Criminal defendants challenging a Louisiana court’s debt policies may proceed as a class, a federal court ruled Aug. 2.
All criminal defendants who owe court debts are at risk of imprisonment without due process, Judge Sarah S. Vance wrote for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. That makes certification of their claims appropriate, the court said.
The case could result in a policy change that would affect the thousands of individuals prosecuted by the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court each year.
Several defendants filed a civil rights class action under 42 U.S.C. §1983, challenging how the...