Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Fed judge dismisses lawsuit from locals over driving suspensions


PORTLAND — A federal judge recently shot down a class action lawsuit seeking to end Oregon’s practice of suspending driver’s licenses for people who can’t pay fines. Two members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation were among the six plaintiffs suing Oregon over “traffic debt.”

The nonprofit Oregon Law Center filed the lawsuit in September 2018 in federal court in Portland on behalf of Cindy Mendoza and Gloria Bermudez of Portland; Jeremy Chase of Vancouver, Washington; Karl Wade Roberts of Baker City; Rebecca Heath of Pendleton; and Cekais Toni Ganuelas of Mission. According to the complaint, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles Division “suspended Oregonians’ driver’s licenses 334,338 times for failure to pay fines, costs and fees arising from minor traffic citations, and the state has suspended the licenses for as many as 10 percent of Oregonians, or more than 300,000 people.”


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