Suit: Law protecting bail bond companies unconstitutional
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A state court lawsuit says a new state law unconstitutionally lets New Orleans bail bond companies off the hook for overcharging customers for years.
The class-action lawsuit was filed Tuesday on behalf of Jerome Morgan. Morgan was exonerated and released from prison after serving 20 years in a 1993 slaying.
After his conviction was overturned, but before charges were dropped, he was freed on $25,000 bond. The suit says the bail bond company, Blair's Bail Bonds, charged 13 percent premium instead of the legal maximum 12 percent.
In February, Louisiana's Department of Insurance said bail bond companies in New Orleans have been overcharging for years. The department ordered refunds but legislation passed this year says no repayments are required.
The bond company named in the lawsuit declined comment.