Lawsuit: St. Louis suburb's courts violate rights of poor

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(ST. LOUIS, AP) — A federal lawsuit seeking class-action status accuses 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 are pressing 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 a Justice Department investigation after last summer’s police shooting death of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson concluded Ferguson’s municipal court system driven by profit.