A class action lawsuit against the City of Amarillo has been dismissed.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of six individuals accused the city of unlawfully incarcerating people who could not pay tickets or other fines that do not carry a jail sentence.  The lawsuit filed in January claimed the city was running a virtual debtors prison.  That was ruled unconstitutional 45 years ago.

The city filed a motion to dismiss the suit shortly after it was filed claiming the city is following all the procedures in municipal court the state requires by law.

The law allows for a convicted defendant to serve jail time but not for the offense they were originally ticketed.  The city admits that occasionally individuals are held for violations of admonitions and official orders of the court related to the adjudication of their original offense.

According to the City of Amarillo there are an above average number of defendants who voluntarily sit out their fines in jail but that is a choice the defendant makes and isn't compulsory as they can choose to pay their fine.

It isn't know if the ruling will be appealed.


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