This report documents how and when youth and families face fines, fees and restitution and the economic and legal consequences for failure to pay.
Defendant argued that the imposition of court fines and fees is a tax, violated the separation of powers doctrine, and failed to comply with the Distinct Statement Clause.
In Pagedale, MO, the local government was using arrest warrants to collect civil debt from municipal code violations. A suit against the city resulted in a consent decree that reformed the city's ticketing, housing code, and court systems.
Providence Community Corrections (PCC), a private for profit organization, was the manager of the misdemeanor probation system for Rutherford County, Tennessee. Those who could afford to pay the fees were placed on unsupervised probation, those who could not were supervised by PCC. PCC was funded solely by the people it supervised. Probationers were threatened with arrest and revocation of probation which would result in additional fees and court costs.
This case alleged that the City of Biloxi operated a debtor’s prison, routinely jailing indigent people who could not afford to pay fines and fees imposed in traffic and misdemeanor cases.
This case challenged Benton County, Washington’s practice of incarcerating indigent defendants for failure to pay court fines and fees without any inquiry into their financial status or ability to pay.
The complaint alleged that impoverished city residents were jailed solely because of their inability to pay court fines and fees from traffic and other municipal violations.
This Act significantly modifies various provisions related to local government revenue in Missouri, including the imposition and enforcement of fines and fees in municipal courts. The Act imposed a 20% cap on municipal court revenue from fines and fees everywhere in the state except St. Louis County, where the cap was 12.5%.
The SPLC filed a lawsuit challenging Cleveland’s and Watts’ incarceration as a violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution.
In 2007, New York’s Special Commission on the Future of the New York State Courts visited nearly 100 courts in every judicial district, met with hundreds of judges and court officials, and heard testimony from 85 witnesses in order to learn more about the status of New York town and village courts. This report is the product of their comprehensive, first-of-its-kind review of New York’s town and village courts.