Irondale Faces Another Claim Over Jailing

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Documents filed in federal court say
Irondale has jailed an indigent man nine times in 13 years on a single
misdemeanor theft charge.

Birmingham attorney Stephen Wallace wrote in Wednesday's court
records that his client, Derrick Nichols, pleaded guilty in 1996 and was ordered to pay a $250 fine, plux $61.

The Birmingham News reported Thursday that Irondale credits Nichols with paying about $420 since 1996. But Wallace said the city now alleges he owes an additional $1,325 because so many fees were added in the intervening years for subsequent arrests and failure to pay the same fine.

He said Irondale's punishments are unconstitutional because the
city court never determines whether people can pay fines before
jailing them.

Efforts to reach Mayor Tommy Joe Alexander were unsuccessful
Thursday.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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