Relevant litigation: Fant et al. v. City of Ferguson
Mr. Roelif Carter is a 62 year old disabled military veteran who suffers daily from the effects of a brain aneurism. He and his wife depend on disability payment and food stamps.
Ten years ago, he pled guilty and was assessed monetary fines for the traffic violations. He was ordered to pay $100 a month. Fear of jail coerced Mr. Carter to make the payment until he simply could not afford to do so. He was unable to pay the full amount by his due date but brought the full amount the next day. The clerk refused to accept the payment, because a warrant was already issued for his arrest. To remove the warrant, he needed to pay several hundred dollars more. He was arrested and could not be released from jail until someone paid $600 on his behalf. He spent three days in jail and was released without any payment being made, but was told he owed over $1000. He has been in and of jail at least three times after this incident. Each time he was jailed, he did not have access to basic necessities like toothpaste nor was he able to shower or wash his clothes. No inquiry was made as to his ability to pay the debt.