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Judges seek St. Louis County court reforms

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ST. LOUIS (AP) – A committee that includes municipal court judges is working to reform St. Louis County’s 81 local courts.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports  the effort is in response to criticisms and reforms proposed in Ferguson since an officer shot and killed an 18-year-old last month.

Besides six municipal court judges, the committee includes lawyers and court administrators. A major focus will be reducing the municipalities’ reliance on revenue from fines and bench warrants. Critics say that is a major cause of tension between residents and county officials.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said Tuesday that he will ask the County Municipal Court to stop levying a $25 fee for infractions of county ordinances, to alleviate hardships from large fines and costs for minor infractions.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com