Municipal Court Settlement Still Has Few Claimants

Nov 15, 2016

Credit Charleston's TheDigitel / Flickr

Hundreds of people who were illegally jailed in a St. Louis suburb are eligible to share in a lawsuit settlement, but with the deadline approaching, most of them have not come forward.

Officials with the non-profit law firm ArchCity Defenders and other advocates for minorities and the poor said at a news conference Monday that only about 400 of the roughly 2,000 people eligible have filed a claim in the settlement with Jennings, Missouri. The deadline is Nov. 24.

The St. Louis County town agreed in July to pay $4.7 million to settle the lawsuit on behalf of people—mostly poor and black—who were jailed over a five-year period for failing to pay a fine or court cost, often stemming from minor traffic offenses.