Easing the burden of paying court fees

Many Tennesseans live and work in communities that do not have public transportation. This leaves defendants who owe court fees at a real disadvantage when it comes to getting to work to retire those debts.

Editorial (Tennessee)

Johnson City Press
October 4, 2017

Tags: Court Debt, Driver's license suspension, Fines and Fees

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Justice Center (Virginia)


A recent report by the Legal Aid Justice Center found that while most states give judges some discretion when to suspend a license, Tennessee is one of only five states that require judges to indefinitely suspend licenses for failure to pay court fees.

Consideration should be given to defendants who are making a good faith effort to retire their court fees. Simply taking driver’s licenses away from defendants might harm their ability to earn the money they need to pay those court fees.