Section 12-19-310

Additional docket fees.

(a) In addition to the docket fees now authorized by law, additional docket fees shall be assessed in all circuit, district, and municipal courts as follows:

(1) In civil cases in the circuit and district courts, except child support cases and as further provided for small claims cases, an additional docket fee of forty-five dollars ($45) and in small claims cases an additional docket fee of fifteen dollars ($15).

(2) In criminal cases in the circuit, district, and municipal courts, except juvenile cases and as further provided for traffic cases, an additional docket fee of forty dollars ($40) and in traffic cases, but excluding parking violations, an additional docket fee of twenty-six dollars ($26).

(b) (1) Two dollars ($2) of the traffic docket fee shall be distributed to the Police Officers' Annuity Fund before any distribution pursuant to subsections (c) and (d).

(2) Ten dollars ($10) of each fee in municipal court shall be retained by the presiding municipal judge or the municipal court clerk for operation of the municipal court and, before any distribution in subsections (c) and (d), distributed to the municipality for the operation of the municipal courts.

(c) There is established in the State Treasury the State Judicial Administration Fund. Two-thirds of the docket fees collected pursuant to subsection (a) shall be distributed to the fund and used by the Administrative Office of Courts as determined by the Administrative Director of Courts for the operation of courts in this state.

(d) There is established in each judicial circuit of this state the Presiding Circuit Judge's Judicial Administration Fund and in each county in this state the Circuit Clerk's Judicial Administration Fund. One-sixth of the docket fees collected in each circuit pursuant to subsection (a) shall be distributed to the Presiding Circuit Judge's Judicial Administration Fund in the circuit. One-sixth of the docket fees collected in each county pursuant to subsection (a) shall be distributed to the Circuit Clerk's Judicial Administration Fund in the county.

(e) (1) The funds distributed pursuant to subsection (d) shall be expended for the support of local court operations, including, but not limited to, salaries and benefits of court employees where necessary for the efficient operations of the courts in the circuit and for other expenses as individually determined necessary by the presiding circuit judge or any circuit clerk to promote efficient administration of justice. Funds distributed pursuant to subsection (d) shall not reduce the amount payable to the presiding circuit judge or any circuit clerk under any local act or general act or reduce or affect the amounts of funding allocated by the Administrative Office of Courts to the budget of the presiding circuit judge or any circuit clerk.

(2) In addition to subdivision (1) relating to the circuit clerk, each clerk, at his or her discretion, may use the money in the Circuit Clerk's Judicial Administration Fund for the purpose of awarding merit and promotions raises to full-time employees of the clerk's office.

(f) All expenditures of funds pursuant to this section shall be audited as all other state funds are audited.

(g) The docket fees assessed pursuant to this section shall not be waived or remitted by the court unless all docket fees associated with the case are waived or remitted.

(h) The court clerk shall distribute the fees provided for in this section on a monthly basis as other costs and fees are distributed.

(Act 2012-535, p. 1582, §1; Act 2017-270, §1.)