GOT COURT-IMPOSTED LATE FEES?
UNDER A NEW CALIFORNIA LAW (AB 199), COURTS CANNOT COLLECT CIVIL ASSESSMENT LATE FEES CHARGED BEFORE JULY 1, 2022 OR IMPOSE NEW LATE FEES OF MORE THAN $100.
WHAT IS A CIVIL ASSESSMENT?
A civil assessment is a late fee imposed by a judge when a defendant misses a deadline to make a payment or appear in court. They are most commonly imposed in traffic court.
WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?
Confirm that the Court has automatically eliminated your civil assessment debt from before July 1, 2022. You can contact the court via email or phone, or appear in-person. Check the court’s website for contact information.
If the Court or a third-party debt collector tries to collect payments from you that AB 199 renders uncollectible, contact your attorney or a local legal service provider (see contacts below).
WHAT IF I CAN’T AFFORD TO PAY?
All civil assessments from before July 1, 2022 should be automatically eliminated. This should reduce your outstanding balance. If you still cannot afford to pay your balance, contact the court or a local legal service provider (see next page) to discuss applying for an ability-to-pay reduction.
If you receive a new civil assessment, consider filing a Motion to Vacate Civil Assessment if you have good cause for having missed your case deadline.
*In addition to the civil assessment, counties and courts can no longer charge 40 other criminal administrative fees as a result of AB 1869 and AB 177.*
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A CIVIL ASSESSMENT?
If you check online, the information might appear as it does in the image below. However, every court has a different system for maintaining records. If you cannot find an answer online, consider calling the Court or speaking to a clerk in- person.
LIST OF SERVICE PROVIDERS
Root & Rebound Hotline (Statewide, Fridays 9-3 PT) Phone: (510) 279-4662
East Bay Community Law Center (Alameda County) Phone: (510) 548-4040, press 1, then 4
Leave a voicemail. Your call will be returned
Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights of the SF Bay Area (Bay Area) Phone: (415) 543-9444
Legal Services for Northern California (Northern California) Phone: (866) 815-5990
Public Counsel (Los Angeles County) Phone: (213) 385-2977, x700
For a more comprehensive list of service providers please visit: https://ebclc.org/cadebtjustice/resources/
Interested in joining the fight to end all fees in the criminal legal system, go to https://ebclc.org/cadebtjustice/about/