HD49 - Fees Assessed by Sheriffs

  • Published: 1993
  • Author: Virginia State Crime Commission
  • Enabling Authority: House Joint Resolution 41 (Regular Session, 1992)

Executive Summary:
The final report on the study of the fees assessed by sheriffs was received by Crime Commission Subcommittee No. III at its meeting of September 22, 1992. The subcommittee approved the report, with recommendations for adjustments to fees via Code amendment, for submission to the full Commission. The Commission considered and approved the report at its December 8, 1992, meeting.

The study, authorized by House Joint Resolution 67 (1992), sponsored by Delegate V. Thomas Forehand, Jr., sought, as its primary objective, to determine the continued usefulness of certain fees (set forth in §§14.1-105 and 14.1-111) intended to be charged by sheriffs for their services. Many of the fees are not charged at all because it is unclear who the payor is intended to be. Many are not collected because the amounts are simply too small to justify the collection or because the intent of the Code section is difficult to ascertain or conflicts with another.

Virginia sheriffs and Circuit Court clerks throughout the state were surveyed by mail on the subject of the applicability and success in collection of the fees. (See surveys at Appendix B.) The survey responses indicated that, despite legal requirement for their use, many sheriffs' offices do not collect the fees set forth in the Code sections studied herein. Many recommendations were made for raising or eliminating the fees.

On the basis of all the information and arguments before it, the subcommittee determined that many of the fees should be consolidated into one fee (higher, as well, to justify the actual cost of collection) and that many of the fees were antiquated and should be eliminated altogether. As a result, the subcommittee recommended the statutory amendments in this report. Upon consideration of the subcommittee findings and recommendations, the full Crime Commission concurred with the subcommittee report.