LAFAYETTE – A Carencro man alleges that his constitutional rights have been violated because he cannot afford to pay bail.
Edward Little filed a complaint on June 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division against 15th Judicial District of Louisiana Thomas Frederick, Chief Judge Kristian Earles and Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber alleging that they violated the 14th Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on June 3, 2017, he was charged with felony theft and is currently confined in the Lafayette Parish jail because he cannot pay his $375 bail. The plaintiff holds Frederick, Earles and Garber responsible because the defendants allegedly unconstitutionally detained plaintiff because he cannot afford monetary payment.
The plaintiff seeks an order enjoining defendants from using money bail to detain any person without procedures that ensure an inquiry and findings concerning that person's ability to pay, award for reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs and all other relief the court deems just and proper. He is represented by Katie M. Schwartzmann and Eric A. Foley of Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center in New Orleans; William P. Quigley of William P. Quigley Attorney at Law in New Orleans; and Charles Gerstein and Premal Dharia of Civil Rights Corps in Washington, D.C.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division Case number 6:17-cv-00724