The Legality of Assessing Court Costs Against Kentucky’s Indigent Criminals

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Article | 100 KY. L. J. ONLINE 1 | Jan. 10, 2012

Hon. Craig Z. Clymer and Kristen Worak

The Department of Public Advocacy is responsible for providing legal representation to indigent persons charged with crimes in Kentucky. For years, statutes designed to provide adequate funding for the DPA through recoupment of attorney’s fees from indigent defendants have been in place. The Kentucky Supreme Court has, however, misinterpreted statutes designed to recoup DPA costs from its defendant clients. As explained in this article, the current statutes are designed for courts to require indigent defendants to repay all or a portion of their attorney fees, services, and court costs, but the Kentucky Supreme Court has negated the legislative intent by holding that these statutes instead prohibit courts from collecting funds. The legal result is that Kentucky courts are enforcing statutes in a manner directly opposite to legislative intent. The practical result is that indigent defendants are not receiving the legal representation to which they are entitled.

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The Legality of Assessing Court Costs Against Kentucky’s Indigent Criminals

Citation

Hon. Craig Z. Clymer and Kristen Worak, The Legality of Assessing Court Costs Against Kentucky’s Indigent Criminals, 100 Ky. L.J. Online 1 (2011), http://kentuckylawjournal.org/online-originals-2/indigent-court-costs/.

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http://kentuckylawjournal.org/online-originals-2/indigent-court-costs/