Advocates for California motorists who face mounting fees for traffic tickets took another step to ease the burden, a settlement that seeks to offer options to paying fines that many people can’t afford.
San Francisco Chronicle
August 8, 2017
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Organizations mentioned/involved: Western Center on Law & Poverty (WCLP), Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC), Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR), Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal)
A settlement was reached on August 8, 2017 in the first lawsuit in California to challenge the suspension of driver’s licenses as a means of collecting unpaid traffic fines. The lawsuit was originally filed on June 15, 2016 against Solano County Superior Court, challenging the court’s practice of suspending the driver’s licenses of people who could not afford the astronomical price of traffic tickets.
The plaintiffs were represented by six organizations, including four LAAC members – Bay Area Legal Aid, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, and Western Center on Law & Poverty.
“Having to choose between food and a traffic fine is not a choice at all,” said Jane Fischberg, President and CEO of Rubicon Programs, a plaintiff in the suit. “This settlement gives us hope that we are finally moving away from unjust systems that criminalize poverty. We applaud Solano County’s good faith effort to make the system more equitable – so that everyone in our communities has an opportunity to achieve economic mobility.”Courts, Driver's license suspension, Judicial Council, Poverty