Fant v Ferguson Settlement

Background

On [ ] __ plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against the city of Ferguson alleging that their constitutional rights were violated by City of Ferguson’s policies and practices of jailing individuals in inhumane conditions when these individuals could not pay bonds or other fines or fees, without inquiring into their ability to pay or considering alternatives to detention, without a neutral determination of probable cause to justify their continued confinement (in the case of warrantless arrests) or a first appearance before a judge (in the case of arrests on warrants), and without affording them counsel.

On [ ], a federal judge preliminarily approved a $4.5 million settlement of a class action lawsuit, filed against the City of Ferguson on February 8, 2015—nearly seven and a half years ago—in the wake of Michael Brown’s killing and the national outrage that followed. The lawsuit sought justice and damages for thousands of people who alleged Ferguson routinely violated their constitutional rights through the jailing of people in deplorable conditions, often without inquiring into their ability to pay. The case was litigated by ArchCity Defenders, Civil Rights Corps, St. Louis University School of Law Civil Litigation Clinic, and White & Case LLP.  

The settlement provides much needed and substantial monetary relief to class members.  Settlement funds will be distributed amongst over [over 15,000]  people who were jailed by Ferguson between February 8, 2010 and December 30, 2022. Settlement money will be distributed to class members based on the number of hours the individual class member spent detained in the Ferguson jail, with those who spent more time in jail receiving larger portions of the settlement.  The City of Ferguson has denied and continues to deny the allegations in the Action and that, although the Plaintiffs believe they would have prevailed at trial, none of the allegations or claims were adjudicated or decided by the Court.

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