Our Biggest Win of the Year
On Friday, May 12, LSA won the kind of victory that makes us remember why our work is vitally needed. The Court of Civil Appeals ruled in our favor and restored a long standing legal principle in Alabama that low wage working people get to protect the first $1000 of income from garnishment. The Alabama Constitution has guaranteed the working poor that basic security for over a century, but for two years, LSA has been fighting adverse rulings that called this important right into question.
Our win on May 12 came in two cases involving a single mother and a grandmother who has custody of her grandchild. They each make about $500 every payday, so of course they struggle to live and pay bills. Each of them got lured into a sky-high car loan by a lending company that focuses on poor people with credit challenges: no surprise that they fell behind, lost their cars, and got sued for missed payments. But these struggling people are exactly who the state constitution singles out for protection with its $1000 garnishment exemption.
Our clients and working poor people all over this state are thankful for the brilliance and tenacity of our own Farah Majid. Farah quarterbacked our fight to save the garnishment exemption for two years, finding just the right facts for appeal and writing the brief and strategy that got the appeals court to do the right thing. We are also appreciative of the Southern Poverty Law Center for co-counseling with us on the brief and for their excellent ideas, of our colleagues at Alabama Appleseed and Alabama Arise for filing an amicus brief in support of our position, and one more thanks to the skilled lawyer who wrote that brief, Adam Plant.
This is why we exist, and LSA is proud of the stand we took.
Artur G. Davis, Executive Director