Senior Attorney Sandi Gordon of our Southern Regional Office is quoted extensively in this article. This piece does a very good job of explaining the process that leads to the arrest of debtors.
Robin Ebersohl left her job at a Wal-Mart in Montgomery County to drive back to her home in Livingston.
During the trip, she was stopped by police.
“I knew my muffler was bad, but I just kind of chanced it,” Ebersohl said. “He pulled me over, and I thought I would just get a fix-it ticket or something.”
What Ebersohl didn’t know was that a warrant had been issued against her in Macoupin County for failure to appear in court on a debt collection issue.
“I didn’t know what I was supposed to appear to,” said Ebersohl, who said she never got a notice that she was due in court.
Instead of going home that day, she was taken to jail. Ebersohl said she spent the night in the Montgomery County Jail and then was transferred to Macoupin County, where she spent three more days in jail.
“Until the first of November, when my dad got his pension check,” she said, when she was bailed out.
Ebersohl’s case occurred in 2007, but state officials said they are hearing more often about people with outstanding debts being sent to jail.
Debtors’ prisons outlawed
“In Illinois, in the Constitution, it says you cannot be jailed, put in prison, because you don’t have an ability to pay your debt,” said Attorney General Lisa Madigan. “We outlawed debtors’ prisons in the 1800s.”
Read the entire article at: http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x1069934542/Legal-wrinkle-creates-debate-over-debtors-prisons-in-Illinois?zc_p=0