Lance Hartzog's New York driver's license was suspended in 1993 and remained suspended for the duration of his incarceration. The court costs and other fines and fees accrued during this time. After his release from prison in Pennsylvania, he moved home with his wife and together, the two of them worked to pay off the fines. Hartzog was only working minimum wage when he first came home, making an already arduous process that much slower and even more tedious.
Fisher's involvement with law enforcement that led to a suspended license was the result of a DUI for smoking marijuana in 2014. Five years later, his license has still not been reinstated. This is largely due to the extreme financial cost associated with a DUI conviction. In addition to court fees, the DMV also charged Lance expensive and ever accruing fees arising from his DUI during his incarceration.
Bailey Carter was out of work when she received two traffic tickets and her lack of income prevented her from settling this debt immediately. Consequently, her license was suspended.
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.
Nichole Norris, a rural California resident, received four tickets during a single traffic stop, costing her $4000. When she could not afford to pay this total amount, her license was suspended. This court debt was such a burden that it prevented her from paying her electric bill, causing her utilities to be shut off and her landlord to evict her.
This bill would end driver’s license suspensions for failure to pay traffic tickets and failure to appear in traffic court. The bill would also automatically reinstate licenses suspended for failure to pay and failure to appear with no need for individuals to pay reinstatement fees or suspension termination fees.
The North Carolina Next Step Act provides that courts may no longer revoke driver’s licenses for unpaid fines and fees unless there is a court finding at sentencing that the person is able to pay and the person’s license should be revoked if the person fails to pay.
Plaintiffs allege that the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles automatically revokes the drivers’ licenses of people who do not pay their traffic tickets in full within forty days.
Montana House Bill 217 provides that a person’s driver’s license cannot be suspended for failure to pay a fine, fee, or restitution.
Jason Smith’s only license suspension stems from a ticket for having two broken car lights. Following the police stop, he never received anything in the mail with information regarding how to pay the ticket or the date and time of his court date. However, about nine months after he was stopped, Livingston was shocked and confused when he received a letter stating that a default judgment was entered against him, he owed the court approximately $850, and his license was suspended.