debtor's prison

An Alabama county's judges, sheriff and circuit clerk have been sued for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of people charged with misdemeanors and felonies by jailing them if they can't afford to pay bail.

 The lawsuit notes that those who face the same charges but can afford the bail amounts are freed until trial.

The city of Montgomery is settling lawsuits that accuse it of wrongfully jailing people who can't pay fines.

The Southern Poverty Law Center represents two people involved in the suits and calls the agreement a victory for low-income residents.

The settlement results from lawsuits filed by people who were jailed for accumulating thousands of dollars of unpaid court fines and fees. The suit claims the practice of jailing debtors violates a past Supreme Court ruling.

Court documents show the city will review all cases and follow Supreme Court decisions on the issue.