2020 Georgia Code
Title 47 - Retirement and Pensions
Chapter 17 - Peace Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund
Article 4 - Revenues Collected From Fines and Fees
§ 47-17-60. Payments to the Fund From Fines and Bonds Collected in Criminal and Quasi-Criminal Cases; Duty of Collecting Authority to Record and Remit Sums Collected; Penalty

Universal Citation: GA Code § 47-17-60 (2020)
  1. The greater of $10.00 or 10 percent of each bond forfeited and collected in any criminal or quasi-criminal case for violation of state statutes, county ordinances, or municipal ordinances, which case is before any court or tribunal in this state, shall be paid to the secretary-treasurer. An amount equal to the greater of $10.00 or 10 percent of each fine imposed in any criminal or quasi-criminal case for violation of state statutes, county ordinances, or municipal ordinances, which case is before any court or tribunal in this state, shall be added to the amount of the fine imposed and collected, and, once collected, shall be paid to the secretary-treasurer. For purposes of determining amounts to be paid to the secretary-treasurer, the amount of the fine or bond collected shall be deemed to include costs. The amounts provided for shall be paid to the secretary-treasurer before the payment of any costs or any claim whatsoever against such fine or forfeiture. The collecting authority shall pay such amounts to the secretary-treasurer on the first day of the month following that in which they were collected or at such other time as the board may provide. With such payment there shall be filed an acceptable form which shows the number of cases in each of the above categories and the amounts due in each category. It shall be the duty of the collecting authority to keep accurate records of the amounts due the board so that the records may be audited or inspected at any time by any representative of the board under its direction. Sums remitted to the secretary-treasurer under this Code section shall be used as provided for elsewhere in this chapter.
  2. If the collecting authority fails to remit such amounts with an acceptable form properly filled out within 60 days of the date on which such remittal is due, the same shall be delinquent, and there shall be imposed, in addition to the principal amount due, a specific penalty in the amount of 5 percent of the principal amount per month for each month during which the funds continue to be delinquent, provided that such penalty shall not exceed 25 percent of the principal due. In addition to such penalty, interest shall be charged on delinquent amounts at the rate of 6 percent per annum from the date the funds become delinquent until they are paid. By affirmative vote of all members, the board, upon the payment of the delinquent funds together with interest and for good cause shown, may waive the specific penalty otherwise charged under this subsection.

(a.1)The greater of 5 percent or $5.00 of each fee collected prior to adjudication of guilt for purposes of pretrial diversion pertaining to any criminal or quasi-criminal case for violation of state statutes, county ordinances, or municipal ordinances as provided for in subsection (f) of Code Section 15-18-80, which case is before any court or tribunal in this state, shall be paid to the secretary-treasurer. The clerk of court as provided for in subsection (f) of Code Section 15-18-80 shall pay such amounts to the secretary-treasurer on the first day of the month following that in which they were collected or at such other time as the board may provide. With such payment there shall be filed an acceptable form from the clerk of court which shows the number of cases in each of the above categories and the amounts due in each category. It shall be the duty of the clerk of court to keep accurate records of the amounts due the board so that the records may be audited or inspected at any time by any representative of the board under its direction. Sums remitted to the secretary-treasurer under this Code section shall be used as provided for elsewhere in this chapter.

(Ga. L. 1950, p. 50, § 10; Ga. L. 1953, Jan.-Feb. Sess., p. 574, § 2; Ga. L. 1956, p. 280, § 9; Ga. L. 1958, p. 341, § 5; Ga. L. 1959, p. 330, § 2; Ga. L. 1966, p. 395, § 1; Ga. L. 1970, p. 93, § 1; Ga. L. 1975, p. 578, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 475, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 225, § 1; Ga. L. 2018, p. 906, § 2/SB 369; Ga. L. 2019, p. 787, § 2/SB 73; Ga. L. 2020, p. 581, § 3/SB 249.)

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, added subsection (a.1).

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, added "or" at the end of paragraph (a)(3); substituted "The clerk of court" for "The political subdivision" at the beginning of the second sentence of subsection (a.1); and deleted the former third sentence of subsection (b), which read: "All funds due on or before April 1, 1966, and not paid shall be delinquent after the expiration of 60 days from that date."

The 2020 amendment, effective July 1, 2020, in subsection (a), rewrote the introductory paragraph, which read: "A portion of each fine collected and each bond forfeited and collected in any criminal or quasi-criminal case for violation of state statutes, county ordinances, or municipal ordinances, which case is before any court or tribunal in this state, shall be paid to the secretary-treasurer according to the following schedule:", and deleted former paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(4); in subsection (a.1), substituted "The greater of 5 percent or $5.00" for "Five dollars" at the beginning of the first sentence, and substituted "The clerk of court" for "The political subdivision" at the beginning of the second sentence. See Editor's notes for comment.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2020, p. 581, § 5/SB 249, provides: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2020, only if it is determined to have been concurrently funded as provided in Chapter 20 of Title 47 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the 'Public Retirement Systems Standards Law'; otherwise, this Act shall not become effective and shall be automatically repealed in its entirety on July 1, 2020, as required by subsection (a) of Code Section 47-20-50." However, the Act was not signed by the Governor until August 3, 2020. The State Auditor's determination letter on concurrent funding of fiscal retirement bills provided: "[I]t is unclear as to the effective date of this bill. Based on the information received by the Fund's actuary, Senate Bill 249 met the provisions for concurrent funding had it become effective on July 1, 2020." See the state auditor's report at Ga. L. 2020, p. 380A.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Government instituted for good of whole.

- Allocation of a portion of the fines and forfeitures under this statute is not a violation of Ga. Const. 1945, Art. I, Sec. I, Paras. I, II (see Ga. Const. 1983, Art. I, Sec. I, Para. II and Art. I, Sec. II, Para. I) because of the possibility that peace officers will institute prosecutions for the sole purpose of building the fund as public officers are presumed to do their duty. Cole v. Foster, 207 Ga. 416, 61 S.E.2d 814 (1950) (see O.C.G.A. § 47-17-60).

Appropriation is constitutional.

- Allocation of a portion of the fines and forfeitures under this statute is not an appropriation in violation of Ga. Const. 1945, Art. VII, Sec. V, Para. I (see Ga. Const. 1983, Art. IX, Sec. II, Para. VIII). Cole v. Foster, 207 Ga. 416, 61 S.E.2d 814 (1950) (see O.C.G.A. § 47-17-60).

Unauthorized tax.

- Allocation of a portion of the fines and forfeitures under this statute is not an unauthorized tax in violation of Ga. Const. 1945, Art. VII, Sec. II, Para. I (see Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VII, Sec. II, Para. I). Cole v. Foster, 207 Ga. 416, 61 S.E.2d 814 (1950) (see O.C.G.A. § 47-17-60).

Contractual relation created by section.

- Provisions of this statute, requiring that peace officers pay a defined monthly sum into the fund, create a contractual relation, and the disability and retirement pay provided therein is not a gratuity but is adjusted compensation for services rendered. Cole v. Foster, 207 Ga. 416, 61 S.E.2d 814 (1950) (see O.C.G.A. § 47-17-60).

Cited in Gay v. McTimer, 114 Ga. App. 461, 151 S.E.2d 776 (1966); Carter v. Haynes, 228 Ga. 462, 186 S.E.2d 115 (1971); Peace Officers' Annuity & Benefit Fund v. Blocker, 135 Ga. App. 822, 219 S.E.2d 456 (1975); Busbee v. Gillis, 241 Ga. 353, 245 S.E.2d 304 (1978).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Payments not "costs."

- As to the Peace Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund and the Judges of the Probate Courts Retirement Fund, the General Assembly has drawn a plain distinction between court costs and the payments which must be made into those retirement systems. Therefore, payments which are to be made into the Peace Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund and into the Judges of the Probate Courts Retirement Fund should not be treated as part of court costs. 1972 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 72-29.

Moneys paid whenever costs collected.

- Intent of the added phrase "to include costs" in subsection (a) of this statute indicates the moneys are to be paid whenever costs are collected, whether as part of a fine, bond, or as a result of a settlement and nolle prosequi. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 609 (see O.C.G.A. § 47-17-60).

Collection and recording of amounts due.

- Collecting officer deducts the amount authorized under this statute of the Peace Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund before any moneys arising from fines and forfeitures are paid into the fine and forfeiture fund. The money so deducted is to be accurately recorded and transmitted to the treasurer of the Board of Commissioners of the Peace Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund as provided by law. 1950-51 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 131 (see O.C.G.A. § 47-17-60).

Records of amounts due the Peace Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund must be kept by the person or authority collecting the money. Normally, this person will be the clerk of the court. 1970 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U70-85.

Payment required even though no police are members.

- Law makes no distinction as to any court, and the fact that no police officers in a particular city are members of the fund does not remove the requirement of payment into the fund by any court of such city. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 229.

Remittances from magistrate courts.

- Remittances are required from the magistrate courts to the Sheriffs' Retirement Fund under O.C.G.A. § 47-16-61(b), added in 1986, and will be required for the Peace Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund as of July 1, 1987 by virtue of Act No. 572 which amends O.C.G.A. § 47-17-60. 1987 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U87-12, supplementing 1986 Op. Att'y Gen. U86-33.

Payments not required for seat belt violation cases.

- Amount required to be withheld and paid over to the Peace Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund is not required to be withheld and paid over in cases involving the failure to wear a seat safety belt under O.C.G.A. § 40-8-76.1(e). 2008 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2008-4.

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