The Southern Center for Human Rights


  • Columbus, GA—Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia approved a final class action settlement in Harrison v. Consolidated Government of Columbus, Georgia, et al., a case in which plaintiff Cleopatra Harrison challenged the imposition of “victim fees” on survivors of domestic violence. As a result of the lawsuit, the Columbus Recorder’s Court will no longer charge victim fees, and people who paid such fees will receive restitution and compensation. Plaintiffs were represented by the Southern Center for Human Rights and Columbus attorney, Mark Post.

  • Atlanta, GA – Today, a civil rights lawsuit was filed against Sentinel Offender Services (“Sentinel”), a private probation company, on behalf of people in Atlanta who were forced by Sentinel to pay illegal fees while on “pay-only” probation for traffic violations.  The lawsuit, brought by the Southern Center for Human Rights and Caplan Cobb LLP, seeks the return of money that Sentinel illegally collected from people sentenced to “pay-only” probation by the Atlanta Municipal Court.  

  • The United States Supreme Court held today in McWilliams v. Dunn that James McWilliams was denied his right to a mental health expert to assist the defense at his 1986 capital trial in Alabama. McWilliams was evaluated by state doctors but was denied an independent expert to assist in the evaluation, preparation, and presentation of the defense.

  • Calhoun, Georgia – A federal judge has, for a second time, condemned the City of Calhoun’s money bail system – a system that permitted the wealthy to purchase their release from jail, while detaining the indigent for up to one week.

  • Sylvester, GA -Today, the Southern Center for Human Rights and Horsley Begnaud, LLC, filed K.A. et al. v. Jeffrey Hobby et al., challenging a mass search by Sheriff’s deputies of hundreds of Worth County High School students nearly all those in attendance on April 14, 2017.  The complaint claims that the Sheriff and his deputies violated the United States and Georgia Constitutions by conducting intrusive body searches of hundreds of public school children.