by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Judiciary of Guam hasn't implemented any increases in traffic fines in more than a decade, but that's about to change. The Judicial Council has approved an interim increase in all fees and non-statutory fines to help pay for indigent defense for those who can't afford attorneys.
Court Policy, Planning and Communications Director Maria Cenzon says the current proposal is to increase fines and fees by 50% in the first year, beginning on April 1, 2011. Additional increases are being discussed for future years. "We're considering the percentage of increases but also considering what other jurisdictions are doing across the nation. California for one has increased substantially the cost of their traffic fees and fines. So what we're trying to do is come up with some comparables so it's not overwhelmingly burdensome to the public," she explained.
If the Council doesn't act to make the increases permanent, the interim increase of fees and fines would expire on September 30. The public can provide written comments until March 30 to the Supreme Court. The Judicial Council will review those comments during a meeting on March 31.