Legal Financial Obligations Collections Program
Washington State law authorizes courts to impose Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs). LFOs include restitution, fees, fines, assessments, and costs imposed as part of a criminal judgment upon conviction. LFOs are imposed by the court on top of a criminal sentence. Restitution is ordered whenever an offense results in injury to any person or damage to or loss of property.
In accordance with RCW 9.94A.760:
- Whenever a person is convicted in Island County Superior Court, the court may order the payment of legal financial obligations as part of the sentence.
- Monthly payments towards LFOs are a condition or requirement of a sentence and the offender is subject to penalties for noncompliance as provided in RCW 9.94B.040, 9.94A.737, 9.94A.740.
- The court retains jurisdiction over the offender, for purposes of the offender's compliance with payment of the legal financial obligations, until the obligation is completely satisfied, regardless of the statutory maximum for the crime.
- The defendant shall report to the clerk of the court, as directed by the court to provide financial and other information as requested, RCW 9.94A.760(7)(b).
- Under a judgment and sentence you are required to keep the court informed of your mailing address until all LFOs are fully satisfied. If you need to change your address with the court, email (IslandLFOClerk@islandcountywa.gov) or call 360-678-7977 with your full name, date of birth, case number and your new phone number and/or mailing address. Your phone number is important if there are any questions about the information you provided.
- The County Clerk is authorized to collect unpaid legal financial obligations at any time the offender remains under the jurisdiction of the court for purposes of his or her legal financial obligations.
- The court may issue a bench warrant non-payment of LFOs and failure to appear for financial review hearings and/or Show Cause hearings related to the offender's LFOs.
- The Island County Clerk, upon receipt of each payment made by or on behalf of an offender, distributes the payment in the following order of priority until satisfied:
- Proportionally (restitution) to victims that have not been fully compensated from other sources;
- Proportionally (restitution) to insurance or other sources with respect to a loss that has provided compensation to victims;
- Proportionally to crime victims' assessments;
- Proportionally to costs, fines, and other assessments required by law.
- A defendant sentenced to pay LFOs who willfully defaults in the payments or installments is in contempt of court, RCW 7.21 and RCW 10.01.180(1). In this instance, the court may issue a warrant of arrest for his or her appearance.
Payments can be made in person, by mail, online, or by phone. The Clerk's office accepts cash, money orders, bank cashier's checks, credit cards and debit cards. Personal checks are NOT accepted. In many cases, especially if paying by phone or online, you will need your case number(s). If you do not know your case number, you may be able to find it here.
- In Person: Make payments at the Clerk's office in the Law and Justice Center any time between 8 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday (except holidays).
- By Mail: Mail money orders or cashier's checks made out to "Island County Clerk". Include your name and case number(s) on the money order to insure proper crediting to your case. If you have multiple cases, you only need one money order. Your payment will be split between your cases based on your payment plan or equally distributed as appropriate. If you would like the payment to be split differently, please include a note with specific directions. Mail payments to the Island County Clerk, 1 NE 7th Street, Coupeville, WA 98239.
- Online: Island County Clerk uses nCourt, a third-party company, to take credit card and/or debit card payments and nCourt charges a convenience fee to the defendant for these transactions. The fee ranges from a minimum of $3.50 to 7% of the transaction for each payment. They do group multiple cases into the same transaction. You will need your case number to complete your transaction with nCourt.
- By Phone: Making a payment by phone is the same as online. Payments by phone are done through nCourt; call at 1-855-538-0421. The fees and processes are the same as online.
Request to Waive or Reduce Interest on Legal Financial Obligations
The Washington State Legislature has passed a law found in RCW 10.82.090(2). The law sets forth the circumstances under which an offender can file a motion with Superior Court to waive or reduce interest on portions of an offender's outstanding legal financial obligations.
- The defendant may motion the court to reduce or waive the interest on legal financial obligations levied as a result of a criminal conviction as follows:
- The court may waive interest on the portions of the legal financial obligations that are not restitution if the offender shows that he or she has personally made a good faith effort to pay their LFOs. A "good faith effort" means that the offender has either; paid the principal amount in full; or made at least fifteen monthly payments within an eighteen-month period. Download the attached forms, fill them out, sign them, and return them to the Island County Collections Clerk.