Reach Us 24/7

Call 248-886-8650 Now

A class-action lawsuit was recently filed against the Michigan Secretary of State by Equal Justice Under Law, a nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C. The group claims that the state's laws on traffic fines, particularly those requiring the suspension of driver's licenses for unpaid fines, unfairly discriminate against Michigan's poorest residents.

Discriminated Plaintiffs

One of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit is Detroit resident Adrian Fowler, who had several unpaid traffic fines in her home state of Georgia before moving to Michigan. As she didn't have the money to pay these fines, she was unable to renew her driver's license. This resulted in the 31-year-old getting an additional fine for driving on a suspended license when she was stopped for speeding in Ferndale while taking her sick child to the emergency room. Fowler's lawyers are alleging that having her license suspended is keeping her trapped in a cycle of poverty. She now owes over $2,100 in fines and penalties, but isn't able to obtain a better job that would give her the chance to pay them off as she doesn't have a valid driver's license.

Another named plaintiff in the lawsuit is Kitia Harris, a Detroit resident receiving disability benefits. Her license was suspended after she couldn't afford to pay a fine for "impeding traffic" within the 42-day requirement under state law. According to the lawsuit, not having the ability to drive is impeding her ability to travel to important medical appointments.

Inside Michigan Traffic Law

Under current Michigan traffic laws, motorists with unpaid fines have their licenses suspended "until the matter is resolved." An administrative fee of $45 is assessed for the suspension to be lifted. Those who were found guilty of driving while their license was suspended need to pay an additional fee of $125 before the state will lift their driving suspension.

The practice of suspending licenses for unpaid traffic violations has been described by proponents as a way to cut down on the number of motorists who evade or delay paying fines. But Equal Justice Under Law calls the strategy counterproductive. They've issued a press release stating that Michigan residents whose licenses have been suspended solely because they have outstanding fines face a variety of hardships, such as being unable to drive their children to school, traveling to medical appointments or having difficulty securing gainful employment.

Your civil rights are most important and deserve to be protected. Michigan Legal Center recognizes the many systematic injustices in place and have attorneys ready and willing to serve as your legal ally. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Michigan civil rights attorney.

Related Posts

Detroit, MI – Injuries Follow Auto Accident on...

Detroit, MI (December 11, 2023) – On Monday morning, emergency crews were summoned to provide...

Detroit, MI - One Man Killed in Vehicle...

Detroit, MI (December 16, 2021) - Police in Detroit stated that speed was a contributing...

Detroit, MI - Injury-Causing Collision at 21 Mile...

Detroit, MI (November 21, 2023) - An injury-causing accident occurred in greater Detroit on Tuesday,...

Previous PostNext Post

Get Answers From Experienced Lawyers

We are available for free consultations in person, via Zoom or through FaceTime.

Name(Required)
Required Fields *
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

White Lake
Main 

9750 Highland Road
White Lake, MI 48386
248-886-8650White Lake Law 

Flint 

336 W First Street
Flint, MI 48502
810-234-5678Flint Law 

Kalamazoo 

251 North Rose St., Ste 200-6013
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
269-447-2200Kalamazoo Law 

Ann Arbor 

2723 South State St. Ste 250-15096
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
734-882-2646Ann Arbor Law 

Grand Rapids 

250 Monroe NW, Ste 400-706039
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616-591-3700Grand Rapids 

Southfield 

2000 Town Center, Ste 1900-1237
Southfield, MI 48075
248-886-8650Southfield 

Lansing 

120 N Washington, Ste 300-5101
Lansing, MI 48933
517-546-2279Lansing Law 

Bay City 

401 Center Ave, Ste 25
Bay City, MI 48708

989-262-0787Bay City Law 
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram