NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The city of New Orleans and the local sheriff no longer face a federal lawsuit over the jailing of poor people who cannot afford to pay court fees.
But Orleans Parish Criminal District Court judges remain defendants in the federal lawsuit that says the practice amounts to an unconstitutional court-maintained ‘debtor’s prison.’
Recent federal court orders resulted in dismissal of city officials and Sheriff Marlin Gusman from the suit. U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance ruled that city officials and Orleans sheriff’s deputies cannot be liable for arresting and jailing people on legally issued warrants.
But Vance said the lawsuit can continue against the criminal court judges over practices leading to the jailing of indigent defendants.
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