|RALEIGH (March 7, 2022) – The North Carolina Justice Center announces the launch of the Resolve Traffic Debt NC website. The information and resource website is part of the settlement of the multi-year, class-action lawsuit, Johnson v. Jessup, with plaintiffs represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. The lawsuit challenged the state’s practice of suspending someone’s driver’s license if they couldn’t pay traffic court costs.
ResolveTrafficDebtNC.org provides information to people with North Carolina traffic convictions and will help them navigate the process for getting back into court and using court form AOC-CR-415 to prevent or overcome debt-based driver’s license suspension.
“There are more than 300,000 people in North Carolina, mostly people of color, with a suspended driver’s license because of unpaid traffic debt,” said Quisha Mallette, staff attorney with NC Justice Center’s Fair Chance Criminal Justice Project. “Without the legal ability to drive, a person can face significant barriers to essential opportunities, such as meaningful employment, affordable housing, and the ability to otherwise care for their family. Resolve Traffic Debt NC will help people end or prevent long-term driver’s license suspension.”
Access to transportation is crucial to support North Carolina residents. For more information about paying off the debt, resolving traffic debt when unable to pay, and available pro bono legal resources, visit www.ResolveTrafficDebtNC.org.
The Fair Chance Criminal Justice Project is an issue area of the NC Justice Center that is dedicated to identifying the ways the criminal legal system perpetuates poverty in the state and works with directly impacted people, concerned residents, and decision-makers to change unfair practices and policies. The mission of the Fair Chance Criminal Justice Project is to make the criminal legal system fairer from arrest to reentry.