Plaintiffs allege that South Carolina’s policy and practice of suspending the driver’s licenses of individuals who cannot afford to pay traffic fines and fees without first holding hearings to determine an individual’s ability to pay and the willfulness of their nonpayment(s) punishes individuals for their poverty.
Melanie Schneidau is a white, 45-year-old resident of South Carolina. As a mother, she tries her best to care for her children but she has not been able to provide basic healthcare for them for years due to her license suspension.
This case alleges that Lexington County operates a modern-day debtors’ prison pursuant to a Default Payment Policy and a Trial in Abstentia Policy.
Ms. Corder drove to work with a suspended license because her job was her only source of income. She was stopped by law enforcement, received three new citations, and her car was impounded. As a result, she owed $1320 in fines and fees.