City of Jonesboro Faces Class Action Lawsuit

February 1, 2007 -- Posted at 6:32 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- A fine imposed by a local judge has spurred a lawsuit against all Craighead County municipalities.

The class action lawsuit stems from a $35 fee that Judge Keith Blackman fines defendants when they change their plea from not guilty to guilty.

The city of Jonesboro is one of the cities listed in the lawsuit.

Jonesboro's city attorney Phillip Crego told K8 News that there are a few people listed in the lawsuit, but there are about 1,000 people that would be affected by it.

"The planitffs' attorney has indicated that they believe that the fee being charged by Judge Blackman is invalid and not allowed by state law," said Crego.

The attorney who filed the suit is Donn Mixon who says that their purpose for filing the lawsuit is to get the practice of adding this extra fee put to a stop.

"We're trying to get an order that says the judge has to stop and get the money refunded to those who paid it," said Mixon.

If the lawsuit is successful the cities who received the money from the fee will have to pay it back.

For the county as a whole it would add up to about $35,000.