Job Announcement: Staff Attorney & Clinical Supervisor – Health & Welfare Practice

East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) is a non-profit legal services organization, the community-based clinical program for U.C. Berkeley Law School, and one of the Bay Area’s largest and most effective systems disrupters.  With a dual service and teaching mission, EBCLC is a racial justice organization committed to increasing justice through education and advocacy and […]

By Forgiving Warrants and Fines, Communities Give People a Fresh Start

A 2016 study in California from the East Bay Community Law Center found that license suspensions for failing to pay fines or appear in court are “directly correlated with poverty indicators and with race,” with driver’s license suspension rates ranging as high as five times the state average in communities that are primarily Black or Latino.

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

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.”

Jerry Hill on PG&E and the North Bay Fires, Pregnant and Imprisoned, Plus: Berkeley Tent Encampment Eviction and California Traffic Tickets

UpFront speaks with Theresa Zhen, Staff Attorney at the Clean Slate Practice of the East Bay Community Law Center and member of the Back on the Road California Coalition, which fights for traffic court reform. She is also a co-author of Ability to Pay Implementation in Traffic Court: A Toolkit for Advocates. Theresa tells us about ways to get your traffic tickets expunged.

Too Broke to Drive

States have trapped millions of Americans in crippling debt by taking away their driver’s licenses. Can the damage be undone?[…]“As the amount of uncollected court debt increases and more driver’s licenses are suspended, everybody loses. The state Legislature loses, the counties lose, employers lose, our clients lose the most,” Theresa Zhen, who works at the East Bay Community Law Center in Oakland, California, told me before the state’s bill passed.