Bill would increase court costs

A state Senate committee advanced legislation Tuesday that would increase court costs for Orleans Parish’s Criminal District Court and the Louisiana Supreme Court.

The Senate Committee on Finance made quick work of Senate Bills 124 and 155, both sponsored by state Sen. Ed Murray.

Murray, D-New Orleans, cited revenue concerns as the reason for the legislation.

“Costs have not been increased in a really long time,” he said.

SB124 would increase maximum criminal court costs in Orleans Parish from $25 to $100 for non-indigent defendants who plead guilty or are convicted. Additional costs are allowed for defendants in misdemeanor and felony cases that do not involve a traffic citation. For misdemeanors, the maximum additional cost would increase from $250 to $500 for misdemeanors and from $2,000 to $2,500 for felonies.

SB155 would increase state Supreme Court filing fees from $150 to $300. The court also would be able to double the fees for rehearings and reconsiderations.