The author argues for an exception to the Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971) abstention doctrine (Younger abstention) in cases challenging the criminalization of poverty.
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.
This bill would allow courts to reduce or waive fines and fees imposed on defendants in criminal and traffic court, require courts to consider ability to pay before sentencing a defendant to pay a fine or fee, and require that traffic tickets inform recipients of the court’s ability to waive or reduce fines and fees.
This bill would prohibit the suspension of driver’s licenses for nonpayment of fines and fees, provide for retroactive driver’s license reinstatement, and make a number of technical changes to relevant traffic enforcement activities.
In Michigan, legislation that abolishes the state’s “driver responsibility fees” took effect on October 1, 2018. These fees were introduced in 2003 as a way to balance the state budget, and they have imposed a crushing burden on at least 350,000 drivers statewide.
Filing for bankruptcy to avoid car impoundments and or a boot that immobilizes their vehicle has become a popular “remedy” for Chicago drivers who can’t afford to pay off debt from traffic tickets, parking violations, and vehicle compliance infractions.
This law review article makes the case that the Eight Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause may be a better, albeit underdeveloped, provision to address the epidemic of debtor’s prisons.
The “License to Work Act” identifies the scope and limitations of each government office’s suspension/revocation power, the reasons for which a driver’s privileges could be restricted, and which conditions allow a person to have their license restored.
Idaho’s HB 599 makes two important changes to Idaho law. First, drivers’ licenses will no longer be suspended for nonpayment of court fines and fees. Previously, Idaho suspended licenses for nonpayment of infraction fines and fees, including virtually all traffic violations. Second, the bill decriminalizes driving on a suspended license.
John was arrested for driving with a suspended license in December 1999 and given $400 in court fines, fees, and costs. It wasn’t until February 2018 – nearly 20 years after he was originally arrested – that he finally completed his sentence by spending 20 days in jail to pay down his debt.