In re Donna Elaine Anderson

Plaintiff’s complaint requested that the Circuit Court for the County of Macomb take superintending control over the 38th District Court, requiring Judge Carl F. Gerds III to refrain from imposing pay or stay sentences on indigent defendants who are unable to pay their court debt. According to the complaint, Judge Gerd imposed the sentences without an ability to pay determination. Those unable to pay were  jailed immediately. Community service was not offered as an alternative.


On March 8, 2016, Maycomb County Circuit Court ordered Judge Gerds to stop incarcerating indigent defendants unable to pay fines and fees.

You can read the full text of relevant court documents via the ACLU.

42 USC § 1983 (alleging due process and equal protection violations)
15-2380-AS (Circuit Court for the County of Macomb)
July 9, 2015
American Civil Liberties Union