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Judge orders Dallas County to revise bail system

September 21, 2018

DALLAS (AP) — A federal judge has ordered Dallas County to stop setting bail for felony and misdemeanor defendants solely according to a set schedule.

U.S. District Judge David Godbey issued a preliminary injunction Thursday against the Dallas County bail system in a class action lawsuit filed by several civil rights advocacy organizations.

In a six-page opinion, Godbey ordered the county’s courts to develop a system to consider a suspect’s ability to pay when setting bail. Magistrates would be required to hold hearings if release isn’t ordered when a suspect demonstrates an inability to pay the bail.

Attorneys representing the county declined to comment on the ruling since the litigation is still pending.

Barring an agreed settlement, a civil trial still lies ahead on the case’s merits before a final order is made.

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