St. Louis County municipal courts agree to uniform fines

AP News
Posted: Apr 09, 2015 3:28 PM

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. (AP) — Nearly all of the 82 municipal courts in St. Louis County have agreed to a uniform standard for fines and court costs, addressing concerns that some courts in the region prey on the poor and minorities.

The agreement was announced Thursday by Frank Vatterott, chairman of the St. Louis County Municipal Courts Improvement Committee.

The committee formed after unrest in Ferguson that followed the fatal August shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. Wilson has since resigned.

The shooting drew attention to racial concerns throughout the region, including municipalities that rely on fines and bench warrants for revenue.

Vatterott says 80 of the 82 municipal courts have adopted the uniform standard. Most of the courts in the county reduced fines to meet the new criteria.