Alabama court filing fees to increase - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Alabama court filing fees to increase

Court costs are increasing in Alabama due to budget cuts to the state judicial system. Court costs are increasing in Alabama due to budget cuts to the state judicial system.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Filing fees at courthouses statewide are going up on Thursday. This includes court fees for civil, criminal, and non-parking traffic cases.

The Alabama legislature passed a bill last month that enacted this fee increase.

Most anyone going through the court system in Alabama will have to pay more to file a case.

This stems from budget cuts to the state judicial system.

Those cuts impaired already understaffed court and county sheriff systems across the state.

The legislative fiscal office said the new fees are expected to raise roughly $9-million for the rest of the fiscal year.

Here's a breakdown of what it will cost you:

  • Docket fees will go up another $45 for circuit and district civil cases.
  • Small claims court cases will go up $15.
  • The filing fee for criminal cases will go up $40, with juvenile cases as an exception.
  • Non-parking traffic cases will see an additional fee of $26.
  • Bail bonds will go up $35 on each bond paid, plus another filing fee if the defendant is convicted.

Victor Howard, owner of Discount Bail Bonds in Huntsville said the extra filing fee on making bond could strain an already overcrowded jail system.

"I don't think it's going to stop them from getting people out of jail, but it's going to delay people raising the money to get them out of jail," Howard said.

Howard said the extra bond fee -- while marginal -- adds up for lower income individuals who may not be able to afford it. Howard likens the fee to a tax.

"They're having to pay extra fees to get them out of jail and paying extra fees after their case is settled. This is a community that can't afford that tax in the first place," Howard said.

The new fees are not permanent and are set to expire on September 20, 2015.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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