Lawsuits say the practice severely penalizes those too poor to pay.
News Story (NATIONAL)
November 21, 2017
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Tags: Court Debt, Driver's license suspension
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Justice Center (Virginia)
Tennessee is one of 43 states, plus the District of Columbia, that suspends driver’s licenses for people with unpaid court debt, according a recent reportby the Legal Aid Justice Center, a Virginia-based organization that filed a lawsuit there challenging the practice. Although Tennessee says it gives drivers 30 days notice before suspending a license, Sprague and her lawyers say she was not told about her suspension and the state does not notify people in every case.
Only four states require a hearing beforehand to determine whether the failure to pay is willful or simply a reflection of poverty, the report found. Almost a million people in Virginia and 150,000 in Tennessee currently have their licenses suspended for failure to pay, according to documents filed in lawsuits there.