San Francisco lifts 88,000 driver’s license suspensions

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Bay Area Legal Aid is proud of our work as part of a coalition including the Financial Justice Project of the San Francisco Treasurer’s Office, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, to bring about reforms in policies and practices in San Francisco traffic court.

Today we are happy to share the news that the court has lifted thousands of holds on licenses belonging to defendants who missed a court date. State law no longer permits “failure to appear holds,” recognizing that the practice essentially punished poverty and had no impact on public safety. But following passage of the law in 2017, San Francisco’s backlog of 88,000 holds presented a significant challenge. Today marks a major step toward facing that challenge and creating a more equitable approach to traffic court for low-income defendants.

Media coverage of this significant gain for economic justice includes: