Task Force Meets to Identify Challenges, Solutions on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices

Lorri Montgomery
National Center for State Courts

Williamsburg, Va. (March 14, 2016) The National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices, formed in early 2016 by the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), is meeting Monday and Tuesday in the nation’s capital. This task force, comprised of national leaders, will identify solutions, recommend statutory revisions and update court rules in order to face the challenges presented by certain practices in municipal and state courts.

The Department of Justice this morning lauded the formation of the task force, while also issuing guidance to court leaders in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter sent to administrative heads of the state court system.

“We thank the Department of Justice for their support of the work of the task force,” said task force co-chair Maureen O’Connor, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio. “State court leaders recognize the harmful impact inappropriately levied fines and fees have had, particularly on minority and economically disadvantaged communities.  This is why the work of this task force is so vital.”

O’Connor added: “This is not only a judicial branch problem.  Supervisory authority over many municipal courts resides with other branches of government. That is why our task force includes representation from officials of the executive and legislative branches, and why we are focused on assembling a diverse national coalition of stakeholders to pursue solutions to these difficult problems.”

For more information on the task force, click here.


National Center for State Courts, 300 Newport Avenue, Williamsburg, VA  23185-4147