Tuesday, March 12, 2002

please, not another fee
The judicial branch proposed yesterday that a new and separate fee be charged defendants to help pay for the cost of contract attorneys. This is one right idea but a wrong way to go about it.

In a former life, I supervised the collection and accounting of these types of fees, for one court, theoretically. The administrative overhead in accounting for, collecting, and enforcing separate fees will most likely cost more than will be collected. We already have too many special purpose separate fees.

How high do we expect the collection rate to be for the insular class of convicted criminals? And how many court clerks and accountants must we hire to calculate separate fees that aren't being paid? Wouldn't it be better if we just doubled or trebled the 'court costs' and did away with the special interest fee structure? We could still use the funds we don't collect to pay for the things we want. The accounting will just be cheaper.

And, despite three separate notifications to two separate News Journal reporters, that their reports are missing the big picture and are in effect inaccurate, they continue to follow the false trail like sheep. The conflict attorney program is just one of several such programs. All of the reported numbers of cases, dollar figures, and the overall valuations of the problem are incomplete and thus, wrong. Why would they continue to print incomplete and inaccurate reports?

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