SCS/SB 692 - This act modifies various provisions relating to revenues collected in minor traffic and municipal ordinance violations and municipal court procedure in such cases.
The act modifies the definition of the terms "annual general operating revenue" and "minor traffic violation" as applied in provisions regarding the assessment of fines in minor traffic violation and municipal ordinance violation cases. "Annual general operating revenue" excludes any revenue designated by the Missouri Constitution, statute, or federal law for a specific purpose. The term "minor traffic violation" excludes violations for exceeding the speed limit by more than fifteen, rather than nineteen, miles per hour and violations for operating a vehicle without insurance (479.350).
These provisions are substantially similar to provisions in the introduced version of SB 553 (2018).
A court shall not assess a fine and court costs in excess of $500, rather than $225, in minor traffic violations. For multiple municipal ordinance violations committed within a 12 month period, a court shall not assess a fine and court costs in excess of $300 for second offense ordinance violations, rather than $275, $400 for third offense ordinance violations, rather than $350, and $500 for fourth and subsequent ordinance violations, rather than $450. If the defendant is represented by an attorney and signs a waiver acknowledging that the judgment exceeds the statutory monetary limit, then the fine or costs may exceed the such limits (479.353).
These provisions are similar to provisions in HB 1475 (2018).
If a defendant charged with a minor traffic or municipal ordinance violation fails to appear and the court finds there is not good cause for failing to appear, then the court may order the suspension of the defendant's driver's license, that the defendant serve community service, or that the defendant pay a civil penalty. If a civil penalty is ordered and the defendant fails to pay, then the court may submit to the Department of Revenue for collection of the penalty through setoff against any state tax refund owed. If a defendant's license is suspended and he or she subsequently operates a motor vehicle, then the defendant shall be guilty of a misdemeanor under the provisions regarding driving without a proper license (143.783, 302.321, 302.341, 479.353).
These provisions are similar to provisions in SCS/HB 1249 (2018), SS/SCS/HB 2562 (2018), and the perfected version of SB 553 (2018).
The act repeals certain exemptions from paying court costs in minor traffic violations and municipal ordinance violations for defendants who are indigent (479.353).
These provisions are also repealed in HB 1475 (2018).
Currently, not more than twenty percent of a county or municipality's annual general operating revenue can come from certain fines, penalties, and forfeitures. The act repeals court costs and amended charges for municipal ordinance violations from being included in the calculation. This act also removes a provision specifying that beginning January 1, 2016, the previous thirty percent limitation on municipal income shall be reduced to twenty percent except in St. Louis County, where it shall be reduced to twelve and one half percent (479.359).
These provisions are similar to provisions in HB 1475 (2018) and HB 2045 (2018).
Under current law, a county or municipality that has a municipal court must submit a financial report to the auditor. This act excludes revenues from court costs for municipal ordinance violations and the percentage of annual general operating revenue from such monies from being included in the report. Additionally, a county or municipality can meet compliance with this requirement by filing a statement confirming that thirty percent or less of its general revenue comes from fines, bond forfeitures, and court costs in municipal court cases (479.359).
These provisions are similar to provisions in HB 2045 (2018), the perfected version of SB 553 (2018), and SCS/HB 2562 (2018).
Current law also requires counties and towns with a municipal court to file with the State Auditor a report demonstrating compliance with certain municipal court procedures. The act repeals the municipal court requirements that community service alternatives are to be offered at no cost to the defendant, and that no additional charge shall be issued for the failure to appear for a minor traffic violation (479.360).
These provisions are identical to provisions in HB 1475 (2018) and similar to provisions in SCS/HB 1249 (2018), the truly agreed to and finally passed version of HB 2562 (2018), and the perfected version of SB 553 (2018).
Finally, the act repeals provisions which establish procedures to dissolve a municipal government when it fails to remit the revenue collected from certain fines, penalties, and forfeitures in excess of twenty percent to the Department of Revenue (479.368).
This provision is identical to a provision in HB 1475 (2018).