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ACLU Sues Northern California Court Over License Suspensions

nate steiner / Flickr
 

nate steiner / Flickr

(AP) - Civil rights groups have filed a lawsuit against a Northern California superior court over its practice of suspending the driving licenses of people too poor to pay what they call exorbitant fees for minor offenses.

The complaint filed the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups Wednesday in Solano County Superior Court claims the court's actions are unlawful and unconstitutional, violating both the state's vehicle code and due process protections.

Lawmakers in more states are looking for ways to help drivers burdened with suspended or revoked licenses due to costly tickets that ramp up with every missed deadline.

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown announced an amnesty program for certain drivers, calling the traffic court system a "hellhole of desperation" for the poor.

Solano County court's executive officer said Wednesday he was prohibited from commenting on pending litigation.