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Lawsuit Filed Challenging Limits Imposed by SB 63 on Cash Bail

Giorgio Trovato

A lawsuit has been filed, challenging the way Georgia would limit charitable bail funds.

The ACLU of Georgia and the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) at Georgetown University Law Center filed suit in federal court on behalf of Barred Business Foundation and two individuals, Steve Williams and John Vodicka of Athens. The lawsuit would stop the restrictions imposed on charitable bail efforts when Senate Bill 63 is set to go into effect on July 1st. The measure would make bailing out more than three people a year a crime, except for bail bonding companies.

Vodicka and Williams run a charitable bail fund in association with their church.

“We’re generally opposed to cash bail as it exists in our criminal justice system across the board,” Vodicka said. “Cash bail affects the poorest of the poor. Folks who have monetary resources can purchase their pretrial liberty, whereas folks who don’t have those kinds of resources sometimes have to sit in jail for long periods of time, sometimes until their cases are resolved.”

They have posted bail for more than 100 people in the last three years.

Barred Business is an Atlanta-based nonprofit that pays cash bail for people held in pretrial detention. The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the parts of the law that prohibits more than three cash bonds. The hearing is set for Friday, June 28th at 3:30 pm.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!