Rubicon Programs, et al. v. Superior Court of California, County of Solano, et al.

Summary of the cause of action

Solano County Superior Court routinely informed the DMV of persons who fail to pay their court fines and fees or fail to appear to contest the fines. DMV, acting under statute, automatically suspended the driver’s licenses of such persons, regardless of indigence and inability to pay. Driver’s licenses are suspended even when people don’t pose a safety risk.


Action dismissed with prejudice to all parties. The parties entered in a stipulation agreement. The Settlement includes:

  • Solano County Superior court will not notify the DMV of a person’s failure to pay unless notice and information on how to request a hearing is given to the defendant.
  • Traffic defendants must be informed of their right to seek an ability  to  pay  determination
  • A memorandum from the Presiding Judge would be sent to all court personnel informing them of the method to be used in ability to pay determinations.

N.B. The first provision of the settlement has been rendered moot because California no longer suspends driver’s licenses for unpaid fines and fees.

You can read the full text of the complaint here and the full text of the settlement agreement here.

American Civil Liberties Union
42 USC § 1983 (alleging due process and equal protection violations)
FCS047212 (Sup. Ct. Ca., Co. of San Francisco 2016)
June 2016