Surcharge for Indigent Legal Services
Increases the surcharge for civil actions. Adjusts the distribution formula of the funds for legal-services organizations for the indigent. (HB625 HD1)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO SURCHARGE FOR INDIGENT LEGAL SERVICES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that in the 2007 Assessment of Civil Legal Needs and Barriers of Low- and Moderate-Income People of Hawai‘i, four out of five low- and moderate-income residents did not have their legal needs met and that legal service providers are only able to assist one in three who contact them for assistance.
The legislature also finds that to increase the delivery of legal service, more funding is necessary. Additional funds could be generated by increasing the surcharge for indigent legal services, as recommended by the Access to Justice Hui in its Community Wide Action Plan: Ten Steps to Increase Access to Justice in Hawai‘i by 2010.
The legislature further finds that the Hawaii Consortium of Legal Services Providers has been working diligently to strengthen and increase outreach and services to low-income residents, and that each unique legal service provider requires a certain minimum amount of funding to meet basic expenses necessary to operate the respective non-profit organization or program. Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to change the allocation formula so that thirty per cent of all funds distributed shall be provided equally to all organizations or programs that meet the qualifications for receipt of the funds, in addition to a seventy per cent distribution of all funds pro rata under the current formula.
SECTION 2. Section 607-5.7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:
1. By amending subsections (a) and (b) to read:
"(a) In addition to the costs and fees
prescribed in section 607-5, any person in a civil action in the circuit court
who is required to pay an initial filing fee shall pay an additional surcharge
$25] $65 at the time of the person's initial filing. Initial
filings for which this surcharge shall be assessed include;
(1) Complaints, petitions, interventions, applications for special proceedings, and answers containing one or more cross-claims or counter-claims; and
Third party] Third-party
complaints, but shall not include post-judgment civil process.
(b) In addition to the costs and fees
prescribed in section 607-4, any person [
who files an action for summary
possession in the district court] in a civil action in the district
court who is required to pay an initial filing fee shall pay an additional
surcharge of [ $10] $35 at the time of the person's initial
filing. Any person in a civil action in the [ supreme court] courts
of appeal who is required to pay an initial filing fee [ also] shall also
pay an additional surcharge of [ $25] $65 at the time of the
person's filing. No surcharge shall be assessed against:
(1) Small claims cases;
(2) Petitions for temporary restraining orders;
(3) Petitions for protective orders;
(4) Any party who has received the court's permission to proceed in forma pauperis; or
(5) Any party proceeding on behalf of the county or State.
Surcharges subject to this section shall be limited to one payment per party."
2. By amending subsection (g) to read:
"(g) Funds shall be distributed as follows:
(1) General distribution. Seventy per cent
of all funds shall be distributed on a pro rata basis to organizations that
meet the criteria in subsection (f), based upon the portion of their total
budget expended in the prior year for civil legal services to indigent persons
as compared to the combined total expended in the prior year for legal services
by all qualifying organizations applying for funding. An applicant that
provides services other than civil legal services to indigent persons may
establish its proportionate entitlement to funds based upon financial
which] that strictly segregate [ that] the
portion of the organization's expenditures in the prior year [ which] that
were devoted exclusively to the provision of civil legal services for [ indigents.]
indigent persons; and
(2) Supplemental distribution. For organizations that apply for and receive funding under subsection (f), whose total budget expended in the prior year for civil legal services to indigent persons exceeded $100,000, thirty per cent of all funds shall be distributed equally to all such organizations."
SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2020.