Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Court Debt: Fines, Fees, and Bail, Circa 2020 at the 2019 AALS Annual Meeting

Here's an announcement for a program that will be co-sponsored by the AALS Section on Civil Procedure at the 2019 AALS Annual Meeting: 

AALS 2019 Program Summary:  “Court Debt”: Fines, Fees, and Bail, Circa 2020

This symposium, co-sponsored by the Sections on Civil Procedure, Tax, Bankruptcy, and Criminal Justice, examines how courts are financed and the growing reliance on user fees, whether for filing or defending civil cases; charges imposed on criminal defendants such as “registration fees” for “free” lawyers; the imposition of both civil and criminal “fines”; and the use of money bail. We explore whether and how constitutional democracies can meet their obligations to make justice accessible, both to participants and to the public, in light of the numbers seeking help from courts, high arrest and detention rates, declining government budgets, and shifting ideologies about the utility and desirability of accessible courts.  These topics have prompted the creation of national and state task forces; litigation (including challenges to detention of individuals eligible for release but lacking funds to secure bail bonds, and the automatic losses of drivers’ licenses for nonpayment of fines); and a mix of economic, political, and legal analyses probing the effects of “court debt.”

Session one:  Understanding the dimensions and the Legal Critiques

     Moderator/introduction: Judith Resnik, Yale Law School

     Brandon Buskey, Staff Attorney, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project, NYC

Abbye Atkinson, Berkeley 

Beth Colgan, UCLA

Crystal Yang, Harvard Law School

Cortney Lollar, Kentucky

     Lisa Foster and Johanna Weiss, co-directors of the Fines and Fees Justice Center

 

Session two: Remedies: from Bankruptcy to Abolition and from Courts to Legislatures

   Introduction/moderator David Marcus, UCLA

Pamela Foohey, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Alex Karakatsanis, Founder and Executive Director, Civil Justice Corps 

     Jeff Selbin, Berkeley

Gloria Gong, Director of Research and Innovation, Government Performance Lab, Harvard Kennedy School

     Maureen O’Connor, Supreme Court Ohio and Chair of the National Center for State Courts on Task Force on Fines and Fees

                     *** 

For those interested in reading cases and commentary in advance, a 2018 volume, Who Pays? Fines, Fees, Bail, and The Costs of Courts, is available at  https://law.yale.edu/system/files/area/center/liman/document/liman_colloquium_book_04.20.18.pdf. Many other articles are available and, in advance of the symposium, we plan to provide a bibliography with additional readings.  An edited set of essays will be published after the symposium in the North Carolina Law Review.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/civpro/2018/08/court-debt-fines-fees-and-bail-circa-2020-at-the-2019-aals-annual-meeting-program.html

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