Fines and Fees in Operating Budget (Baltimore City Police Department)

Curtis Waltman filed this request with the Department of Finance of Baltimore, MD.

It is a clone of this request.

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Completed

Communications

From: Curtis Waltman

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Maryland's Public Information Act ("PIA"), I hereby request the following records:

* A copy of any official calculations of revenue coming from court fees and fines between FY 11 and FY 15, or calendar year 2010 and calendar 2014 if your government operates on a calendar year budget cycle.

* Accounts Receivable databases that cover fines and fees paid for government services by individuals, rather than businesses. This would include Revenue Journals that cover such payments, as well as other financial statements that cover income from fees and fines.

* Any logs of appeals of fines that is kept by this agency, including, if the log has it, outcome of the appeal, payments made, and other fields that are present in such a log.

*A copy of contracts with any vendors that help manage the assignment, collection, or management of fees and citation information. This would include contracts with vendors that provide parking ticket software, for example, as well as court fees.

*The record layout for any databases that are used to track the assignment, collection, or management of fees, fines and citations. This would just be a copy of the header columns in these databases, and not the information in the databases.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Curtis Waltman

From: Hochstetler, Jeffrey

Dear Mr. Waltman,

Your request for information from the Baltimore City Department of Finance ("Finance"), below, is governed by the Maryland Public Information Act ("PIA"), MD Code, General Provisions Article ("GP"), sections 4-101, et seq.

Your request is both broad and vague, and makes it difficult for Finance to ascertain the specific records you are seeking. For your convenience, however, the following information may be helpful and responsive to your request.

Please see page 55 of the Fiscal 2015 Budget Executive Summary for a breakdown of revenue by fines and forfeits: http://ca.baltimorecity.gov/flexpaper/docs/FY2015%20Executive%20Summary.pdf. Additional budget documents are available publicly here: http://finance.baltimorecity.gov/PublicInformation/DocumentsReports.aspx. For other datasets related to fine revenues, please explore the Open Baltimore datasets here: http://finance.baltimorecity.gov/PublicInformation/DocumentsReports.aspx.

Please note that if you are seeking tracking and collection information pertaining to fines and fees, that information is likely broken down by the specific categories of fines or fees, and Finance would need you to specify which categories you are interested in before it can determine if records responsive to your request exist. For instance, records of fines levied against individuals fall into a number of categories. You can find many of these listed in the Baltimore City Code, Article 1, Sections 41-14 and 40-14, available at: http://archive.baltimorecity.gov/portals/0/charter%20and%20Codes/code/Art%2001%20-%20MayorCouncil.pdf. Please let us know which specific categories of fines you are interested in and we can determine the existence of corresponding records. Please note, however, that much if not all information associated with fees paid by individuals would constitute personal financial information, which the custodian is required to withhold pursuant to the Maryland Public Information Act, section 4-336 of the General Provisions Article of the Maryland Code. See Kirwin v. The Diamondback, 352 Md. 74 (1998). If, however, you can specify the type of fees you are interested, we can determine if corresponding records exist that do not contain personal identifying information.

Finally, according to the Department of Finance, the City has a contract with Penn Credit, B50004069, for the collection of delinquent parking fines. You can find information on parking citations here: https://data.baltimorecity.gov/Transportation/Parking-Citations/n4ma-fj3m. Otherwise, the City does not have "contracts with vendors that help manage the assignment, collection, or management of fees and citation information."

Nothing in this response is intended to indicate that any records exist, or to waive any privileges held by the Mayor and City Council. You may contest this response by filing a complaint in Circuit Court pursuant to GP section 4-362.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey P. Hochstetler
Assistant Solicitor
Baltimore City Law Department
100 North Holliday Street<x-apple-data-detectors://18/1>
City Hall<x-apple-data-detectors://18/1>, Suite 101
Baltimore, MD 21202<x-apple-data-detectors://19/0>
Phone: (410) 396-8186<tel:(410)%20396-3012>
Fax: (410) 576-7203<tel:(410)%20576-7203>
jeffrey.hochstetler@baltimorecity.gov<mailto:jeffrey.hochstetler@baltimorecity.gov>

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