Twenty-three year old Levi Lane earns $9 an hour and assists with the care of his brother with special needs. He incurred $20,000 in student debt after pursuing an associate degree. He finished all the course work but never received his diploma because he was unable to pay his final year tuition.
Mr. Lane owed $4300.49 in traffic warrants. The Municipal Court clerks repeatedly informed Mr. Lane that he had to pay his fines in full, 25% to qualify for a payment plan, or go to jail. His ability to pay was never considered by the clerks. There were 17 outstanding warrants for his arrests but only three were related to moving violations. The other 14 warrants stemmed from his indigency. He was arrested for his inability to pay fines and fees. Mr. Lane was incarcerated for 24 days. He lost his job and suffered from emotional distress.
Related: Canaan v. City of El Paso