This case study of municipal courts in Colorado is based on a multi-year ACLU investigation which revealed that despite a bipartisan reform effort in the state legislature, many of Colorado’s municipal courts persistently ignore both constitutional standards and state law and continue to employ practices that punish defendants for their poverty.
In this report, Mario Salas and Angela Ciolfi analyze driver’s license suspension policies in all 50 states and describe the harmful consequences of “license-for-payment” systems.
County Clerks in Tennessee automatically suspend the driver’s license of persons who fail to pay their traffic debt within a 30-90 day window.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a landmark report detailing the disproportionate harms that communities of color suffer from fines and fees.
Plaintiffs allege that defendant’s practice of suspending drivers’ licenses indefinitely until all court fines and fees are paid regardless of ability to pay violates equal protection and due process.
This report analyzes the first nine months of the Phoenix Municipal Court’s driver’s license reinstatement pilot - the Compliance Assistance Program (CAP) - and calculates the economic impacts of both the suspension and reinstatement of driver’s licenses on individuals and the Phoenix community, including wages and GDP.
California’s 2017 omnibus budget bill included a provision that ends the practice of suspending driver’s licenses for failure to pay fines and fees.
Amy Marie Palacios is a single mother with two children, who earned $20,090 in 2016 - below the federal poverty line for her three-person household. Her driver’s license was suspended in 2015 because she failed to pay the fine for a speeding ticket.
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.
Plaintiffs allege that the Michigan Department of State’s automatic suspension of driver’s license of persons who owe court fines and fees, regardless of their ability to pay violates due process and equal protection.