vendor for collection.  The collection fee does not apply to a case that has been dismissed by a court of competent jurisdiction or to any amount that has been satisfied through time-served credit or community service.  The collection fee may be applied to any balance remaining after a partial credit for time served or community service if the balance is more than 60 days past due.  Unless the contract provides otherwise, the court shall calculate the amount of any collection fee due to the governmental entity or to the private attorney or private vendor performing the collection services and shall receive all fees, including the collection fee.  With respect to cases described by Subsection (a)(2), the amount to which the 30 percent collection fee applies is:

(1)  the amount to be paid that is communicated to the accused as acceptable to the court under its standard policy for resolution of the case, if the accused voluntarily agrees to pay that amount; or

(2)  the amount ordered paid by the court after plea or trial.

(c) The governing body of a municipality with a population of more than 1.9 million may authorize the addition of collection fees under Subsection (b) for a collection program performed by employees of the governing body.

(d) A defendant is not liable for the collection fees authorized under Subsection (b) if the court of original jurisdiction has determined the defendant is indigent, or has insufficient resources or income, or is otherwise unable to pay all or part of the underlying fine or costs.

(e) If a county or municipality has entered into a contract under Subsection (a) and a person pays an amount that is less than the aggregate total to be collected under Subsections (a) and (b), the allocation to the comptroller, the county or municipality, and the private attorney or vendor shall be reduced proportionately.

(f)  An item subject to collection services under Subsection (a) and to the additional collection fee authorized by Subsection (b) is considered more than 60 days past due under Subsection (b) if it remains unpaid on the 61st day after the following appropriate date:

(1)  with respect to an item described by Subsection (a)(1), the date on which the debt, fine, fee, forfeited bond, or court cost must be paid in full as determined by the court or hearing officer;

(2)  with respect to an item described by Subsection (a)(2), the date by which the accused promised to appear or was notified, summoned, or ordered to appear; or

(3)  with respect to an item described by Subsection (a)(3), the date on which a penalty or fee is due under a rule or order adopted under Chapter 233, Local Government Code, or an ordinance, policy, procedure, or rule of a municipality.

(g) A county or municipality that enters into a contract under Subsection (a) may not use the additional 30 percent collection fee authorized by Subsection (b) for any purpose other than compensating the private attorney or private vendor who earns the fee.

(h) This section does not apply to the collection of commercial bail bonds.

(i) The commissioners court of a county or the governing body of a municipality may enter into a contract as described in this article to collect a debt incurred as a result of the commission of a criminal or civil offense committed before the effective date of this subsection.  The collection fee does not apply to a debt collected pursuant to a contract entered into under this subsection.

(j) A communication to the accused person regarding the amount of payment that is acceptable to the court under the court’s standard policy for resolution of a case must include a notice of the person’s right to enter a plea or go to trial on any offense charged.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 809, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1993.  Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1279, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2001;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 346, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1296, Sec. 4, eff. June 18, 2005.

Art. 103.0032. COLLECTION IMPROVEMENT PLANS.  Not later than January 1 of each even-numbered year, the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System may award grants to counties and municipalities to prepare a collection plan.  The grants shall reimburse the county or municipality for the cost of preparing the plan.  The plan shall provide methods to improve the collection of court costs, fees, and fines imposed in criminal cases.  The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System may require that the county or municipality reimburse the state from the additional collections as a condition of the grant.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1469, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Art. 103.0033.  COLLECTION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.  (a)  In this article:

(1)  “Office” means the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System.

(2)  “Program” means the program to improve the collection of court costs, fees, and fines imposed in criminal cases, as developed and implemented under this article.

(b)  This article applies only to:

(1)  a county with a population of 50,000 or greater; and

(2)  a municipality with a population of 100,000 or greater.

(c)  Unless granted a waiver under Subsection (h), each county and municipality shall develop and implement a program that complies with the prioritized implementation schedule under Subsection (h).  A county program must include district, county, and justice courts.

(d)  The program must consist of:

(1)  a component that conforms with a model developed by the office and designed to improve in-house collections through application of best practices; and

(2)  a component designed to improve collection of balances more than 60 days past due, which may be implemented by entering into a contract with a private attorney or public or private vendor in accordance with Article 103.0031.

(e)  Not later than June 1 of each year, the office shall identify those counties and municipalities that:

(1)  have not implemented a program; and

(2)  are able to implement a program before April 1 of the following year.

(f)  The comptroller, in cooperation with the office, shall develop a methodology for determining the collection rate of counties and municipalities described by Subsection (e) before implementation of a program.  The comptroller shall determine the rate for each county and municipality not later than the first anniversary of the county’s or municipality’s adoption of a program.

(g)  The office shall:

(1)  make available on the office’s Internet website requirements for a program; and

(2)  assist counties and municipalities in implementing a program by providing training and consultation, except that the office may not provide employees for implementation of a program.

(h)  The office, in consultation with the comptroller, may:

(1)  use case dispositions, population, revenue data, or other appropriate measures to develop a prioritized implementation schedule for programs; and

(2)  determine whether it is not cost-effective to implement a program in a county or municipality and grant a waiver to the county or municipality.

(i)  Each county and municipality shall at least annually submit to the office and the comptroller a written report that includes updated information regarding the program, as determined by the office in cooperation with the comptroller.  The report must be in a form approved by the office in cooperation with the comptroller.

(j)  The comptroller shall periodically audit counties and municipalities to verify information reported under Subsection (i) and confirm that the county or municipality is conforming with requirements relating to the program.  The comptroller shall consult with the office in determining how frequently to conduct audits under this section.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 899, Sec. 10.01, eff. August 29, 2005.

Art. 103.004. DISPOSITION OF COLLECTED MONEY.  (a)  Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (c), an officer who collects recognizances, bail bonds, fines, forfeitures, judgments, jury fees, and other obligations recovered in the name of the state under any provision of this title shall deposit the money in the county treasury not later than the next regular business day after the date that the money is collected.  If it is not possible for the officer to deposit the money in the county treasury by that date, the officer shall deposit the money in the county treasury as soon as possible, but not later than the third regular business day after the date that the money is collected.

(b) The commissioners court of a county may authorize an officer who is required to deposit money under Subsection (a) to deposit the money in the county treasury not later than the seventh regular business day after the date that the money is collected.

(c) The commissioners court of a county with a population of less than 50,000 may authorize an officer who is required to deposit money under Subsection (a) to deposit the money in the county treasury not later than the 30th day after the date that the money is collected.

(d) The custodian of the county treasury shall deposit money received from fees imposed under Article 102.012 in the special fund of the county treasury for the community supervision and corrections department serving the county.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.  Amended by Acts 1990, 71st Leg., 6th C.S., ch. 25, Sec. 21, eff. June 18, 1990;  Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1462, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Art. 103.005. REPORT REQUIRED.  (a)  An officer listed in Article 103.003 who collects money other than taxes for a county shall report to the commissioners court of the county for which the money was collected during each term of the court.

(b) An officer listed in Article 103.003 who collects money other than taxes for the state shall report to the district court having jurisdiction in the county the officer serves on the first day of each term of the court.

(c) The report must state for the reporting period:

(1) the amount of money collected by the officer;

(2) when and from whom the money was collected;

(3) the process by which the money was collected;  and

(4) the disposition of the money.

(d) The report must be in writing and under the oath of the officer.

(e) If an officer has not collected money since the last report required to be filed with the court or the commissioners court, the officer shall report that fact to the court or commissioners court.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Art. 103.006. TRANSFER OF BILL OF COSTS.  If a criminal action or proceeding is transferred from one court to another or is appealed, an officer of the court shall certify and sign a bill of costs stating the costs that have accrued and send the bill of costs to the court to which the action or proceeding is transferred or appealed.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Art. 103.007. ADDITIONAL COSTS AFTER PAYMENT.  After a defendant has paid costs, no more costs may be charged against the defendant unless the court rules on a motion presented to the court that additional costs are due.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Art. 103.008. CORRECTION OF COSTS.  (a)  On the filing of a motion by a defendant not later than one year after the date of the final disposition of a case in which costs were imposed, the court in which the case is pending or was last pending shall correct any error in the costs.

(b) The defendant must notify each person affected by the correction of costs in the same manner as notice of a similar motion is given in a civil action.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Art. 103.009. FEE RECORDS.  (a)  Each clerk of a court, county judge, justice of the peace, sheriff, constable, and marshal shall keep a fee record. The record must contain:

(1) a statement of each fee or item of cost charged for a service rendered in a criminal action or proceeding;

(2) the number and style of the action or proceeding;  and

(3) the name of the officer or person who is entitled to receive the fee.

(b) Any person may inspect a fee record described by Subsection (a).

(c) A statement of an item of cost in a fee record is prima facie evidence of the correctness of the statement.

(d) The county shall provide to officers required to keep a fee record by this article equipment and supplies necessary to keep the record.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.  Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 988, Sec. 2.05, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Art. 103.010. RECEIPT BOOK.  (a)  Each county shall provide a receipt book to each officer collecting fines and fees in criminal cases for the county.  The book must contain duplicate official receipts.  Each receipt must bear a distinct number and a facsimile of the official seal of the county.

(b) An officer who collects fines or fees in a criminal case shall give the person paying the money a receipt from the receipt book.  The receipt must show:

(1) the amount of money paid;

(2) the date the money was paid;

(3) the style and number of the case in which the costs were accrued;

(4) the item of costs;

(5) the name of the person paying the money;  and

(6) the official signature of the officer receiving the money.

(c) Instead of a receipt book, each officer collecting fines or fees in criminal cases for the county may maintain the information listed in Subsections (b)(1)-(5) in a computer database.  The officer shall provide a receipt to each person paying a fine or fee.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.  Subsec. (c) added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 412, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.

Art. 103.011. AUDIT.  An officer shall deliver the receipt book or a copy of any receipt records contained in a computer database to the county auditor at the end of each month’s business or at the end of each month shall allow the county auditor electronic access to receipt records contained in the computer database.  The county auditor shall examine the receipt book or computer records and determine whether the money collected has been properly disposed of.  If each receipt in a receipt book has been used, the county auditor shall keep the book.  If any receipt in the book has not been used, the auditor shall return the book to the officer.  The county auditor may keep a copy of computer generated receipt records delivered to the county auditor.  Any person may inspect a receipt book or a computer generated receipt record kept by the county auditor.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.  Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 412, Sec. 2, eff. June 18, 1999.

Art. 103.012. PENALTY.  (a)  An officer commits an offense if the officer violates a provision of Article 103.010 or Article 103.011.

(b) An offense under this article is a Class C misdemeanor.

(c) An officer who violates a provision of Article 103.010 or Article 103.011 or whose deputy violates a provision of those articles may be removed from office on the petition of the county or district attorney.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

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