Federal lawsuit questions St. Louis suburb's fines
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A public interest law firm is suing a St. Louis suburb in federal court over the city's ticketing for such things mismatched curtains, how pedestrians use a crosswalk and where residents stage barbecues on their property.
The Arlington, Virginia-based Institute for Justice filed the lawsuit Wednesday in St. Louis, asking a judge to stop the city of Pagedale from enforcing city codes that the plaintiffs call for-profit and unconstitutional. The suit seeks class-action status.
The suit on behalf of two Pagedale residents alleges that over the past five years, the number of non-traffic municipal fines issued there has increased by nearly 500 percent.
The lawsuit comes four months after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed into law a measure limiting cities' ability to profit from traffic tickets and court fines.