What if I am unable to pay my fines and costs or perform my community service?
Judicial Procedures of the Municipal Court of the City of Montgomery for Indigence/Ability-to-Pay Hearings(Page 8 of 9)
Payment of Fines and Costs
If at any time you cannot pay your fines and costs or perform your community service as ordered by
the Court, you may go before the Court at your Compliance Hearing to discuss your financial situation,
to ask that the Court’s Order be changed (for example, to ask that you pay less) and/or to explain why
you are unable to pay. The time and date of your Compliance Hearing before the Court will be
provided to you in a Court Order given to you at your initial appearance and in subsequent appearances
should further Compliance Hearings be necessary.
If you indicate that you are unable to pay your fines and costs, the Court will order you to complete an
Affidavit of Substantial Hardship and other forms as deemed necessary, and may inquire about your
finances, to include but not be limited to: income, expenses (i.e. rent, childcare, utilities, food, clothing,
medical condition/bills, transportation, etc.), bank accounts, other assets. The Court may also inquire
about your efforts to obtain the money to pay, including your job skills and efforts to apply for jobs.
You should present any documents that you have to the Court during this inquiry.
You cannot be put in jail solely for your inability to pay your fines and costs unless the failure to pay
Based on your income, you may be ordered to perform community service or be placed on a monthly
payment plan. You will be given a Compliance Hearing date to return to Court for the Judge to review
your particular case(s). Your appearance at this Compliance Hearing is mandatory.
You may pay the full amount you owe at any time in accordance with the Court’s Order, and at that
point you will not have to continue to make payments, finish your community service, or appear at
your next scheduled Compliance Hearing. You may contact the Court or inquire at a Municipal Court
pay window if you would like to obtain your balance owed.
If the Court determines that you have a disability or illness that would prevent you from performing
community service, you will not be required to perform community service.
After you have been ordered by the Court to pay your fines and court costs or to perform community
service, you will be given a Compliance Hearing date to come back to Court to review your case(s).
This hearing is mandatory. Even if you are unable to pay all of your fines and costs or complete the
hours ordered before that date, you must attend. At this Hearing, you will have the opportunity to
explain to the Court why you have not complied with the Court’s Order(s) and present evidence. You
could be put in jail if the Court determines that you willfully violated the Court’s Order. If you do not
appear at your Compliance Hearing, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.