Lawsuit: St. Louis suburb's courts violate rights of poor
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal lawsuit seeking class-action status accused a St. Louis suburb of violating the rights of the poor by jailing them because they can't pay small amounts of bond money.
Wednesday's lawsuit in St. Louis against 13,000-resident St. Ann alleges people unable to come up with bail ranging from $150 to $350 frequently have to spend at least three days in jail.
St. Louis-based ArchCity Defenders and Washington-based Equal Justice Under Law pressed the lawsuit.
A message seeking comment was left Thursday with St. Ann's city administrator.
Municipal courts in portions of the St. Louis area have come under increasing scrutiny since the release of a Justice Department investigation following Michael Brown's shooting death in nearby Ferguson. That report concluded Ferguson's municipal court system was driven by profit.
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