Last month, a judge gave preliminary approval to a $1.3 million settlement in a "debtors' prison" class action lawsuit against the city of Normandy. Earlier this week, the ArchCity Defenders law firm, which brought the suit, set up a website for as many as 25,000 people who are eligible for some of the settlement money to start the process of receiving it.
In their lawsuit, ArchCity accused Normandy of imposing "excessive citations for traffic and other minor municipal code violations, followed by arbitrary fines, penalties, surcharges and interest charges that pile up like debts to a loan shark."
In essence, according to ArchCity, Normandy was excessively fining and issuing tickets for petty offenses and then locking people up when they couldn't pay.
On March 29, the judge gave preliminary approval to a settlement and certified three classes of individuals eligible for compensation.
The three classes include anyone who between September 10, 2013, and May 12, 2021, was jailed by, paid a fine to, or had an arrest warrant issued by Normandy.
Anyone who thinks they fit into one of the above categories can go to ArchCity's website to find out if they are eligible for settlement money.
“From now until August, there is a $1.3M settlement on the table for over 25,000 people to claim," ArchCity Defenders communications director Z Gorley tells the RFT. "We sincerely hope information about the preliminary settlement, eligibility and process to file a claim reaches the people directly impacted by Normandy’s shameful and exploitative practices.”