Los Angeles Bail Schedule
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Phillip Urquidi, Terilyn Goldson, Daniel Martinez, Arthur Lopez, Susana Perez, and Gerardo Campos, all of whom are in jail because they and their families could not afford to pay the arbitrary amounts dictated by the bail schedule. They are joined as plaintiffs by an interfaith coalition of CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice); its Executive Director Reverend Jennifer Gutierrez; Reverend Gary Bernard Williams, Pastor Saint Mark UMC and Board Member of CLUE; and Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, Professor of Rabbinic Literature, American Jewish University. These clergy plaintiffs are challenging the unconstitutional use of their taxes to fund the bail schedule.
Los Angeles County has the largest jail system in the country. And the bail schedule deprives thousands of presumptively innocent people of their liberty because they can’t afford to pay the amounts on the bail schedule, forcing them to languish in police lockups and county jail facilities, often under inhumane conditions, before they are given a lawyer or a judge or lawyer has even seen the case. People who are jailed pretrial risk losing their housing, earnings, and jobs, and their families are also severely impacted, traumatizing children and other dependents. Additionally, people jailed pretrial have significantly worse case outcomes than people who are not. They face greater pressure to plead guilty, are given longer sentences, and, because of jail’s destabilizing effects, are more likely to be re-arrested than those who are released immediately.