The state passed down a mandated increase of at least ten dollars to all municipal court systems and tonight City Council will vote on an ordinance approving the hike.
But in addition, council members are using the measure as an opportunity to simplify the fee process.
If you get a speeding ticket in the city of Topeka, in addition to the cost of your ticket you also have to pay a $51 court cost. If the council passes the ordinance increasing municipal court fees that cost would go up to $61. Some council members say the raise is a viable alternative to raising property taxes in order to keep up with rising court costs.
"You have to keep up with inflation. If you don't have an infraction, then you won’t have to pay the feel,” Councilman Brett Blackburn said. “It’s a way for those who use the system to pay for the system."
Part of the change was mandated by the state raising fees across the board by $ten dollars. But for the municipal court, it's a chance to revamp the fee schedules.
"It’s a good way to clean up the ordinances that needed to be updated," spokesman for the city, David Bevens said.
Court costs for parking violations would go from $41.50 to $61. This could include parking in front of fire hydrant or no parking zone. Traffic non moving violations could include jaywalking or having a taillight out have gone from $42 also up to $61 court costs for class A and B misdemeanors which include assaults, DUI or assault on a police officer would go up from $118 to $128.
Some council members worry about the cost for those committing the crimes, Council Brett Blackburn worries people wouldn't be able to afford the increases
"There are ways of community service as a way to pay those fees," Blackburn said.
In addition to the ordinance Councilman Blackburn has proposed an ordinance adding a five dollar court cost go toward a maintenance fund for police equipment.