Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 479
Municipal Courts and Traffic Courts
Section 479.260

August 28, 2014


Court costs and fees, judicial education fund, purpose, administration.

479.260. 1. Municipalities by ordinance may provide for fees in an amount per case to be set pursuant to sections 488.010 to 488.020 for each municipal ordinance violation case filed before a municipal judge, and in the event a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty, the judge may assess costs against the defendant except in those cases where the defendant is found by the judge to be indigent and unable to pay the costs. The fees authorized in this subsection are in addition to service charges, witness fees and jail costs that may otherwise be authorized to be assessed, but are in lieu of other court costs. The fees provided by this subsection shall be collected by the municipal division clerk in municipalities electing or required to have violations of municipal ordinances tried before a municipal judge pursuant to section 479.020, or to employ judicial personnel pursuant to section 479.060, and disbursed as provided in subsection 1 of section 479.080. Any other court costs required in connection with such cases shall be collected and disbursed as provided in sections 488.010 to 488.020; provided that, each municipal court may establish a judicial education fund and an appointed counsel fund, each in separate accounts under the control of the municipal court to retain one dollar of the fees collected on each case. The fees collected shall be allocated between the two funds as determined by the court. The judicial education fund shall be used only to pay for:

(1) The continuing education and certification required of the municipal judges by law or supreme court rule; and

(2) Judicial education and training for the court administrator and clerks of the municipal court. The appointed counsel fund shall be used only to pay the reasonable fees approved by the court for the appointment of an attorney to represent any defendant found by the judge to be indigent and unable to pay for legal representation, and where the supreme court rules or the law prescribes such appointment. Provided further, that no municipal court shall retain more than one thousand five hundred dollars in the judicial education fund for each judge, administrator or clerk of the municipal court and no more than five thousand dollars in the appointed counsel fund. Any excess funds shall be transmitted quarterly to the general revenue fund of the county or municipal treasury.

2. In municipal ordinance violation cases which are filed in the associate circuit division of the circuit court, fees shall be assessed in each case in an amount to be set pursuant to sections 488.010 to 488.020. In the event a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty, the judge shall assess costs against the defendant except in those cases where the defendant is found by the judge to be indigent and unable to pay the costs. In the event a defendant is acquitted or the case is dismissed, the judge shall not assess costs against the municipality. The costs authorized in this subsection are in addition to service charges, witness fees and jail costs that may otherwise be authorized to be assessed, but are in lieu of other court costs. The costs provided by this subsection shall be collected by the municipal division clerk in municipalities electing or required to have violations of municipal ordinances tried before a municipal judge pursuant to section 479.020, or to employ judicial personnel pursuant to section 479.060, and disbursed as provided in subsection 2 of section 479.080. Any other court costs required in connection with such cases shall be collected and disbursed as provided in sections 488.010 to 488.020.

3. A municipality, when filing cases before an associate circuit judge, shall not be required to pay fees.

4. No fees for a judge, city attorney or prosecutor shall be assessed as costs in a municipal ordinance violation case.

5. In municipal ordinance violation cases, when there is an application for a trial de novo, there shall be an additional fee in an amount to be set pursuant to sections 488.010 to 488.020 which shall be assessed in the same manner as provided in subsection 2 of this section.

6. Municipalities by ordinance may provide for a schedule of costs to be paid in connection with pleas of guilty which are processed in a traffic violations bureau. If a municipality files its municipal ordinance violation cases before a municipal judge, such costs shall not exceed the court costs authorized by subsection 1 of this section. If a municipality files its municipal ordinance violations cases in the associate circuit division of the circuit court, such costs shall not exceed the court costs authorized by subsection 2 of this section.

(L. 1978 H.B. 1634, A.L. 1982 S.B. 497, A.L. 1996 S.B. 869, A.L. 1997 S.B. 248, A.L. 2009 H.B. 237 & H.B. 238 & H.B. 482)


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