Velda City faces lawsuit over fixed bail amounts

5 years 9 hours 32 minutes ago Wednesday, April 08 2015 Apr 8, 2015 Wednesday, April 08, 2015 6:02:27 AM CDT April 08, 2015 in News
By: The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) - An eastern Missouri town faces a lawsuit over its fixed bail amounts that plaintiffs say violate the rights of the poor.

Velda City requires defendants to pay a set bail amount before being released on municipal court charges. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the fee is $350 for driving with a suspended license and $150 for most other ordinance violations.

Two organizations, ArchCity Defenders and Equal Justice Under Law, filed the lawsuit in federal court, claiming the bail amounts are unconstitutional. They say the bail amounts don't consider individualized factors and automatically lead to the detention of people who can't afford to pay them.

The newspaper says the town's municipal judge and city attorney couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

 

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