The Missouri Supreme Court this week issued a set of minimum standards for municipal courts, a long-awaited response to charges that municipal courts in the St. Louis area are unconstitutional debtors’ prisons that routinely violate the rights of the poor.
Under the new rules, courts must also have a clerk on duty for at least 30 hours a week. They must at least be pursuing court automation to allow payments online and make available free online access to information about pending cases, outstanding warrants and scheduled dockets.
Lastly, courts must meet in a space that’s large enough to accommodate the public.
The new standards will go into effect July 1.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch