Tuesday, March 10, 2015

misery supreme court acts to shore up legitimacy shit upon badly tarnished by ferguson..,

WaPo |  The Missouri Supreme Court announced Monday it was placing a state judge in charge of cases in Ferguson, Mo., a decision that came after the Justice Department lambasted the city’s municipal court system as harmful and aimed only at boosting revenue.

Meanwhile, the city’s municipal judge, Ronald J. Brockmeyer, who was criticized in the Justice Department’s report for creating court fees that were described as “abusive and may be unlawful,” said in a statement that he had resigned his post.

Judge Roy L. Richter of the Eastern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals will be moved to the St. Louis County circuit court and he will be assigned all of Ferguson’s pending and future municipal cases, the state Supreme Court said.

The transfer order, signed by Missouri Chief Justice Mary R. Russell and approved by the full court, goes into effect on Monday and will remain until the court issues another order. It grants Richter, a St. Louis native, the ability to change the court’s policies and procedures and to “restore the integrity of the system.”

“Judge Richter will bring a fresh, disinterested perspective to this court’s practices and he is able and willing to implement needed reforms,” Russell said in a statement Monday.

To help Richter with this process, the state Supreme Court was also moving staff members from the state court administrator’s office to help review Ferguson’s court practices. The Justice Department made multiple recommendations for reforming the court system there, even as investigators noted that they found many people who had encountered problems with heavy fines from multiple courts in the region.

“Extraordinary action is warranted in Ferguson, but the Court also is examining reforms that are needed on a statewide basis,” Russell said.


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