Kansas established a uniform system of district court docket fees in 1974. These original docket fees were $35 for civil cases and varying amounts for criminal cases, depending upon the nature of the crime.
From 1984 to 1995, local law libraries were allowed to charge differing library fees in addition to statutorily set docket fees, which caused docket fees to be non-uniform.
In 1996, the Legislature passed legislation that returned docket fees to a uniform level and also added docket fees for filing post-divorce motions for changes in child custody, child support orders, or visitation. The 2006 Legislature passed legislation specifying only the Legislature can establish fees or moneys for court procedures, including docket fees, filing fees, or other fees related to access to court procedures.
The 2006 Legislature raised docket fees for four purposes: to provide additional funding for the State General Fund associated with an approved judicial branch salary increase, to provide an increase in funding for the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center Fund, to provide funding for the Kansas Judicial Council’s judicial performance evaluation process, and for the Child Exchange and Visitation Centers Fund.
The 2009 Legislature raised docket fees to provide funding for the first phase of a statewide non-judicial personnel salary adjustment and raised the docket fee in criminal cases by $1 to fund a $186,239 increase to the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Training Fund.
The 2014 Legislature redirected docket fees from state agencies to the Judicial Branch starting in fiscal year (FY) 2014. Starting in FY 2015, docket fees were deposited in three places: the Judicial Council, the Electronic Filing Management Fund, and the Judicial Branch Docket Fee Fund. Through FY 2021, the Electronic Filing Management Fund will receive the first $3.1 million in clerk’s fees. From FY 2022 forward, that amount will be reduced to $1.5 million for annual maintenance and upkeep.
The Office of Judicial Administration collected $26.8 million in district court docket fees, surcharges, and miscellaneous revenue for the State Treasury in FY 2020.
Fines, penalties, and forfeitures. In FY 2020, the Judicial Branch collected $15.5 million in fines, penalties, and forfeitures. A portion of funds collected, 33.6 percent, is earmarked for assisting victims of crime, alcohol, and drug abuse programs; children’s services; and other law enforcement-related activities. The remainder is transferred to the State General Fund for general operations.
Other fees. In addition to docket fees, the Judicial Branch also imposes other fees and assessments on individuals who use the judicial system. The Judicial Branch collected $7.7 million in other fees and assessments in FY 2020. These fees support law enforcement-related activities within the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Office of the Attorney General, Board of Indigents’ Defense Services, and the Kansas Department of Corrections.
The 2009 Legislature authorized the Supreme Court to enact a new surcharge in FY 2009. The surcharge is approved annually by the Legislature. The 2011 Legislature increased the surcharge by 25.0 percent. The 2014 Legislature abolished the Surcharge Fund and directed all docket fees generated by the surcharge be deposited in the Docket Fee Fund. The 2019 Legislature extended the surcharge through FY 2025.
|Name of Fund||Administering Authority||Percent of Fees||Revenue to Fund, FY 2020 Actual||Revenue to Fund, FY 2021 Estimate||Revenue to Fund, FY 2022 Estimate|
|DOCKET FEE DISTRIBUTION|
|Judicial Branch Docket Fee Fund||Chief Justice, Kansas Supreme Court||99.01%||$23,525,805||$23,779,116||$25,379,116|
|Judicial Council Fund||Judicial Council||0.99||183,372||185,684||185,684|
|Electronic Filing Management Fund||Chief Justice, Kansas Supreme Court||N/A||3,100,000||3,100,000||1,500,000|
|Subtotal – Docket Fee Distribution||100.00%||$26,809,177||$27,064,800||$27,064,800|
|FINES, PENALTIES, AND FORFEITURES|
|Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund||Attorney General||10.94%||$1,697,857||$1,697,857||$1,697,857|
|Crime Victim’s Assistance Fund||Attorney General||2.24||347,642||347,642||347,642|
|Community Alcoholism and Intoxication Programs Fund||Aging and Disability Services||2.75||426,792||426,792||426,792|
|Dept. of Corrections Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Fund||Department of Corrections||7.65||1,187,258||1,187,258||1,187,258|
|Boating Fee Fund||Wildlife, Parks and Tourism||0.16||24,832||24,832||24,832|
|Children’s Advocacy Center Fund||Attorney General||0.11||17,072||17,072||17,072|
|EMS Revolving Fund||Emergency Medical Services Board||2.28||353,850||353,850||353,850|
|Trauma Fund||Secretary of Health and Environment||2.28||353,850||353,850||353,850|
|Traffic Records Enhancement Fund||Department of Transportation||2.28||353,850||353,850||353,850|
|Criminal Justice Information Systems Line Fund||Kansas Bureau of Investigation||2.91||451,624||451,624||451,624|
|State General Fund||Kansas State Legislature||66.40%||$10,305,091||$10,305,091||$10,305,091|
|Subtotal – Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures||100.00%||$15,519,715||$15,519,715||$15,519,715|
|OTHER FEES AND ASSESSMENTS|
|State General Fund||Various||Fee||$227,187||$227,187||$227,187|
|Law Enforcement Training Center Fund||Various||Fee||1,980,977||1,980,977||1,980,977|
|Marriage License Fees||Various||Fee||792,990||792,990||792,990|
|Correctional Supervision Fund||Various||Fee||985,094||985,094||985,094|
|Drivers License Reinstatement Fees||Various||Fee||1,068,796||1,068,796||1,068,796|
|KBI-DNA Database Fees||Various||Fee||744,579||744,579||744,579|
|Community Corrections Supervision Fee Fund||Various||Fee||433,065||433,065||433,065|
|Indigent Defense Services Application Fee||Various||Fee||593,825||593,825||593,825|
|Indigent Defense Services Bond Forfeiture Fees||Various||Fee||580,164||580,164||580,164|
|Other (e.g., Law Library, Court Reporter, Interest)||Various||Fee||279,591||279,591||279,591|
|Subtotal – Other Fees and Assessments||$7,686,268||$7,686,268||$7,686,268|
|Total of All Docket Fees, Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Assessed||$50,015,160||$50,270,783||$50,270,783|
Steven Wu, Senior Fiscal Analyst
Amy Deckard, Assistant Director for Fiscal Affairs
Robert Gallimore, Managing Research Analyst