Twelve Los Angeles County cities filed a lawsuit Friday seeking to postpone the controversial new zero-bail policy that allows some nonviolent defendants charged with felonies or misdemeanors to be cited and released after being arrested.
The cities of Whittier, Arcadia, Artesia, Covina, Downey, Glendora, Industry, Lakewood, La Verne, Palmdale, Santa Fe Springs and Vernon are seeking an injunction to postpone the implementation of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s zero-bail schedule, which went into effect Sunday, according to a news release from the city of Glendora.
The new bail policy was imposed by court officials who argued that a defendant’s ability to pay bail should not be the key factor in determining whether they stay in jail after an arrest. The so-called zero-bail schedule has been a controversial issue around the country, with criminal justice reform advocates arguing that pretrial releases should be based on an individual’s criminal history not on an arbitrary dollar amount, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Under the new schedule, almost all defendants accused of nonviolent felonies or misdemeanors in L.A. County will either be cited and released or freed on certain terms and conditions after judicial review within 24 hours of arrest, according to L.A. County Presiding Judge Samantha Jessner.