The American Civil Liberties Union expects a cascade of change in South Carolina following their lawsuit which accuses Lexington County of running modern day “debtor prisons.” On Thursday morning, the ACLU filed a law suit against Lexington County to stop courts from jailing residents who cannot pay court fines.
South Carolina ACLU legal director Susan Dunn believes that Lexington County’s actions imprison people for simply being below the poverty line. According to Dunn, the five plaintiffs in the ACLU’s case were jailed for several weeks without warning because they failed to pay their fines for traffic tickets and misdemeanor court fees.
The ACLU says this problem isn’t just limited to Lexington County in South Carolina. Dunn said the civil liberties group sued the county because there were enough cases there. They hope the lawsuit will convince other counties to change their practices under the threat of further litigation.