Jeff Thornton didn’t receive a phone call, but a “notice of arrest warrant.” Although he never received a ticket, the city had issued a warrant for his arrest.
Prior to that, he had received a prior “advisory notice” stating that his “trailer cannot be in grass—must be parked on hard surface” and that he should “call about the logs in backyard.” Jeff moved his trailer, but later received another warning about his perfectly ordinary woodpile, where a code enforcement official said he had to remove it from his yard. Jeff later went to trial and was fined $1,000. He then told the court that he couldn’t afford his fine, and it was reduced to $300, with 12 months probation. When he later demonstrated to a code enforcement official that he couldn’t afford that either the charges were dropped. In other words, once Doraville found out that it wouldn’t be getting money out of Jeff, the need to prosecute him went away.
Lawsuit Challenges Doraville, Ga. Practice of Using Traffic Tickets and Other Fines to ‘Police for Profit’
The Supreme Court has made it clear that it is unconstitutional for a justice system to be influenced by perverse incentives to raise municipal revenue. That’s why two Doraville homeowners and two Doraville drivers have…