Towns Must Stop Treating Residents Like ATMs

In their quest for cash, municipalities across the nation are trampling individual rights and human dignity by imposing arbitrary and abusive fines on residents. In some cities, if you walk on the left side of the sidewalk rather than the right, you could be fined. BBQ in the front lawn? Face a fine. Have mismatched window treatments? Face a fine.

But this past month, a federal judge approved a major settlement that should create a model for reining in abusive practices at municipal courts.

. . . What happened in Pagedale was certainly alarming but unfortunately not unique. Research by the Conference on State Court Administrators found that more than $50 billion in criminal justice debt is owed by roughly 10 million Americans.

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