Freeman v. County of Riverside
Prior to passing California Senate Bill 190 (SB 190), counties throughout the state charged fees to families for administrative costs associated with their children’s involvement in the juvenile court system. These fees included daily “costs of support” for each day a youth spent in a juvenile institution. SB 190 eliminated counties’ statutory authority to do so in 2018.
Riverside County’s continuing efforts to collect these juvenile administrative fees after the implementation of SB 190 were illegal, because the County did not comply with its mandatory duties under Welfare & Institutions Code Sections 903 and 903.45 in effect at the time the County charged families for these fees. These duties included assessing a family’s ability to pay the fees before imposing them and obtaining a binding court order authorizing the County to collect the fees. Riverside County’s continuous collection efforts also violated Petitioners’ constitutional rights, because the County failed to provide families with due process before beginning collection of these fees.
Petitioners bring this suit to seek reimbursement for families from whom Riverside County illegally collected millions of dollars in juvenile administrative fees.