Second Unconstitutional Debtors’ Prison Case for TZ
On January 2, 2024, Judge Rodney H. Holmes of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri granted preliminary approval of a $2.89 million settlement, which also includes significant forgiveness of outstanding traffic violation debts, in the certified class action challenging the City of Florissant, Missouri’s systematic, allegedly unconstitutional “pay-to-play” arrest and detention scheme that preyed on some of the most vulnerable populations in the area. This decision marks a significant step towards justice for those who have alleged that they were victimized by the City’s challenged practices. This is the second constitutional class action in which TZ has represented victims of a municipality’s “debtors’ prison” scheme.
This case involves three classes, two of which were certified over the City’s opposition on February 1, 2023. If finally approved, the settlement may benefit over 50,000 class members.
Andrea R. Gold of Tycko & Zavareei LLP was appointed Class Counsel, along with Nathaniel Carroll, Maureen Hanlon, John Waldron, and Blake Strode of Arch City Defenders, Inc.; and Ryan Keane of Keane Law LLC. Tycko & Zavareei Associate, Leora Friedman, was a significant part of the team representing the plaintiffs.
The final approval hearing is scheduled for May 13, 2024.
The case is Thomas Baker, et al. v. City of Florissant, Case No.: 4:16-CV-1693 RHH in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division.