Rubicon Programs v. Solano County Superior Court (Driver's License Suspension)
ACLU of Northern California, along with a coalition of legal organizations, has brought suit against Solano County Superior Court, challenging the court’s practice of suspending the driver’s licenses of people who are too poor to pay exorbitant traffic fines.
In California, millions of people do not have valid driver’s licenses because they cannot afford to pay traffic fines and fees. In 2015, over 11,000 driver’s licenses were suspended in Solano County for failure to pay. This is the first lawsuit in California to challenge the suspension of driver’s licenses as a means of collecting unpaid traffic fines.
Lead plaintiff in the suit is Rubicon, a nonprofit that provides employment, career, financial, legal and health & wellness services thousands of low-income people across the Bay Area. After the Solano County Superior Court failed to make adequate improvements following a demand letter in April of 2016, the plaintiffs—Rubicon, the ACLU of Northern California, and a low-income individual named Henry Washington—filed suit. Plaintiffs are represented by:
- The ACLU of Northern California
- Bay Area Legal Aid
- The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR)
- Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
- Western Center on Law & Poverty
- Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP