Personal Narrative: Jane Doe (Tennessee)

She was a single black woman, age 37, with three children, ages 14, 10, and 8. Her disabled grandmother also lived with her. She worked two jobs to take care of her family and brought home just under $1200 monthly. After paying rent of $715, she had very little left to meet everyone’s needs. She reported having been to Court 1A five times in the past two years, facing charges of driving on a suspended license.

Personal Narrative: Damian Stinnie

During his search for new employment, Stinnie received four traffic citations that totaled $1002.00 in fines and fees. He was unable to pay, and his license was suspended. The first time he knew his license had been suspended was when he was stopped and cited by the police for driving with a suspended driver’s license.

Personal Narrative: Jane Doe (DC)

Tzedek DC's client received several red-light camera tickets approximately three years ago. After transitioning, she legally changed her name. However, her driver license still has her old name on it. Because of her unpaid tickets, which she cannot afford to repay at this time, the DMV has told her that she cannot get a new license with her correct legal name on it.

Personal Narrative: Rachel McKee

In 2015, Ms. McKee was arrested for failing to appear at hearings for traffic citations including speeding, driving without a valid license, and no insurance. After two days in jail, Ms. McKee appeared before the judge and pled guilty to all of the charges. Having no regard for her indigence, the court ordered her to pay $1727 in biweekly payments of $232.00. Ms. McKee had to pay $25 to activate the payment plan and make a down payment of $200.00.