The City of Ferguson jails people when they cannot afford to pay their traffic debt and cash bonds for other minor offenses. No inquiry is made into the person’s ability to pay, no alternatives to payment are offered to the individuals, and no counsel is provided. Jail officers arbitrarily set amount for relatives to pay in order for the individuals to be released. According to the complaint, “In 2014 the City of Ferguson issued an average of more than 3.6 arrest warrants per household and almost 2.2 arrest warrants for every adult, most in cases involving unpaid debt for tickets.”
Administratively closed until resolution of interlocutory appeal to the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals on the District court’s lack of subject matter jurisdiction based on sovereign immunity. Pending before the United States District court Eastern District of Missouri Easter Division.
You can read the full text of relevant documents via the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse.