Lawyers Fight Bail Inequality By Filing More, Smaller Cases

The New York Times has a story about how some lawyers are battling bail inequality by filing small-town lawsuits, forcing policy changes one town at a time – but hoping to spark wider reforms. The NYT reports that there are many cases that illustrate the problem among the nation’s 15,000 trial courts, and both local and national groups are “… waging a guerrilla campaign to reverse what they consider unconstitutional but widespread practices that penalize the poor. These include jail time for failure to pay fines, cash and property seizure in the absence of criminal charges, and the failure to provide competent lawyers.”
This story is part of a significant trend toward reforming that limbo where “civil” cases, like fines and potential property seizure, evolve into situations where people can be arrested. Read it here: Court by Court, Lawyers Fight Policies That Fall Heavily on the Poor.