After Louisiana lawmakers passed legislation to prevent the bail bond industry from paying refunds after overcharging people for more than a decade, the Southern Poverty Law Center and its co-counsel filed a lawsuit.
New Orleans bail bond companies faced the possibility of paying millions of dollars in refunds to people who purchased bail bonds between 2005 and 2019 after the Louisiana Department of Insurance issued Directive 214. The directive – issued following an insurance complaint that the SPLC submitted – found that the companies had overcharged people.
After the Department of Insurance issued Directive 214, the Louisiana Legislature passed Act 54, a law immunizing the bail bond industry from having to pay those refunds. The SPLC and William P. Quigley, a Loyola University law professor, filed a lawsuit to strike down Act 54 as an unconstitutional local and special law and as a violation of due process.
After Act 54 was passed, the SPLC filed the lawsuit in state court on behalf of Jerome Morgan and a putative class.