Judge orders Dallas County to revise bail system
DALLAS (AP) — A federal judge has ordered Dallas County to stop setting bail for felony and misdemeanor defendants solely according to a set schedule.
U.S. District Judge David Godbey issued a preliminary injunction Thursday against the Dallas County bail system in a class action lawsuit filed by several civil rights advocacy organizations.
In a six-page opinion, Godbey ordered the county’s courts to develop a system to consider a suspect’s ability to pay when setting bail. Magistrates would be required to hold hearings if release isn’t ordered when a suspect demonstrates an inability to pay the bail.
Attorneys representing the county declined to comment on the ruling since the litigation is still pending.
Barring an agreed settlement, a civil trial still lies ahead on the case’s merits before a final order is made.