This case challenges the state of Oregon’s policy of suspending the driver’s licenses of people who cannot afford to pay fines and fees for traffic violations.
Bermudez owed $2,812.38 in court debt and her driver’s license was suspended. She could not afford to keep up with the court’s payment plan because she already struggled to buy necessities for herself and her children. She continued to drive with a suspended driver’s license to take her children to the school, to get to work, to buy groceries and other basic things. There was no reasonable alternative for her.
Mendoza owed $11,282.77 to three courts. It was impossible for her to pay that amount to have her license reinstated. It was difficult for her to find work near her home so she was forced to drive on a suspended license.
This bill would limit a court's ability to suspend a defendant’s driver’s license, repeal a number of statutes that treat driver’s license suspension as an enforcement mechanism for unpaid fines and fees, and amend several other statutes.
This Act directs Oregon counties to create community service programs that allow parolees to participate in lieu of paying certain types of debts such as court-appointed attorney fees.
This article focuses on a potential reform with increasing bipartisan support: the graduation of economic sanctions according to a person’s financial circumstances, also known as "day fines" or "means-adjusted fines."
This bill directs Oregon’s Department of Transportation to create a program that allows certain individuals who have had their driver’s licenses suspended to apply for a reduction or waiver of the criminal justice debt that prevents them from regaining driving privileges.
This report is the result of a collaborative research project from 20 community-based organizations that studied the costs of incarceration on families across 14 states.