Fines-and-fees system that helps fund court budget is unconstitutional, 5th Circuit rules

  A federal appeals panel has ruled that a system of criminal fines and fees in the New Orleans criminal court was unconstitutional because the money is used to support a general fund overseen by the court’s judges. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 23 on behalf of six criminal defendants who were jailed because they were unable to pay fines and fees. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law noted the decision in … Continued