From our private database of 22,600+ case briefs...
Cain v. White
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
937 F.3d 446 (2019)
A Louisiana state statute established the judicial expense fund (JEF). About one quarter of the JEF funding came from the court’s collection of fines and fees. The judges had exclusive power to determine JEF spending. The money was used for a variety of expenses like support-staff salaries (but not judge compensation), office supplies, and building maintenance. If a criminal defendant failed to pay his court debts, the defendant received two written warning letters from the collections department, which had been established by the judges to administer the collection of fines and fees. If the debt remained unpaid, the collections department issued an alias capias warrant for contempt of court and set cash bail. After the present claim was filed, the judges reclaimed the power to issue warrants from the collections department, recalled almost all active warrants for unpaid fines and fees, and cancelled about $1 million in court debts. The judges became the persons issuing alias capias warrants for outstanding court debts. Several former criminal defendants, including Alana Cain, (plaintiffs) in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court (OPCDC) were assessed fines and fees after pleading guilty to various criminal offenses. The criminal defendants all failed to pay their fines and fees, and each was arrested and given a $20,000 bond. The judges did not consider the former criminal defendants’ abilities to pay their court debts before sending them to jail for failures to pay. The former criminal defendants filed suit in the district court, alleging that the OPCDC judges (defendants) had violated their due-process rights, among other claims. The district court found that the failure of the judges to provide a neutral forum for considering a criminal defendant’s ability to pay denied due process. The judges appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Graves, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 519,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 519,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 22,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.