Alabama county sued over money and bail system

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — 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 federal class-action lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Opelika, Alabama, by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Alabama and the Civil Rights Corps. The defendants are Randolph County Sheriff David Cofield, Circuit Clerk Christopher May, Jill Puckett, magistrate of the county’s district court and District Court Judge Clay Tinney.

A telephone message seeking comment from the county commission’s office was not immediately returned.

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