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Evidentiary Hearing of Ability to Purge

Legal Authority:

At any court appearance where the obligor is facing immediate incarceration or imposition of a fine, whether requested by CSS or on the court’s own motion, the court must set purge conditions at the time of execution of sentence.

  • The purge conditions may be presented to the court as an agreement between CSS and the obligor.
  • If no agreement is reached as to the purge conditions, the State’s Attorney requests the court conduct an evidentiary hearing on obligor’s present ability to pay a purge fee.

At the hearing, the State’s Attorney offers evidence or elicits information from the obligor or witnesses relevant to the present ability to pay a purge fee. The State’s Attorney then requests a purge fee be set in accordance with the evidence, or other purge conditions set as appropriate.

It is important for the State’s Attorney to be sure the record reflects that:

  • CSS elicited or offered evidence about the obligor’s current ability to purge, and
  • CSS’s request for a particular purge fee or method is supported by that evidence.