Municipal court problems spread throughout Missouri, auditor says

Nearly two years ago, Michael Brown’s death brought to light abusive municipal court practices in the St. Louis area. A new report released by auditor Nicole Galloway this week shows the problems exist statewide.

The report is a compilation of the five most common and concerning findings from a series of audits Galloway did of 18 municipal courts across the state. She identified five widespread issues:

  • Missing funds
  • Accounting controls and procedures
  • Municipal division record-keeping procedures
  • Inadequate documentation of vehicle stop data
  • Funds owed for excess revenue from traffic violations

John Ammann, the head of the civil litigation clinic at Saint Louis University School of Law and a fierce critic of municipal courts, called Galloway’s findings unsurprising but disturbing. He said the fact that problems are so widespread may make reforms easier.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio, Missourinet


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