Looks as if the amount of revenue from St. Louis area municipal courts is way down since the social unrest in 2014 after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. This is according to research tabulated in an annual report by the Missouri state court system.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch tabulated information from the report and found that the data shows there has been a significant drop in revenue collected by municipal courts in St. Louis County. Revenue was down from $53 million in fines and fees collected in year ending June 2014 to $29 million in year ending June 2016.
A similar trend can be seen in the number of traffic cases in the city of St. Louis. The number of traffic cases filed last year fell to 66,008. This represents a drop of 69 percent compared to two years ago.
The data shows that the number of traffic cases in Ferguson last year, 1,736, had dropped 85 percent from two years ago, and non-traffic cases were down a similar percentage. Ferguson’s court revenue plummeted from more than $2 million two years ago to just $579,000 this last year. Ferguson had been under fire from the U.S. Department of Justice in the aftermath of Michael Brown.
Ferguson’s municipal court system had been the target of a scathing U.S. Department of Justice report as well as intense scrutiny from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other media. Local attorneys can tell you that the long lines out the door are no longer the case.
Other cities in North County known for their intense speed traps along the I-70 corridor have also seen a drop in revenue, according to the court report.
St. Ann, for example, saw revenue drop nearly a million dollars from $2.6 million two years ago to $1.7 million this last year. Tickets issued fell during that same time period from over 25,000 to 9,880.
Florissant municipal court revenue went from $2.6 million to $1.7 million. Normandy fell from $1.4 million to slightly over $788,000. Pine Lawn dropped from $2,2 million to $652,925. Berkeley was down from $1.2 million to $378,327.