August 21, 2018

New Orleans judges to appeal decisions in fines and fees lawsuits

After a federal court agreed with our suit that Orleans Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell’s bond court violates the constitutional rights of pre-trial detainees, Cantrell and the 12 judges of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court will appeal the federal court decision rather than implement reforms. Judge Cantrell sets high bail amounts without any consideration of  ability to pay or alternatives; he also insists on using commercial bond companies (rather than cash), which require a non-reimbursable fee, a portion of which goes to the court’s General Fund – revenue Cantrell and other judges’ control.