University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
view search results
page permalink
Case Name Stinnie v. Holcomb PB-VA-0007
Docket / Court 3:16-cv-00044-NKM ( W.D. Va. )
State/Territory Virginia
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection DOJ Civil Rights Division Statements of Interest
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On July 6, 2016, indigent Virginia residents who had suffered indefinite suspension of their driver's licenses for failure to pay court costs and fines that they could not afford, brought this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The plaintiffs sued ... read more >
On July 6, 2016, indigent Virginia residents who had suffered indefinite suspension of their driver's licenses for failure to pay court costs and fines that they could not afford, brought this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The plaintiffs sued the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Represented by private attorneys, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, and class certification. They claimed that the Commonwealth's scheme of suspending licenses to coerce payment of money owed to the courts unfairly punishes poor people for being poor, and that suspending their licenses was a violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

On November 4, 2016, Magistrate Judge Joel C. Hoppe granted the NAACP's motion for leave to file an amicus brief. On November 20, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a Statement of Interest urging the Court to conclude that the plaintiffs had set fourth a plausible claim for relief that the alleged driver's license suspension practices used by the defendant violated the Fourteenth Amendment. The DOJ argued that suspension of a person's driver's license in response to the failure to pay court debt without providing a person with adequate notice and meaningful opportunity to be heard prior to the suspension constitutes a deprivation of a protected interest without due process in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Moreover, the DOJ argued that suspending the driver's licenses of those who fail to pay fines without inquiring into whether the failure to pay was willful or instead the result of an inability to pay may result in penalizing indigent individuals solely because of their poverty, in violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

A bench trial has been set for December 11, 2017 through December 12, 2017 before U.S. District Court Judge Normal K. Moon. The Clearinghouse will provide updates on this case as more information becomes available.

Saeeda Joseph-Charles - 11/20/2016


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Drivers Licenses
Poverty/homelessness
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Richard D. Holcomb
Plaintiff Description Individuals who allege that the DMV indefinitely suspended their driver’s licenses as a result of inability to pay fines and court costs.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  William G. v. Pataki
http://www.bazelon.org/william-g-v-pataki/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Disability Rights New Jersey v. Velez
http://www.bazelon.org/drnj-v-velez/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Williams v. Quinn
http://www.bazelon.org/williams-v-quinn/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States of America v. Commonwealth of Virginia
http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-virginia/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States of America v. North Carolina
http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-north-carolina/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  U.S. v. Georgia
http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-georgia/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  O'Toole v. Cuomo [Formerly DAI v. Cuomo]
http://www.bazelon.org/otoole-v-cuomo/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Amanda D. v. Hassan
http://www.bazelon.org/amanda-d-v-hassan/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:16-cv-00044-NKM (W.D. Va.)
PB-VA-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/09/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-VA-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/06/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Interest of the United States [ECF# 27]
PB-VA-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/07/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Moon, Norman K. (W.D. Va.)
PB-VA-0007-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bauer, Mary C. (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-0001 | PB-VA-0007-9000
Baugh, David Preston (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-0001 | PB-VA-0007-9000
Blank, Jonathan Todd (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-0001 | PB-VA-0007-9000
Ciolfi, Angela A. (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-0001 | PB-VA-0007-9000
Kendrick, Leslie Carolyn (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-0001 | PB-VA-0007-9000
Levy-Lavelle, Patrick (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-0001 | PB-VA-0007-9000
Salas, Mario David (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-0001 | PB-VA-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Baugh, Janet W. (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-9000
Davidson, Nancy Hull (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-9000
O'Shea, Margaret Hoehl (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-9000
Other Lawyers Bains, Chiraag (District of Columbia)
PB-VA-0007-0002
Bullock, Robert B. (District of Columbia)
PB-VA-0007-0002
Fishwick, John Palmer (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-0002
Foster, Lisa A. (District of Columbia)
PB-VA-0007-0002
Giorno, Anthony P. (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-0002
Heilberg, David L. (Virginia)
PB-VA-0007-9000
Johnston, Maureen (District of Columbia)
PB-VA-0007-0002
Killebrew, Paul (District of Columbia)
PB-VA-0007-0002
Lash, Karen (District of Columbia)
PB-VA-0007-0002
Moossy, Robert J. (District of Columbia)
PB-VA-0007-0002
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
PB-VA-0007-0002
Volek, Jude (District of Columbia)
PB-VA-0007-0002
Wayne, Seth (District of Columbia)
PB-VA-0007-0002

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
view search results
page permalink

- top of page -