- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

MAPLEWOOD, Mo. (AP) - A class-action lawsuit has been filed saying the city of Maplewood violates the U.S. Constitution by requiring defendants to pay cash to recall their arrest warrants.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by nonprofit law group ArchCity Defenders, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported (https://bit.ly/2fvj6PL ).

According to the lawsuit, Maplewood’s municipal court issues insurmountable warrant bond fees to people who are unable to make a scheduled court payment or appearance. Due to the defendants’ inability to pay fines, they often end up incarcerated.

The lawsuit said defendants are afraid to appear in court because they can’t afford the bond amounts and don’t want to be taken to jail. It continued to say that bond amounts are set without consideration of whether a poor person could pay.

The city has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit. Maplewood Judge Brian Dunlop said prior to the lawsuit that his policy is to cancel an arrest warrant and waive any bond if the defendant shows up in court with a lawyer.

The suit is seeking damages for the plaintiffs.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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