ACLU lawsuit: County jails people who can't pay court fines - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

ACLU lawsuit: County jails people who can't pay court fines

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The Washington state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing a local county, arguing that it sends people to jail or forces them to toil on work crews if they fail to pay their court fines - a practice it says amounts to a "modern-day debto The Washington state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing a local county, arguing that it sends people to jail or forces them to toil on work crews if they fail to pay their court fines - a practice it says amounts to a "modern-day debto
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Washington state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing a local county, arguing that it sends people to jail or forces them to toil on work crews if they fail to pay their court fines - a practice it says amounts to a "modern-day debtors' prison."
    
The group has long alleged that Benton County District Court imposes the requirements without investigating whether defendants can afford to pay the fines.
    
Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller said Tuesday that he doesn't agree with the practice. The court didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.
    
The lawsuit, filed as class action in Yakima County Superior Court, is part of a long national campaign by the ACLU to combat the effect of court fines on poor defendants.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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