Judicial Correction Services, Inc. (JCS) entered into an agreement with the City of Clanton to exclusively provide probation services and to collect fines and fees for the Clanton Municipal Court. The Municipal Court judge asks the defendants if they wish to pay or be put on a payment plan but rarely discloses the option of community service. If an individual asks for a payment plan, JCS sets the amount owed each month. No inquiry is made into the person’s ability to pay. The standard minimum payment is $140 per month which includes the $40 monthly fee collected by JCS; the remainder is paid to the court. JCS also retains $10 from the first payment as a payment plan set-up charge. Failure to pay may result in arrest and revocation of probation. Plaintiff claims that this is a racketeering enterprise to maximize the collection of court fines and fees without any consideration of an individual’s ability to pay.
The contract between the City of Clanton and JCS was cancelled on May 27, 2015. The plaintiffs entered into a settlement agreement with the City of Clanton on June 16, 2015. The settlement agreement included:
- All persons assigned to probation through JCS are instead to report directly to the Clanton Municipal Court.
- The agreement shall remain in effect for five years.
On June 19, 2015, the case against the City of Clanton was dismissed. Regarding the case against JCS, parties entered into a stipulation on December 13, 2016 and the case was dismissed with prejudice on December 14, 2016. The stipulation details are private.