Justice Department Warns Local Courts About Unlawful Fines and Fees
The Washington Post
March 14, 2016

“The Justice Department is asking local courts across the country to be wary of how they slap poor defendants with fines and fees to fill their jurisdictions’ coffers, warning that such practices often run afoul of the U.S. Constitution and have serious real-world consequences.

“In a letter that will be sent Monday morning to the chief judges and court administrators in all 50 states, Vanita Gupta, the head of the department’s Civil Rights Division, and Lisa Foster, director of the Office for Access to Justice, wrote that illegal enforcement of fines and fees had been receiving increased attention in recent years, and the Justice Department had a ‘strong interest’ in making sure the rights of citizens were protected.”

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