Politics

May 9, 2014 2:19 PM by David Randall

Governor signing bill prohibiting jail for fines

DENVER (AP) - A measure that prohibits Colorado municipal courts from jailing poor people for being unable to pay fines will be signed into law.

The American Civil Liberties Union in Colorado said Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign the bill Friday afternoon.

With the new law, defendants must be instructed that if they're unable to pay a fine, they have to contact the court for a hearing to explain why they can't pay, and possibly arrange a payment plan.

The proposal is a response to concerns raised by the ACLU, which said in a report last year that failure-to-pay warrants are common in municipal courts.

The legislation says municipal courts can't jail people who don't have the means to pay a fine.

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