Reed v. City of Ferguson

This case challenges the constitutionality of the warrant recall fee, letter fee, and failure to appear fee imposed by Ferguson Municipal Court, alleging that these fees were enacted for profit and not to promote the welfare of the public. Payment of the warrant recall fee is required for the appearance in court to contest underlying charges and to recall the warrant. The letter fees is for the service of sending a letter advising a warrant was issued. The failure to appear fee was charged for a violation that was not later litigated. It is treated as strict liability and defendants aren’t given a chance to contest it.


On March 22, 2018, the court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. A jury trial is scheduled for June 8, 2020 at 9:00 AM.

On May 6, 2020, the court approved the settlement of the class action litigation, which included approximately $5.9 million in benefits to the Class. Additionally, pursuant to the settlement, warrant fees and failure to appear fees that were assessed but not paid will be entirely forgiven. 

You can read the full text of relevant documents via the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse.

42 USC § 1983 (alleging Due Process and Equal Protection violations)
4:15-cv-253 (E.D. Mo. 2015)
December 2014, amended March 2015
ArchCity Defenders, Campbell Law, LLC, Saint Louis University Legal Clinic