Louisiana judge to stop jailing defendants over fees

A Louisiana judge and a civil rights group that accused him of running a debtors prison have reached a temporary agreement under which the judge will stop jailing defendants for nonpayment of fees and stop assessing certain costs on defendants.

The news came during a joint motion filed Monday outlining the agreement between Judge Robert Black in Bogalusa and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Last week, the organization filed a lawsuit accusing Black of sending poor defendants to jail when they can't pay fines and fees and charging them a questionable "extension fee" to avoid jail time.

For the next 75 days the judge has agreed to stop charging the extension fee and jailing people over nonpayment. Both sides will use that time to explore a more long-term solution.