For the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, appearing in front of municipal court Judge Ronald Brockmeyer was often a life-changing event. A simple violation oftentimes resulted in unnecessary and excessive fines, a main generator of city revenue. According to a recent U.S. Department of Justice report on Ferguson, Brockmeyer was “successful in significantly increasing court collections over the years” in a court and legal system that had a “broad pattern of racially biased law enforcement.”
On Monday Brockmeyer announced his resignation from the Ferguson Municipal Court because of the DOJ findings. The report also listed what the judge did regarding the increase in revenue and court operations. These actions included approving the creation of additional fees that were considered abusive and perhaps unlawful, according to the DOJ. The most egregious of these were the “failure to appear fine” which has since been repealed by the city of Ferguson.
In the wake of Brockmeyer’s resignation, the Supreme Court of Missouri has sent Judge Roy Richter of the Missouri Court of Appeals to the St. Louis County circuit court to hear all pending and future municipal court cases in Ferguson.