Monthly Archives: December 2015

Hidden Fees In North Carolina

NBC Nightly News reported on December 9, 2015 that North Carolina is one of the worst states when it comes to charging hidden fees for traffic tickets. The segment reported that hidden fees in NC increased an original traffic ticket of $30 over seven fold to $218. While the State has to find funding for the many services they provide that are not profitable, NBC News reported that some of these “hidden fees” pay partly for court costs. But there might be more appropriate places to assess fines to cover court costs.

In 2014 the UNC School of Government wrote a blog based on the Court of Appeals decision in Tyll v. Berry, stating that a party held in civil contempt for failing to obey a court order can be assessed a fine, not just imprisonment.  However, the State Legislature just passed a law clarifying that when someone is found to be in civil contempt a monetary fine is not an appropriate remedy.

Seems to me that a fine is exactly the appropriate remedy when a party fails to obey a court order and that such a fine, payable to the court rather than the opposing party, could be a valuable source of funding for court-related costs. Fines for civil contempt could also alleviate some of the pressure to assess large “hidden fees” for minor traffic violations.  

Read more here: http://nccriminallaw.sog.unc.edu/thought-you-understood-contempt-think-again/

Things to Remember (A Work In Progress)

In  1995 I started to write down some “Things to Remember” and I’m still working on it. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Never wrestle with a pig. You just get dirty and the pig loves it.
  2. If you want to get out of a hole, stop digging.
  3. You are responsible for your own happiness.
  4. Surround  yourself with positive people.
  5. Lend money to a friend and lose a friend.
  6. Say thank you to those who deserve to be thanked.
  7. If you ever find yourself at a boring dinner party, ask people to describe their most embarrassing moment.
  8. At the end of your career, the time spent with friends and loved ones will provide the best memories.
  9. “ I would gladly give up all that I have for the love of a faithful wife.” J. Paul Getty
  10. “I never forget a face, but in your case I’m going to make an exception.” Groucho Marx