New judge holds first Ferguson municipal court session since DOJ -

New judge holds first Ferguson municipal court session since DOJ report

Posted: Updated:
Ferguson City Hall Ferguson City Hall

The first Ferguson municipal court session since the critical Department of Justice report was released began with a message: changes are underway.

Judge Roy Richter started the session by explaining his vision to make fines in Ferguson more comparable to fines in other municipalities across the state.

"If you commit the same offense here [in Ferguson], in Chesterfield, or in Affton or anywhere else, the fine is going to be the same, and I think that's fair," said Judge Richter.

Both defendants and attorneys seemed appreciative of Judge Richter's effort at fairness.

"He was making it clear that he was trying to work with people," said Chris Phillips, a defendant.

Attorney Greg Kelly said, "Taking into account ability to pay is a big thing and it's going to be a big thing. And the more the different municipalities can latch on to that idea, offer community service to defendants who can't pay the fines, that they been trapped, it's going to be better."

Cameras were not allowed inside of the municipal court Thursday night, but the media was able to watch the proceedings and hear the judge speak from a video feed.

After being criticized in the DOJ report for allegedly raising fines to generate more revenue for Ferguson, Judge Brockmeyer resigned from his position and Judge Richter will preside over the court for the foreseeable future.

Changes to the fines will go into effect on the first day of April.

Powered by Frankly