O'Neill Rogge et al v. Fleming (Criminal Justice)

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Jul 31, 2023

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ACLU Nor Cal files lawsuit over unequal system of justice

In Santa Clara County, people who want to voluntarily appear in court to address an outstanding arrest warrant must first go to jail if they are too poor to post bail. This system, which is a direct consequence of a local court policy, results in wealth-based detention and unequal access to the courts in violation of the U.S. and California Constitutions.

Today, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California and Criminal Defense Clinic at Stanford Law School sued Santa Clara County Superior Court over its unfair policy that unnecessarily locks up poor people. The complaint was filed on behalf of Nikolaus Jackson O’Neill Rogge and Silicon Valley De-Bug, a non-profit organization.

The lawsuit seeks to compel Santa Clara County Superior Court to bring itself in line with many other counties in California that provide a fair opportunity for people to come to court to clear up an outstanding arrest warrant without first having to post money bail.

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