Circuit Court Clerk Hopeful Wants To Eliminate Court Fees

Richard Boykin wants to impose fines on a sliding scale based on defendants' ability to pay.

Nancy Harty
January 19, 2020 - 2:52 pm
Circuit Court Clerk Hopeful Wants To Eliminate Court Fees

Nancy Harty/ WBBM

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSARDIO) -- Court fees and fines could be going down for low-income defendants under a plan from one of the candidates who wants to be the next Cook County circuit court clerk. 

Richard Boykin wants to eliminate court fees altogether and impose fines on a sliding scale based on defendants' ability to pay.

The democratic former county commissioner also wants to forgive the debt that poor residents racked up through fees and fines. 

Boykin called the costs regressive and said they risk making the county a "backdoor debtors' prison."

Francisco Saez said he could end up going back to prison if he fails to pay the more than $2,000 he owes in court fines and fees.

At a press conference on the West Side this morning, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., voiced his support for the idea saying he has long believed fines and fees aren't the best way to fund government. 

Boykin said he'll look for every ounce of revenue to fund the courts before turning to raising taxes.