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Fri Aug 28, 2015, 04:53 PM

Jennings settles federal lawsuit over municipal court; voluntary reforms coming elsewhere

The changes are part of a proposed settlement to a federal lawsuit brought on behalf of 10 individuals who say they were held in the Jennings jail solely because they could not pay a traffic fine. Federal judge Carol E. Jackson must still formally accept the terms for them to take effect.

"We are very happy with the agreement," said Michael-John Voss, with the nonprofit legal agency Arch City Defenders, which filed the suit along with Washington, D.C.-based Equal Justice Under Law and the Saint Louis University legal clinic. "The city of Jennings worked from the outset to address our concerns. In the end, everyone agrees that it violates fundamental and longstanding principles of equality and fairness at the core of our legal system to keep a human being in a cage because of poverty."


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