Ruling Blocking Florida Fines and Fees Law Stands

demonstrators with signs
Photo by Florida Rights Restoration Coalition

In a victory for Florida voters, an appeals court decision that temporarily blocked Florida’s fines and fees law will stand. An appeals court in Atlanta denied the state’s motion for a rehearing of the case before a full panel of judges. No judges requested that the case be re-heard.

The appeals court decision applies to the individual clients in the case, but the court’s opinion makes clear that states cannot deny citizens the right to vote based on ability to pay fines and fees.

It is now established law in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that states cannot discriminate against voters on the basis of wealth. The state still has the responsibility to comply with court orders and provide a uniform process that gives all Floridians with past felony convictions access to voting, without discriminating on the basis of wealth.

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) represents three individual plaintiffs with past felony convictions in the case, Jones v. DeSantis, which challenges a Florida law requiring payment of fines and fees as a condition for rights restoration.

The case goes to trial on April 27. CLC and our partners are currently planning to conduct the trial remotely.

Read the stories of our individual clients Diane Sherrill, Lee Hoffman and Bonnie Raysor.