Sherwood and Judge Milas Hale dispute ACLU lawsuit over hot check court | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sherwood and Judge Milas Hale dispute ACLU lawsuit over hot check court

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2016 at 2:33 PM

IN DEFENSE: Judge Butch Hale responds to suit over hot check court.
  • IN DEFENSE: Judge Butch Hale responds to suit over hot check court.

The city of Sherwood and Judge Milas "Butch" Hale III have responded to the ACLU-backed lawsuit alleging that the hot check court they operate amounts to a debtors' prison, with unending fees and jail for people originally charged with misdemeanor hot checks. In short, the defendants say: Not guilty.


The city and judge deny all allegations of unconstitutional conduct. While admitting some general descriptions of procedure, the response frequently takes exception to how actions are characterized, such as when the lawsuit said one plaintiff was "snared" by the system.Sherwood and the judge say the plaintiffs haven't made a valid claim and that the lawsuit amounts to unlawful collateral attack on criminal convictions. They say their actions were lawful and based on reasonable interpretations of the law.

The response says they have insufficient information to refute many of the individual tales of woe told by individual plaintiffs, beyond initial check charges. They did, however, dispute some factual assertions. For example: one plaintiff's complaint that she was charged for an insufficient fund check when they said it was written from a closed account. And they also disputed another plaintiff's complaint that he still faced $2,600 in fines and costs from a 2009 hot check.

Significantly, the response claims that the court does consider a defendant's ability to pay charges assessed and will work out payment plans. And, among dozens of general denials, they also specifically deny a claim that a plaintiff, Nakit Lewis, was jailed because she couldn't afford to pay her fines. But the response doesn't give an alternative explanation.

No trial date has been set.


Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation