Policy Work

The Only Winners In California’s Fines And Fees System Are Private Debt Collectors

Monday, July 2, 2018 | ,

Furthermore, collection agencies are not bound by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which protects consumers from various forms of threat and harassment, because court debts are considered “involuntary.” As a result of this loophole, said Miguel Soto, an attorney at the East Bay Community Law Center, “We’ve had clients tell us that the [debt collector] they’re dealing with is threatening them with violence, imprisonment, or, in some occasions, deportation.”

Continue Reading »

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Superior Court of Alameda County has revised its criteria for low-income applicants seeking a fine reduction for traffic infractions, making fine reduction more accessible to low-income residents.

Friday, June 29, 2018 | ,

Monday, June 25, 2018: OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA:   The Superior Court of Alameda County has revised its criteria for low-income applicants seeking a fine reduction for traffic infractions, making the Court’s fine reduction program more accessible to low-income residents.

Continue Reading »

Few Winners When Courts Privatize the Collection of Public Debts

Monday, June 4, 2018 | ,

The clinic is run by the Center’s Clean Slate Practice, which focuses on “the decriminalization of poverty,” according to Brandon Greene, one of its lead attorneys. Some of Greene’s colleagues do post-conviction work, helping to seal arrest records, reduce probation, and help people who’ve been denied employment because of criminal backgrounds. But Greene’s clients are facing a particular set of issues: court-ordered debt related to things like traffic violations and parking tickets.

Continue Reading »

New California laws would make it easier for ex-prisoners to get better jobs

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 | ,

“A lot of (prison) programs actually train people how to do these jobs, how to have a career in this, without telling them they’ll be banned from getting the license,” said Jael Myrick, a Richmond city councilman and program coordinator of the Clean Slate Program at the East Bay Community Law Center, which is sponsoring the bills. “That’s the issue we’re trying to fix.”

Continue Reading »

Alameda County Superior Court Reverses License Suspensions for Nearly 54,000 Drivers Who Couldn’t Afford to Pay Traffic Fines

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 | ,

Phan worked with staff attorney Theresa Zhen for months before he was finally able to get his license back, just before the passage of AB 103.  “None of these things happen in a vacuum,” Zhen said. “It takes a movement of lawyers, community groups, and people who are brave enough to tell their story.”

Continue Reading »

Senate Bill 393 Signed By Governor Brown

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 | ,

SAN FRANCISCO—California Governor Edmund G. Brown signed Senate Bill 393 on October 11, the Consumer Arrest Record Equity (C.A.R.E.) Act, to seal arrest records and halt barriers to employment and housing for individuals arrested, but never convicted of a crime. The CARE Act, which was signed into law by the governor, was authored by State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and was sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.  The law goes into effect January 1, 2018.

Continue Reading »

Coalition Hails Governor For Signing Historic Juvenile Justice Reform Bill, And Calls For An Immediate End To All Juvenile Fee Assessments And Collections

Thursday, October 12, 2017 | ,

SACRAMENTO—Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 190, a major, bipartisan juvenile justice reform bill that will improve youth rehabilitation and increase public safety. Effective January 1, 2018, SB 190 ends the harmful, unlawful and costly practice of charging administrative fees to families with youth in the juvenile system.

Continue Reading »

California Ends Practice of Billing Parents for Kids in Detention

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 |

Around the country, juvenile defense lawyers and law students have begun to challenge this billing system, arguing that it is akin to taxing parents for their child’s loss of liberty.[…]In California, grassroots activists teamed up with lawyers at the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley to bar the imposition of the fees in several counties.

Continue Reading »
Page 1 of 3123