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h_jud_2016a_2016-03-24t13:36:54z1 Hearing Summary

Date: 03/24/2016



Final

BILL SUMMARY for HB16-1311



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment A). The motion p

Adopt amendment L.002 (Attachment B). The motion p

Adopt amendment L.003 (Attachment C). The motion p

Refer House Bill 16-1311, as amended, to the Commi
Pass Without Objection

Pass Without Objection

Pass Without Objection

PASS







05:03 PM -- HB16-1311



The committee returned to order. Representative Salazar, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 16-1311, concerning court orders requiring payment of monetary amounts. Representative Salazar explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need. Representative Salazar responded to questions regarding the effect of the bill on an order requiring restitution payment, and on criminal fines and penalties. The following persons testified regarding HB 16-1311:



05:28 PM --
Mr. Mark Hurlbert representing the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, and Mr. Scott Turner, representing the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance and the Department of State, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Turner and Mr. Hurlbert discussed some concerns with the bill, and clarified that they are working with the bill's sponsor to address these concerns. Discussion ensued regarding potential amendments for addressing these concerns. Mr. Turner responded to questions regarding hardship exemptions in the bill Discussion ensued on this point.



05:40 PM --
Judge Richard Weinberg, representing the City of Aurora and the Colorado Municipal Judges Association, testified in opposition to the bill. Judge Weinberg discussed the effect of legislation passed in 2014 pertaining to imposing a sentence for failing to make a monetary payment, and explained how HB 16-1311 changes the established procedure. Judge Weinberg discussed the fiscal impact of the bill on local governments, and explained how certain classes of individuals may be able to avoid taking responsibility for crimes under the bill. Judge Weinberg responded to questions regarding a fact pattern that would involve ten days in jail for avoiding a fine.





05:51 PM



Judge Weinberg responded to questions regarding the potential for pursuing unpaid fines through the collections system, and alternatives available to those who owe monetary payments and who fail to appear in court. Discussion returned to the effect of legislation adopted in 2014 pertaining to incarceration for failure to make a monetary payment.





06:02 PM



Judge Weinberg responded to questions regarding assertions he made during his earlier testimony, including the cost to issue bench warrants as compared to the costs associated with incarcerating a person for failure to pay a fine. Discussion returned to the effect of earlier legislation on the issue. Judge Weinberg responded to questions regarding the need for a court to make a finding of undue hardship before accepting a plea concerning failure to make a court-ordered payment under the bill.





06:16 PM



The committee recessed.





06:24 PM



The committee returned to order.



06:24 PM --
Ms. Denise Maes and Ms. Rebecca Wallace, representing the ACLU, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Maes reiterated the effect of the legislation, and addressed statements made during the testimony of Judge Weinberg. Ms. Maes discussed a loophole in the 2014 legislation being exploited by municipal courts, and provided an example of this loophole. Ms. Maes provided other examples of imprisonment being imposed based on the failure to pay fines. Ms. Wallace responded to questions regarding how to ensure municipal courts comply with laws pertaining to satisfying fine payments. Discussion ensued on this point.





06:39 PM



Ms. Maes and Ms. Wallace responded to questions regarding one of the examples of failure-to-appear exploitation by a municipal court posed by Ms. Maes. Ms. Wallace responded to questions regarding the bill's impact on contempt-of-court proceedings for payment failure. Discussion returned to the need for a court to make an undue hardship finding before accepting a plea.



06:49 PM --
Mr. James Fisher, representing himself, testified in support of HB 16-1311. Mr. Fisher read a statement concerning his capture in the City of Aurora's court-administered debt payment system. Mr. Fisher responded to questions regarding his communications with the Aurora Municipal Court about his attempts to adhere to a plan to pay his fines. Mr. Fisher responded to questions regarding how his fines increased.



07:00 PM --
Ms. Elizabeth Gillespie, representing the Aurora Public Defender, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Gillespie addressed earlier questions about how one communicates with the Aurora Municipal Court, and described the process by which overdue payments are handled by that court. Ms. Gillespie responded to questions regarding how a defendant communicates with the Aurora Municipal Court, and the availability of counsel during these communications. Ms. Gillespie responded to further questions regarding the court's fine structure.





07:09 PM



Representative Salazar explained the effect of amendment L.001 (Attachment A). Representative Salazar responded to questions regarding the ability of a defendant to appear in court and request a fee reduction under the amendment.



16HouseJud0324AttachA.pdf16HouseJud0324AttachA.pdf

BILL: HB16-1311
TIME: 07:10:41 PM
MOVED: Salazar
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment A). The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED: Melton
VOTE
Carver
Court
Dore
Foote
Lawrence
Lundeen
Melton
Salazar
Willett
Lee
Kagan
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection





07:12 PM



Representative Lee explained the effect of amendment L.002 (Attachment B).



16HouseJud0324AttachB.pdf16HouseJud0324AttachB.pdf

BILL: HB16-1311
TIME: 07:13:12 PM
MOVED: Lee
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.002 (Attachment B). The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED: Court
VOTE
Carver
Court
Dore
Foote
Lawrence
Lundeen
Melton
Salazar
Willett
Lee
Kagan
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection





07:14 PM



Representative Salazar explained the effect of amendment L.003 (Attachment C).



16HouseJud0324AttachC.pdf16HouseJud0324AttachC.pdf

BILL: HB16-1311
TIME: 07:14:32 PM
MOVED: Salazar
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.003 (Attachment C). The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED: Melton
VOTE
Carver
Court
Dore
Foote
Lawrence
Lundeen
Melton
Salazar
Willett
Lee
Kagan
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection





07:16 PM



Representative Salazar provided closing remarks in support of HB 16-1311. Various committee members provided their positions on the bill. Discussion ensued regarding the potential to further amend the bill to address concerns raised by certain stakeholders.

BILL: HB16-1311
TIME: 07:17:18 PM
MOVED: Salazar
MOTION: Refer House Bill 16-1311, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a vote of 10-0.
SECONDED: Melton
VOTE
Carver
Yes
Court
Yes
Dore
Yes
Foote
Yes
Lawrence
Yes
Lundeen
Yes
Melton
Yes
Salazar
Yes
Willett
Excused
Lee
Yes
Kagan
Yes
Final YES: 10 NO: 0 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS












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