News Story (Oregon)
Associated Press (AP)
June 16, 2019
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Tags: Debtors Prison, Fines and Fees
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO)
Angela Minthorn spent nearly two months in jail in 2017 for owing about $1,000.
She sued in early 2018, contending the city was violating the U.S. Constitution by incarcerating a debtor unable to pay the debt.
Minthorn’s “experience is not unique,” the lawsuit said. “It is a reflection of how defendants operate a modern-day debtors’ prison in which people who cannot afford to pay court-imposed fines arising out of minor violations are arrested, incarcerated, and fined further.”
Minthorn received about $80,000. Legal Aid Services of Oregon, a nonprofit civil legal program that provides access to legal help, received $45,000. Some $4,300 went to a trust to administer the settlement payments, and the city received $1,033 for Minthorn’s outstanding fines.