Some Nashville court fees to be eliminated

Posted at 10:58 PM, Jun 21, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — City leaders are calling it a step toward equity: reducing the court fines and fees that some say end up being harder on poor people in Nashville.

Metro Councilman Brandon Taylor was part of the effort to introduce bills and push for policy changes to cut down on court fees charged to people convicted of crimes -- fees that Metro Councilman Brandon Taylor says unfairly impact poorer people more than others.

"You go to court so you have to take a day off work, so you’re losing time there, you also have to pay for parking when you get downtown, it’s expensive and also you have to pay a fee when you leave court, so how do we get through this process without nickeling and diming them, charging them over and over again," Taylor said.

Taylor says one policy charged inmates a probation fee every month after getting released from prison, another even had inmates being charged for their own litter patrol.

"If you are picking up litter on the side of the road, or you are doing a special outing, you as the prisoner have to pay money to the city to go out and do that," Taylor said.

The fee reduction was part of the suggestions of both the committee focusing on the 37208 zip code that Taylor leads and a report commissioned by the mayor's office.