NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A lawsuit challenging a Louisiana court system's use of fees people pay upon conviction of misdemeanor crimes to cover a judge's salary and other court expenses has been withdrawn after the state eliminated the alleged conflict of interest.

The New Orleans-based Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center asked a federal court Tuesday to dismiss its class-action lawsuit filed against the "conviction fee" system in Ascension Parish.

The center's staff attorney, Eric Foley, says a new state law puts the Judicial Expense Fund under direct control of the Ascension Parish government and its chief financial officer — not a judge who gets paid if a defendant is found guilty.

Foley says they'll monitor to make sure the statute in fact makes the court's funding independent of money it collects through convictions.


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