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June 1, 2017

TMLG and ACLU Challenge Unconstitutional Debtors’ Prison Practices in South Carolina County

In Lexington County, people who can’t afford court fines for traffic and other low-level offenses go to jail, without consideration of their finances and without legal …

 
February 16, 2017

Unanimous Ruling in Washington State Supreme Court Case Against Arlene’s Flowers

In a unanimous decision, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that Arlene’s Flowers and its owner Barronelle Stutzman broke Washington law by refusing to make custom …

 
November 7, 2016

Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Granted in Fuentes v. Benton County

On November 4, 2016, the Yakima County Superior Court granted final approval to a class action settlement reached in Fuentes v. Benton County, a lawsuit challenging the …

 
October 10, 2016

Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement Granted in Fuentes v. Benton County

On October 6, 2016, the Yakima County Superior Court granted preliminary approval to a class action settlement reached in Fuentes v. Benton County, a lawsuit challenging …

 
June 1, 2016

Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Ending Benton County’s Modern-Day Debtors’ Prison

Benton County No Longer Jails or Forces Manual Labor on People Who Can’t Afford to Pay Court-Imposed Debts Press Release | Contact:  Doug Honig, ACLU-WA,  206.624.2184 …

 
April 22, 2016

Alternatives to Modern-Day Debtors Prisons

In an excellent op-ed piece in the Washington Post, Texas Judge Ed Spillane explains that judges in jurisdictions across the country are failing to follow rules that …

 
December 3, 2015

Benton County Takes a Positive Step Toward Ending Its Debtors’ Prison

On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, the commissioners of Benton County unanimously voted to rescind a resolution that set the rates credited to people who are incarcerated in …

 
October 6, 2015

Lawsuit Challenges Benton County’s Modern-Day Debtors’ Prison

Additional Information Frequently Asked Questions Case Documents Class Action Complaint In the News 6/8/16: Los Angeles Times 4/8/16: The Washington Post 12/2/15: Tri-City Herald 11/19/15: JSTOR …

 
June 17, 2014

Securing the Right to a Fair Trial

Everyone accused of a crime has the right to a fair trial and that includes adequate representation for the poor in court. But is merely having the …

 
December 5, 2013

Federal Court Judge Issues Ruling Protecting Constitutional Right to Counsel

The US District Court issued its memorandum opinion today in Wilbur et al. v. City of Mount Vernon, ruling that the cities of Mount Vernon and Burlington have …