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Utah Legislature: Civil legal fees could be going up

SALT LAKE CITY — Sheriffs around Utah may be able to rake in more fees to help cover the costs of providing services for civil legal action.

On Tuesday a House committee passed HB348, which would increase the default fees for services as well as give county commissions the authority to decide fee amounts.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Richard Greenwood, R-Roy, said the costs of providing civil services for attorneys and businesses have increased and his bill would allow the fees to catch up.

Tooele County Sheriff Frank Park testified in support of the measure, saying that especially in rural counties, current fees do not cover the costs.

If passed, the bill would also apply to the Salt Lake County Unified Police Department and any other county law enforcement agencies that provides civil legal services, Greenwood said.

Fees are only charged to businesses and law firms that use law enforcement officers to serve civil notices and provide other services. Fees are not charged for emergency services or criminal law enforcement, Greenwood said.

See the bill at le.utah.gov/~2010/htmdoc/hbillhtm/HB0348.htm

— Josh Smith