A class action lawsuit has been filed against the City of Amarillo.
Attorneys Chris Hoffman and Jeff Blackburn say the city unconstitutionally jails people who can’t afford to pay class “C” misdemeanor fines.
This is something the lawsuit refers to as “pay or lay,” where people either have to pay their fines, or go to jail.
The attorneys call that a “modern day debtor’s prison.”
They allege the city’s current municipal code of ordinances doesn’t allow for people to be considered at or below poverty level.
They also say it doesn’t consider alternative punishments such as community service.
We reached out to the City of Amarillo’s spokeswoman, Sonja Gross.
She told us the City does not comment on cases that are still in litigation.