Plaintiffs argue that their Equal protection and Due process rights were violated because of the inadequate notices, lack of inquiry into their ability to pay, and the suspension of their licenses solely because of their inability to pay.
Khalid Salahuddin never received notice of fines and fees that led to his driver's license being suspended. He lost a job offer because he had no license.
Graciela Rodriguez is a 76-year-old caregiver who takes three different buses for five hours to get to work each day. She receives Supplemental Security Income. Her license was suspended because of unpaid Driver’s Responsibility Program (DRP) surcharges.
During the summer of 2018, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice voted to reduce the price of phone calls made from Texas prisons. Previously, incarcerated people paid an average of $0.26 per minute to call their loved ones; now the rate is $0.06 per minute, and the time limit for calls was increased from 20 to 30 minutes.
Starting in 2018, Texas’ Office of Court Administration (OCA) made changes to the rule that requires Texas counties and cities with a population of 100,000 or more to implement a Collection Improvement Program (CIP). The CIP webpage also includes a variety of sample language for court and program staff to use, including “Sample Payment Plan Application” and “Sample First Written Notice.”
This report is a culmination of a year of research that involved interviews conducted with 380 people who made contact with systems of justice in eight states and were assessed fines and fees.
This bill aims to improve the fairness of the Texas criminal justice system’s response to defendants’ inability to pay fines and fees in criminal cases, particularly in traffic and city ordinance violations.
This review of law and policy is the first-year report of a five-year study comprising quantitative and qualitative research that provides a detailed understanding of how fines and fees are imposed and enforced across the United States.
This joint report by Texas Appleseed and the Texas Fair Defense Project evaluates how often fine-only offenses - offenses punishable only by a fine and no jail sentence – in fact subject Texans to jail time and suspensions of driver’s licenses or the inability to renew a license or register a vehicle because of their inability to pay.
Levi Lane owed $4300.49 in traffic warrants. He was arrested for his inability to pay fines and fees. Mr. Lane was incarcerated for 24 days.