SENATE BILL NO. 1108

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S1108aa,aa.................................by LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TAXATION
PUBLIC DEBTS - COLLECTION AGENCIES - Adds to existing law to provide that
representatives of counties may file civil actions in the small claims
department of the magistrate's division for reimbursement for certain
county jail expenses; to revise the filing time limitation; and to provide
that public agencies may retain collection agencies to collect public
debts.
                                                                        
02/10    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/11    Rpt prt - to Loc Gov
02/18    Rpt out - to 14th Ord
02/21    Rpt out amen - to engros
02/24    Rpt engros - 1st rdg - to 2nd rdg as amen
02/25    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg as amen
03/03    3rd rdg as amen - Ret'd to 14th Ord
03/04    Rpt out amen - to engros
03/05    Rpt engros - 1st rdg - to 2nd rdg as amen
03/06    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg as amen
03/10    3rd rdg as amen - PASSED - 25-6-4
      AYES -- Andreason, Bailey, Brandt, Burtenshaw, Calabretta, Cameron,
      Compton, Darrington, Gannon, Geddes, Goedde, Hill, Ingram, Kennedy,
      Little, Lodge, Malepeai, Marley, McKenzie, McWilliams, Pearce,
      Richardson, Stegner, Sweet, Williams
      NAYS -- Burkett, Keough, Noh, Schroeder, Stennett, Werk
      Absent and excused -- Bunderson, Davis, Noble, Sorensen
    Floor Sponsor - Goedde
    Title apvd - to House
03/11    House intro - 1st rdg - to Loc Gov
03/21    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/24    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/27    3rd rdg - PASSED - 62-7-1
      AYES -- Andersen, Barraclough, Barrett, Bauer, Bedke, Bell, Bieter,
      Black, Block, Boe, Bolz, Bradford, Cannon, Collins, Cuddy, Deal,
      Denney, Douglas, Eberle, Edmunson, Ellsworth, Eskridge, Field(18),
      Field(23), Gagner, Garrett, Henbest(Bray), Jaquet, Jones, Kellogg,
      Lake, Langford, Langhorst, Martinez, McGeachin, McKague, Meyer,
      Miller, Moyle, Nielsen, Raybould, Ridinger, Ring, Ringo, Roberts,
      Robison, Rydalch, Sayler, Schaefer, Shepherd, Shirley, Skippen,
      Smith(30), Smith(24), Smylie, Snodgrass, Stevenson, Tilman, Trail,
      Wills, Wood, Mr. Speaker
      NAYS -- Campbell, Crow, Harwood, Kulczyk, Mitchell, Naccarato, Sali
      Absent and excused -- Clark
    Floor Sponsor - Smylie
    Title apvd - to Senate
03/28    To enrol
03/31    Rpt enrol - Pres signed
04/01    Sp signed
04/02    To Governor
04/08    Governor signed
         Session Law Chapter 245
         Effective: 04/08/03

Bill Text


                                                                        
                                                                        
  ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
 Fifty-seventh Legislature                 First Regular Session - 2003
                                                                        
                                                                        
                                       IN THE SENATE
                                                                        
                                    SENATE BILL NO. 1108
                                                                        
                         BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TAXATION COMMITTEE
                                                                        
  1                                        AN ACT
  2    RELATING TO COLLECTION OF PUBLIC DEBTS; AMENDING SECTION 20-607,  IDAHO  CODE,
  3        TO  PROVIDE THAT REPRESENTATIVES OF COUNTIES MAY FILE CIVIL ACTIONS AND TO
  4        REVISE A TIME LIMITATION; AMENDING CHAPTER 23, TITLE 67,  IDAHO  CODE,  BY
  5        THE  ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 67-2358, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE THAT PUBLIC
  6        AGENCIES MAY RETAIN COLLECTION AGENCIES TO COLLECT PUBLIC DEBTS,  TO  PRO-
  7        VIDE  FOR COLLECTION FEES, TO REQUIRE NOTICE TO DEBTORS, TO LIMIT REMEDIES
  8        AND POWERS OF COLLECTION AGENCIES AND TO  CLARIFY  THE  TERM  "DEBT";  AND
  9        DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
                                                                        
 10    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
                                                                        
 11        SECTION  1.  That  Section  20-607, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
 12    amended to read as follows:
                                                                        
 13        20-607.  PRISONER REIMBURSEMENT TO THE  COUNTY.  (1)  The  county  sheriff
 14    shall  seek  reimbursement for any expenses incurred by the county in relation
 15    to the charge or charges for which a person was sentenced to a county jail  as
 16    follows:
 17        (a)  From  each person who is or was a prisoner, not more than twenty-five
 18        dollars ($25.00) per day for the expenses of maintaining that prisoner  up
 19        to  a  maximum  of five hundred dollars ($500), whichever is less, for the
 20        entire period of time the person was confined in the county jail,  includ-
 21        ing any period of pretrial detention;
 22        (b)  Any  other  expenses  incurred by the county in order to collect pay-
 23        ments under this section;
 24        (c)  In pursuing reimbursement under this section the county may  investi-
 25        gate the financial status of the person.
 26        (d)  The  county  where the person was sentenced shall charge the person a
 27        daily maintenance cost according to paragraph (a) of this  subsection  and
 28        shall seek reimbursement once the debt has been incurred.
 29        (2)  Before  seeking  any  reimbursement  under  this section, the sheriff
 30    shall develop a form to be used for determining the financial status of  pris-
 31    oners.  The form shall provide for obtaining the age and marital status of the
 32    prisoner, the number and ages of children of the prisoner, the number and ages
 33    of other dependents, type and value of real estate, type and value of real and
 34    personal property, type and value of investments, cash,  bank  accounts,  pen-
 35    sions, annuities, salary, wages and any other personal property of significant
 36    cash  value.  The  county  shall use the form when investigating the financial
 37    status of a prisoner and when seeking reimbursement.
 38        (3)  (a) A prisoner in a county jail shall  provide  accurate  information
 39        and  cooperate  with the county sheriff for purposes of satisfying subsec-
 40        tion (2) of this section.
 41        (b)  A prisoner who willfully refuses to provide accurate  information  or
 42        cooperate  as  provided  in  paragraph  (a)  of  this subsection shall not
 43        receive a reduction in his or her term under section 20-621, Idaho Code.
                                                                        
                                           2
  1        (4)  At the request of the board of county commissioners, the  sheriff  of
  2    the  county shall forward to the board a list containing the name of each sen-
  3    tenced prisoner, term of sentence and date of admission.
  4        (5)  (a) Within six one (61) months year  of the release of a person as  a
  5        sentenced  prisoner from any county jail, an attorney a representative for
  6        that county  may file a civil action to seek reimbursement from that  per-
  7        son  for the cost of incarceration. A civil action may be filed only after
  8        determining from the financial status form, as required in subsection  (2)
  9        of  this  section, that sufficient assets are available to justify further
 10        recovery efforts and that further action to collect the daily expense  for
 11        maintaining  the  sentenced  person  by the county will not cause the sen-
 12        tenced person or his dependents to qualify for public assistance.
 13        (b)  A civil action brought under this section shall be instituted in  the
 14        name  of the county in which the jail is located and shall state the dates
 15        and places of sentence, the length of time set forth in the sentence,  the
 16        length  of  time  actually  served,  and  the amount or amounts due to the
 17        county pursuant to this section.
 18        (c)  Before entering any order on behalf of the county against the defend-
 19        ant, the court shall take into consideration any legal obligation  of  the
 20        defendant to support a spouse, minor children, other dependents or provide
 21        victim  restitution and any moral obligation to support dependents to whom
 22        the defendant is providing or has in fact provided support.
 23        (6)  The reimbursements secured under this section shall  be  credited  to
 24    the  justice  fund  or  current expense fund of the county to be available for
 25    jail maintenance and operation purposes.
                                                                        
 26        SECTION 2.  That Chapter 23, Title 67, Idaho Code, be,  and  the  same  is
 27    hereby  amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
 28    ignated as Section 67-2358, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
                                                                        
 29        67-2358.  COLLECTION OF PUBLIC DEBTS -- FEES.
 30        (1)  (a) Public agencies, as defined in section 67-2327, Idaho  Code,  may
 31        retain  by written contract a collection agency that has a permit pursuant
 32        to chapter 22, title 26, Idaho Code, for the purpose of collecting  public
 33        debts  owed  by  any  person, including any restitution that is being col-
 34        lected on behalf of a crime victim.
 35        (b)  Any public agency using a collection agency as provided in this  sec-
 36        tion  may  add a reasonable fee, payable by the debtor, to the outstanding
 37        debt for the collection agency fee incurred or to be incurred. The  amount
 38        to  be  paid for collection services shall be left to the agreement of the
 39        public agency and its collection agency or agencies, but a contingent  fee
 40        of  up  to  fifty  percent (50%) of the first one hundred thousand dollars
 41        ($100,000) of the unpaid debt per account and up  to  thirty-five  percent
 42        (35%)  of the unpaid debt over one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per
 43        account is reasonable. Any fee agreement entered into by a  public  agency
 44        is presumptively reasonable.
 45        (2)  (a) No  debt  may be assigned to a collection agency unless there has
 46        been a reasonable attempt to advise the debtor of the debt  and  at  least
 47        thirty (30) days have elapsed from the time such notice was attempted. The
 48        public agency shall maintain a record of all attempts to notify the debtor
 49        of the existence of the debt.
 50        (b)  As  used in this subsection, "reasonable attempt" means that the pub-
 51        lic agency has notified the debtor, either by  mail,  electronic  transac-
 52        tion,  telephone  or  in person, of the existence of the debt and that the
 53        public agency is attempting  to  collect  the  debt  and  any  information
 54        obtained  will be used for that purpose. Within ten (10) days of such ini-
                                                                        
                                           3
  1        tial communication, the public agency shall send a written notice  to  the
  2        debtor stating:
  3             (i)   The amount of the debt;
  4             (ii)  That  the  debt  will  be assumed to be valid unless the debtor
  5             disputes the validity of the debt within thirty (30) days;
  6             (iii) That if the debt is disputed, the public  agency  will  send  a
  7             copy of the verification of the debt to the debtor; and
  8             (iv)  That  the  public agency may employ a debt collection agency to
  9             collect a debt, which may result in additional costs to the debtor if
 10             the debtor fails to pay the debt.
 11        (3)  Collection agencies acting pursuant to this section shall  have  only
 12    those  remedies and powers which are available to them under chapter 22, title
 13    26, Idaho Code.
 14        (4)  For purposes of this section,  the  term  "debt"  shall  include  all
 15    debts,  including  the  fee  required under subsection (1)(b) of this section,
 16    except as otherwise provided by law.
                                                                        
 17        SECTION 3.  An emergency existing  therefor,  which  emergency  is  hereby
 18    declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its
 19    passage and approval.

Amendment


                                                                        
                                                                        
  ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
 Fifty-seventh Legislature                 First Regular Session - 2003
                                                                        
                                                                        
                                                     Moved by    Goedde              
                                                                        
                                                     Seconded by Compton             
                                                                        
                                                                        
                                       IN THE SENATE
                             SENATE AMENDMENTS TO S.B. NO. 1108
                                                                        
  1                                AMENDMENT TO SECTION 1
  2        On page 2 of the printed bill, in line 6, following "action"  insert:  "in
  3    the  small claims department of the magistrate's division pursuant to the pro-
  4    visions of chapter 23, title 1, Idaho Code,".
                                                                        
  5                               AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 2
  6        On page 2, in line 39, following "but" insert: "in no case shall"; in line
  7    40, delete "of up to" and insert: "exceed"; in line 41, delete "and up to" and
  8    insert: "or"; delete lines 43 and 44  and  insert:  "account.";  in  line  54,
  9    delete  "Within  ten  (10) days of such ini-"; on page 3, delete lines 1 and 2
 10    and insert: "At least one (1) notice sent pursuant to this subsection shall be
 11    in writing and shall state:"; and delete lines 4 through 7 and insert:
 12             "(ii)  That unless the debtor, within thirty (30) days after  receipt
 13             of notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof,
 14             the debt will be assumed to be valid by the public agency;
 15             (iii) That if the debtor notifies the public agency in writing within
 16             the  thirty (30) day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is
 17             disputed, the public agency will obtain verification of the debt  and
 18             a  copy  of  such  verification will be mailed to the consumer by the
 19             public agency; and".
                                                                        
 20                                 CORRECTION TO TITLE
 21        On page 1, in line 3, following "ACTIONS" insert:  "IN  THE  SMALL  CLAIMS
 22    DEPARTMENT OF THE MAGISTRATE'S DIVISION".
                                                     Moved by    Goedde              
                                                                        
                                                     Seconded by Gannon              
                                                                        
                                                                        
                                       IN THE SENATE
                       SENATE AMENDMENT TO S.B. NO. 1108, As Amended
                                                                        
                                                                        
 23                               AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 2
 24        On page 2 of the engrossed bill, delete lines 43 through 46 and insert: "a
 25    contingent  fee  exceed  thirty-three  percent  (33%)  of  the unpaid debt per
 26    account.".

Engrossed Bill (Original Bill with Amendment(s) Incorporated)


                                                                        
                                                                        
  ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
 Fifty-seventh Legislature                 First Regular Session - 2003
                                                                        
                                                                        
                                       IN THE SENATE
                                                                        
                              SENATE BILL NO. 1108, As Amended
                                                                        
                         BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TAXATION COMMITTEE
                                                                        
  1                                        AN ACT
  2    RELATING TO COLLECTION OF PUBLIC DEBTS; AMENDING SECTION 20-607,  IDAHO  CODE,
  3        TO  PROVIDE THAT REPRESENTATIVES OF COUNTIES MAY FILE CIVIL ACTIONS IN THE
  4        SMALL CLAIMS DEPARTMENT OF THE MAGISTRATE'S DIVISION AND TO REVISE A  TIME
  5        LIMITATION;  AMENDING CHAPTER 23, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF
  6        A NEW SECTION 67-2358, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE  THAT  PUBLIC  AGENCIES  MAY
  7        RETAIN COLLECTION AGENCIES TO COLLECT PUBLIC DEBTS, TO PROVIDE FOR COLLEC-
  8        TION  FEES,  TO REQUIRE NOTICE TO DEBTORS, TO LIMIT REMEDIES AND POWERS OF
  9        COLLECTION AGENCIES AND TO CLARIFY THE TERM "DEBT"; AND DECLARING AN EMER-
 10        GENCY.
                                                                        
 11    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
                                                                        
 12        SECTION 1.  That Section 20-607, Idaho Code, be, and the  same  is  hereby
 13    amended to read as follows:
                                                                        
 14        20-607.  PRISONER  REIMBURSEMENT  TO  THE  COUNTY.  (1) The county sheriff
 15    shall seek reimbursement for any expenses incurred by the county  in  relation
 16    to  the charge or charges for which a person was sentenced to a county jail as
 17    follows:
 18        (a)  From each person who is or was a prisoner, not more than  twenty-five
 19        dollars  ($25.00) per day for the expenses of maintaining that prisoner up
 20        to a maximum of five hundred dollars ($500), whichever is  less,  for  the
 21        entire  period of time the person was confined in the county jail, includ-
 22        ing any period of pretrial detention;
 23        (b)  Any other expenses incurred by the county in order  to  collect  pay-
 24        ments under this section;
 25        (c)  In  pursuing reimbursement under this section the county may investi-
 26        gate the financial status of the person.
 27        (d)  The county where the person was sentenced shall charge the  person  a
 28        daily  maintenance  cost according to paragraph (a) of this subsection and
 29        shall seek reimbursement once the debt has been incurred.
 30        (2)  Before seeking any reimbursement  under  this  section,  the  sheriff
 31    shall  develop a form to be used for determining the financial status of pris-
 32    oners. The form shall provide for obtaining the age and marital status of  the
 33    prisoner, the number and ages of children of the prisoner, the number and ages
 34    of other dependents, type and value of real estate, type and value of real and
 35    personal  property,  type  and value of investments, cash, bank accounts, pen-
 36    sions, annuities, salary, wages and any other personal property of significant
 37    cash value. The county shall use the form  when  investigating  the  financial
 38    status of a prisoner and when seeking reimbursement.
 39        (3)  (a) A  prisoner  in  a county jail shall provide accurate information
 40        and cooperate with the county sheriff for purposes of  satisfying  subsec-
 41        tion (2) of this section.
 42        (b)  A  prisoner  who willfully refuses to provide accurate information or
 43        cooperate as provided in  paragraph  (a)  of  this  subsection  shall  not
                                                                        
                                           2
  1        receive a reduction in his or her term under section 20-621, Idaho Code.
  2        (4)  At  the  request of the board of county commissioners, the sheriff of
  3    the county shall forward to the board a list containing the name of each  sen-
  4    tenced prisoner, term of sentence and date of admission.
  5        (5)  (a) Within  six  one (61) months year of the release of a person as a
  6        sentenced prisoner from any county jail, an attorney a representative  for
  7        that  county may file a civil action in the small claims department of the
  8        magistrate's division pursuant to the provisions of chapter 23,  title  1,
  9        Idaho  Code, to seek reimbursement from that person for the cost of incar-
 10        ceration. A civil action may be filed  only  after  determining  from  the
 11        financial status form, as required in subsection (2) of this section, that
 12        sufficient  assets  are  available to justify further recovery efforts and
 13        that further action to collect the daily expense for maintaining the  sen-
 14        tenced  person  by  the  county will not cause the sentenced person or his
 15        dependents to qualify for public assistance.
 16        (b)  A civil action brought under this section shall be instituted in  the
 17        name  of the county in which the jail is located and shall state the dates
 18        and places of sentence, the length of time set forth in the sentence,  the
 19        length  of  time  actually  served,  and  the amount or amounts due to the
 20        county pursuant to this section.
 21        (c)  Before entering any order on behalf of the county against the defend-
 22        ant, the court shall take into consideration any legal obligation  of  the
 23        defendant to support a spouse, minor children, other dependents or provide
 24        victim  restitution and any moral obligation to support dependents to whom
 25        the defendant is providing or has in fact provided support.
 26        (6)  The reimbursements secured under this section shall  be  credited  to
 27    the  justice  fund  or  current expense fund of the county to be available for
 28    jail maintenance and operation purposes.
                                                                        
 29        SECTION 2.  That Chapter 23, Title 67, Idaho Code, be,  and  the  same  is
 30    hereby  amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
 31    ignated as Section 67-2358, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
                                                                        
 32        67-2358.  COLLECTION OF PUBLIC DEBTS -- FEES.
 33        (1)  (a) Public agencies, as defined in section 67-2327, Idaho  Code,  may
 34        retain  by written contract a collection agency that has a permit pursuant
 35        to chapter 22, title 26, Idaho Code, for the purpose of collecting  public
 36        debts  owed  by  any  person, including any restitution that is being col-
 37        lected on behalf of a crime victim.
 38        (b)  Any public agency using a collection agency as provided in this  sec-
 39        tion  may  add a reasonable fee, payable by the debtor, to the outstanding
 40        debt for the collection agency fee incurred or to be incurred. The  amount
 41        to  be  paid for collection services shall be left to the agreement of the
 42        public agency and its collection agency or agencies, but in no case  shall
 43        a contingent fee exceed fifty percent (50%) of the first one hundred thou-
 44        sand dollars ($100,000) of the unpaid debt per account or thirty-five per-
 45        cent (35%) of the unpaid debt over one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000)
 46        per account.
 47        (2)  (a) No  debt  may be assigned to a collection agency unless there has
 48        been a reasonable attempt to advise the debtor of the debt  and  at  least
 49        thirty (30) days have elapsed from the time such notice was attempted. The
 50        public agency shall maintain a record of all attempts to notify the debtor
 51        of the existence of the debt.
 52        (b)  As  used in this subsection, "reasonable attempt" means that the pub-
 53        lic agency has notified the debtor, either by  mail,  electronic  transac-
 54        tion,  telephone  or  in person, of the existence of the debt and that the
                                                                        
                                           3
  1        public agency is attempting  to  collect  the  debt  and  any  information
  2        obtained  will be used for that purpose. At least one (1) notice sent pur-
  3        suant to this subsection shall be in writing and shall state:
  4             (i)   The amount of the debt;
  5             (ii)  That unless the debtor, within thirty (30) days  after  receipt
  6             of notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof,
  7             the debt will be assumed to be valid by the public agency;
  8             (iii) That if the debtor notifies the public agency in writing within
  9             the  thirty (30) day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is
 10             disputed, the public agency will obtain verification of the debt  and
 11             a  copy  of  such  verification will be mailed to the consumer by the
 12             public agency; and
 13             (iv)  That the public agency may employ a debt collection  agency  to
 14             collect a debt, which may result in additional costs to the debtor if
 15             the debtor fails to pay the debt.
 16        (3)  Collection  agencies  acting pursuant to this section shall have only
 17    those remedies and powers which are available to them under chapter 22,  title
 18    26, Idaho Code.
 19        (4)  For  purposes  of  this  section,  the  term "debt" shall include all
 20    debts, including the fee required under subsection  (1)(b)  of  this  section,
 21    except as otherwise provided by law.
                                                                        
 22        SECTION  3.  An  emergency  existing  therefor,  which emergency is hereby
 23    declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its
 24    passage and approval.
                                       IN THE SENATE
                                                                        
                        SENATE BILL NO. 1108, As Amended, As Amended
                                                                        
                         BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TAXATION COMMITTEE
                                                                        
 25                                        AN ACT
 26    RELATING TO COLLECTION OF PUBLIC DEBTS; AMENDING SECTION 20-607,  IDAHO  CODE,
 27        TO  PROVIDE THAT REPRESENTATIVES OF COUNTIES MAY FILE CIVIL ACTIONS IN THE
 28        SMALL CLAIMS DEPARTMENT OF THE MAGISTRATE'S DIVISION AND TO REVISE A  TIME
 29        LIMITATION;  AMENDING CHAPTER 23, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF
 30        A NEW SECTION 67-2358, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE  THAT  PUBLIC  AGENCIES  MAY
 31        RETAIN COLLECTION AGENCIES TO COLLECT PUBLIC DEBTS, TO PROVIDE FOR COLLEC-
 32        TION  FEES,  TO REQUIRE NOTICE TO DEBTORS, TO LIMIT REMEDIES AND POWERS OF
 33        COLLECTION AGENCIES AND TO CLARIFY THE TERM "DEBT"; AND DECLARING AN EMER-
 34        GENCY.
                                                                        
 35    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
                                                                        
 36        SECTION 4.  That Section 20-607, Idaho Code, be, and the  same  is  hereby
 37    amended to read as follows:
                                                                        
 38        20-607.  PRISONER  REIMBURSEMENT  TO  THE  COUNTY.  (1) The county sheriff
 39    shall seek reimbursement for any expenses incurred by the county  in  relation
 40    to  the charge or charges for which a person was sentenced to a county jail as
 41    follows:
 42        (a)  From each person who is or was a prisoner, not more than  twenty-five
 43        dollars  ($25.00) per day for the expenses of maintaining that prisoner up
 44        to a maximum of five hundred dollars ($500), whichever is  less,  for  the
 45        entire  period of time the person was confined in the county jail, includ-
 46        ing any period of pretrial detention;
                                                                        
                                           4
  1        (b)  Any other expenses incurred by the county in order  to  collect  pay-
  2        ments under this section;
  3        (c)  In  pursuing reimbursement under this section the county may investi-
  4        gate the financial status of the person.
  5        (d)  The county where the person was sentenced shall charge the  person  a
  6        daily  maintenance  cost according to paragraph (a) of this subsection and
  7        shall seek reimbursement once the debt has been incurred.
  8        (2)  Before seeking any reimbursement  under  this  section,  the  sheriff
  9    shall  develop a form to be used for determining the financial status of pris-
 10    oners. The form shall provide for obtaining the age and marital status of  the
 11    prisoner, the number and ages of children of the prisoner, the number and ages
 12    of other dependents, type and value of real estate, type and value of real and
 13    personal  property,  type  and value of investments, cash, bank accounts, pen-
 14    sions, annuities, salary, wages and any other personal property of significant
 15    cash value. The county shall use the form  when  investigating  the  financial
 16    status of a prisoner and when seeking reimbursement.
 17        (3)  (a) A  prisoner  in  a county jail shall provide accurate information
 18        and cooperate with the county sheriff for purposes of  satisfying  subsec-
 19        tion (2) of this section.
 20        (b)  A  prisoner  who willfully refuses to provide accurate information or
 21        cooperate as provided in  paragraph  (a)  of  this  subsection  shall  not
 22        receive a reduction in his or her term under section 20-621, Idaho Code.
 23        (4)  At  the  request of the board of county commissioners, the sheriff of
 24    the county shall forward to the board a list containing the name of each  sen-
 25    tenced prisoner, term of sentence and date of admission.
 26        (5)  (a) Within  six  one (61) months year of the release of a person as a
 27        sentenced prisoner from any county jail, an attorney a representative  for
 28        that  county may file a civil action in the small claims department of the
 29        magistrate's division pursuant to the provisions of chapter 23,  title  1,
 30        Idaho  Code, to seek reimbursement from that person for the cost of incar-
 31        ceration. A civil action may be filed  only  after  determining  from  the
 32        financial status form, as required in subsection (2) of this section, that
 33        sufficient  assets  are  available to justify further recovery efforts and
 34        that further action to collect the daily expense for maintaining the  sen-
 35        tenced  person  by  the  county will not cause the sentenced person or his
 36        dependents to qualify for public assistance.
 37        (b)  A civil action brought under this section shall be instituted in  the
 38        name  of the county in which the jail is located and shall state the dates
 39        and places of sentence, the length of time set forth in the sentence,  the
 40        length  of  time  actually  served,  and  the amount or amounts due to the
 41        county pursuant to this section.
 42        (c)  Before entering any order on behalf of the county against the defend-
 43        ant, the court shall take into consideration any legal obligation  of  the
 44        defendant to support a spouse, minor children, other dependents or provide
 45        victim  restitution and any moral obligation to support dependents to whom
 46        the defendant is providing or has in fact provided support.
 47        (6)  The reimbursements secured under this section shall  be  credited  to
 48    the  justice  fund  or  current expense fund of the county to be available for
 49    jail maintenance and operation purposes.
                                                                        
 50        SECTION 5.  That Chapter 23, Title 67, Idaho Code, be,  and  the  same  is
 51    hereby  amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
 52    ignated as Section 67-2358, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
                                                                        
 53        67-2358.  COLLECTION OF PUBLIC DEBTS -- FEES.
 54        (1)  (a) Public agencies, as defined in section 67-2327, Idaho  Code,  may
                                                                        
                                           5
  1        retain  by written contract a collection agency that has a permit pursuant
  2        to chapter 22, title 26, Idaho Code, for the purpose of collecting  public
  3        debts  owed  by  any  person, including any restitution that is being col-
  4        lected on behalf of a crime victim.
  5        (b)  Any public agency using a collection agency as provided in this  sec-
  6        tion  may  add a reasonable fee, payable by the debtor, to the outstanding
  7        debt for the collection agency fee incurred or to be incurred. The  amount
  8        to  be  paid for collection services shall be left to the agreement of the
  9        public agency and its collection agency or agencies, but in no case  shall
 10        a  contingent fee exceed thirty-three percent (33%) of the unpaid debt per
 11        account.
 12        (2)  (a) No debt may be assigned to a collection agency unless  there  has
 13        been  a  reasonable  attempt to advise the debtor of the debt and at least
 14        thirty (30) days have elapsed from the time such notice was attempted. The
 15        public agency shall maintain a record of all attempts to notify the debtor
 16        of the existence of the debt.
 17        (b)  As used in this subsection, "reasonable attempt" means that the  pub-
 18        lic  agency  has  notified the debtor, either by mail, electronic transac-
 19        tion, telephone or in person, of the existence of the debt  and  that  the
 20        public  agency  is  attempting  to  collect  the  debt and any information
 21        obtained will be used for that purpose. At least one (1) notice sent  pur-
 22        suant to this subsection shall be in writing and shall state:
 23             (i)   The amount of the debt;
 24             (ii)  That  unless  the debtor, within thirty (30) days after receipt
 25             of notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof,
 26             the debt will be assumed to be valid by the public agency;
 27             (iii) That if the debtor notifies the public agency in writing within
 28             the thirty (30) day period that the debt, or any portion thereof,  is
 29             disputed,  the public agency will obtain verification of the debt and
 30             a copy of such verification will be mailed to  the  consumer  by  the
 31             public agency; and
 32             (iv)  That  the  public agency may employ a debt collection agency to
 33             collect a debt, which may result in additional costs to the debtor if
 34             the debtor fails to pay the debt.
 35        (3)  Collection agencies acting pursuant to this section shall  have  only
 36    those  remedies and powers which are available to them under chapter 22, title
 37    26, Idaho Code.
 38        (4)  For purposes of this section,  the  term  "debt"  shall  include  all
 39    debts,  including  the  fee  required under subsection (1)(b) of this section,
 40    except as otherwise provided by law.
                                                                        
 41        SECTION 6.  An emergency existing  therefor,  which  emergency  is  hereby
 42    declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its
 43    passage and approval.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact



                       STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
                             RS 12988
This bill amends the prisoner reimbursement statute to provide
that a representative of the county can initiate civil action and
extends the collection window from six months to one year.  It
adds a new code section allowing public debt collection fees to
be in addition to the amount owing and sets provisions for
charging fees for collection.  This legislation would allow the
state and local government entities to collect debt that may not
be currently collectable.  Such debts may include ambulance
service fees, civil fines, solid waste services, prisoner
reimbursement where the inmate is not indigent, and other fees
charged by such entities.
                          FISCAL IMPACT
There is approximately eight to ten million dollars that may be
collectable by cities and counties.


Contact
Name: Senator John Goedde 
Phone: 345-9129
Dan Chadwick, Tony Poinelli, Maggie Mahoney



STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE                      S 1108