Case: Wann v. City of St. Louis

1422-CC10272 | Missouri state trial court

Filed Date: June 1, 2014

Closed Date: April 12, 2016

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This class action lawsuit challenged the St. Louis Municipal Court’s practice of imposing “warrant recall fees.” The named plaintiffs, who been charged with traffic offenses, were ordered to pay “fees” to the court to vacate arrest warrants after they missed court appearances. However, these fees were not authorized by state or local law. Represented by attorneys from the Saint Louis University Legal Clinic, the plaintiffs filed this case in the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis City some…

This class action lawsuit challenged the St. Louis Municipal Court’s practice of imposing “warrant recall fees.” The named plaintiffs, who been charged with traffic offenses, were ordered to pay “fees” to the court to vacate arrest warrants after they missed court appearances. However, these fees were not authorized by state or local law. Represented by attorneys from the Saint Louis University Legal Clinic, the plaintiffs filed this case in the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis City sometime in 2014. There, the case was assigned to Circuit Judge David L. Dowd. The plaintiffs brought several Missouri state law claims against the city and requested declaratory and injunctive relief, the certification of two classes—one including everyone who paid a warrant recall fee to the City of St. Louis and another including everyone who still owed such a fee, monetary damages, and attorneys’ fees.

On April 12, 2016, the parties reached a settlement agreement. (The details of the approximately two years of litigation before settlement are not available to the Clearinghouse, other than the fact that the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on March 25, 2015.) The agreement certified a class of everyone who paid the City a warrant recall fee between 2009 and 2016 and provided that the City would issue a refund of 75% of the fee amount (less attorney’s fees and class representative compensation) and forgive the debts of everyone who still owed a such a fee. The settlement also included injunctive relief: the City agreed to refrain from charging such fees in the future and to conduct an audit of its other court fees to see if any other court fees lacked statutory authority. Judge Dowd appears to have approved the settlement agreement after a July 18, 2016 fairness hearing.

This case is now closed.

People


Judge(s)

Dowd, David (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ammann, John J. (Missouri)

Campbell, John E. (Missouri)

Hanlon, Stephen F (District of Columbia)

Roediger, Brendan D. (Missouri)

Vieth, Erich (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Garvin, Michael A. (Missouri)

Judge(s)

Dowd, David (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ammann, John J. (Missouri)

Campbell, John E. (Missouri)

Hanlon, Stephen F (District of Columbia)

Roediger, Brendan D. (Missouri)

Vieth, Erich (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Garvin, Michael A. (Missouri)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1422-CC10272

First Amended Class Action Petition

March 25, 2015

March 25, 2015

Complaint

1422-CC10272

Class Action Settlement Agreement

April 12, 2015

April 12, 2015

Settlement Agreement

1422-CC10272

Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Settlement

April 12, 2016

April 12, 2016

Order/Opinion

1422-CC10272

Notice of Pendency of Class Action, Proposed Settlement and Hearing

May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016

Notice Letter

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 26, 2022, 3:02 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Missouri

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 1, 2014

Closing Date: April 12, 2016

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

People illegally charged "warrant recall fees" by the City of St. Louis

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

City of St. Louis (St. Louis city), City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $1,000,309

Issues

General:

Courts

Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond