February 25, 1985


TO: All Municipal Judges
FROM: S. Jeff Boyd, Jr., Staff Attorney
RE: Court Costs and Assessments

It has recently come to the attention of this office that certain municipal courts may be charging court costs or assessments, pursuant to the imposition of a fine, which exceed the criminal fee assessments provided by statute. The recovery and allowance of costs rest entirely on statutory provisions and no right to or liability for costs exists in the absence of statutory authorization. In an Opinion dated March 1, 1977, the Attorney General concluded that,

... municipalities lack the authority to adopt ordinances and provide penalties for the violation thereof that either increase or decrease the penalty provided for the same offense by the criminal law.

Should you have any questions concerning this matter, please feel free to call this office.