Tags: ferguson | state | judge | control | city. court

Ferguson: State Judge Taking Control of City's Court System

Image: Ferguson: State Judge Taking Control of City's Court System
Judge Roy L. Richter (courts.mo.gov)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 11:13 AM

A state circuit court judge was placed in charge of Ferguson's municipal city court after the U.S. Justice Department described its court fees as "abusive." The city judge who oversaw the alleged cash cow simultaneously resigned.

The New York Times reported that the order, issued by the Missouri Supreme Court on Monday, is likely the first time "a state Circuit Court had taken over an entire Municipal Court docket." The order appointed Judge Roy L. Richter of the Missouri Court of Appeals to oversee the system.

Municipal judge Ronald J. Brockmeyer, 70, stepped down after his court and the city police department were accused of using their positions to vacuum up revenue for the city instead of enact justice and protect public safety.

"Today’s strong and appropriate actions by the Missouri Supreme Court are a solid step forward," Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon said in a statement endorsing the crackdown.

While Brockmeyer was accused of fixing traffic tickets for friends and colleagues and punishing defendants who challenged him, it was his institution of new court fees that the Justice Department deemed potentially unlawful.

Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal noted that "Using ticket revenue and other fines to raise revenues is one of the oldest municipal tricks in the book."

Going hand-in-hand with corrupt courts is the practice of "using cops as taxmen," he added.

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A state circuit court judge was placed in charge of Ferguson's municipal city courts after the U.S. Justice Department described its court fees as "abusive." The city judge who oversaw the alleged cash cow simultaneously resigned.
ferguson, state, judge, control, city. court
225
2015-13-10
Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 11:13 AM
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