St. Louis suburb settles suit over municipal court bonds
VELDA CITY (AP) - The St. Louis suburb of Velda City can no longer jail people in lieu of cash bail for municipal infractions under a federal court settlement. It came after concerns over the bond system's treatment of poor people.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the lawsuit resolved Wednesday was filed on behalf of a 26-year-old mother of two who Velda City police arrested April 2 for driving with a suspended license, a headlight violation and related offenses.
Prosecutors asked for $800 to allow Donya Pierce's release, and she was eventually freed after her attorneys got involved.
The lawsuit challenged the $350 Velda City requires for release on an offense of driving with a suspended license and $150 for most other ordinance violations.
Velda City must now release people on recognizance or an unsecured bond.