Q A municipality often issues show cause notices to defendants who fail to appear in court. May the municipal judge assess a reasonable amount of court cost for the issuance of a show cause notice?

A No. There is no authority to assess court costs for the issuance of a show cause notice. Under Section 21-23-7, however, the municipal court has the power to impose a fine of not more than $1,000 or six months in jail or both for contempt of court. The notice requirement of Section 63-1-53 must be


complied with first. (Attorney Generalís Opinion to Nowak dated April 4, 2011)