Missouri Governor Calls for Changes to Municipal Courts

Mar 9, 2015

Credit KBIA

Missouri governor Jay Nixon says municipal courts need to be reformed to restore trust between citizens and the government eroded by abuses like those detailed in a Department of Justice report on Ferguson.

Wednesday's report prompted by the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown condemned Ferguson's municipal court as operating primarily as a city revenue source.

Speaking Friday to the Missouri Bar, Nixon embraced as a good start toward reforms proposals to limit the proportion of revenue cities can get from traffic fines. That measure has passed the Senate and awaits action in the House.

Nixon says changes to how municipal courts operate also are needed to ensure due process is followed and modern-day debtor's prisons are not created.