Friday, February 10, 2006

Public Defender class action District Court suit

Constitutional rights of the poor for more than 20 years have been being violated by Hamilton County courts by sending them to jail for not being able to pay minor fines, U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Spiegel found last Tuesday, according to an Enquirer article Wednesday.

The case, a class action suit claiming “systematic failure to provide representation on the issue of defendants’ ability to pay fines and/or costs assessed by Hamilton County Municipal Court, resulting in incarceration despite their inability to pay those fines/costs.” District Court granted summary judgment against the County on the issue of liability, but stayed consideration on a motion for damages until a March 15th. hearing.

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