After this litigation victory, $550 million to $1 billion of court debt from late fees will be erased.
For years, California courts have burdened low-income people with unlawful civil assessments. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, ACLU Foundation of Northern California, and Bay Area Legal Aid sued the Judicial Council of California and San Mateo Superior Court for automatically imposing excessive court late fees on 80,000 low-income residents, violating California law. The San Mateo Superior Court raised over $9 million from these fees in just three years. As a result of the organizations’ litigation, a new law canceled the program and ended the practice of charging late fees for profit.
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