Brady, a resident of Santa Fe, Texas, lived with and supported his wife and three daughters. The family received food stamps and Medicaid. Brady struggled with pain medication addiction after suffering a serious injury at work.
He received a ticket for an expired inspection sticker. Because he entered an inpatient rehabilitation program, he missed the hearing for his ticket. When he later appeared in court, the judge informed him that he was charged with failure to appear and that he needed to pay the full amount of the fines and fees he owed. No inquiry was made as to his ability to pay. He was unable to pay and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He spent three days in a filthy jail cell; the staff forgot to feed him twice; and he was charged $48 a minute for phone calls to his family. A Santa Fe Police Department staff member told Brady that he could be released earlier if he cleaned their offices. Brady cleaned the offices and was released.
Source: West et al. v. City of Santa Fe, 3:16-cv-00309 (S.D. Tex.)