Tennessee: State-wide Driver's License Suspensions


National Center for Law and Economic Justice, Just City, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz

In the five years before the lawsuits were filed, Tennessee suspended more than a quarter of a million driver’s licenses for nonpayment of traffic debt, and Tennessee revoked more than 140,000 driver's licenses for nonpayment of court debt.These suspensions occur without basic constitutional protections and have prevented indigent Tennessee families from accessing jobs, health care, child care, and other many of the other basic necessities of daily life. The mass suspensions also raise profound racial justice concerns: African-American drivers are four times more likely to lose their licenses for nonpayment of traffic tickets than white drivers.

The federal court has issued landmark decisions holding this system unconstitutional. We bring this important case alongside the National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ), Just City, and the law firm Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz.

Filings: Court Debt: Complaint
Traffic Debt: Complaint
Court Debt: Summary Judgment Opinion
Traffic Debt: Opinion Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
Traffic Debt: Preliminary Injunction Opinion
Traffic Debt: Preliminary Injunction Order