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Suburb Near St. Louis Settles ‘Debtors’ Prison’ Lawsuit for $3.25M

A Missouri town will pay $3.25 million to settle a so-called debtors’ prison lawsuit over allegations that thousands of people were unconstitutionally jailed and forced to pay fines and fees that provided millions of dollars for the town’s coffers.

The town of Maplewood agreed last week to the settlement of the federal class-action lawsuit. Maplewood was among several St. Louis County towns whose policing and court practices fell under scrutiny after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson in 2014.

The Maplewood lawsuit, filed in 2016, alleges unlawful policing and economic injustice. The settlement money will be distributed among more than 7,000 people who were jailed and more than 20,000 who paid fines and fees from Nov. 1, 2011, through Nov. 18, 2021.

Read more at News.law

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