On Monday, the Supreme Court of Missouri announced that all of Ferguson's current municipal cases will be transferred to a state appeals judge in order to "help restore public trust and confidence," the Associated Press reports.
The move comes in the wake of last week's scathing Justice Department report which, among other troubling revelations, concluded that the Ferguson court was "constitutionally deficient" and acted "not with the primary goal of administering justice or protecting the rights of the accused, but of maximizing revenue."
Arguing that "extraordinary action" was needed, Chief Justice Mary R. Russell said Judge Roy L. Richter of the Missouri Court of Appeals will bring "a fresh, disinterested perspective to this court's practices and he is able and willing to implement needed reforms."
The report said the city set defendants up to fail by requiring them to appear at a specific place and time to pay citations. Ferguson police officers frequently provided wrong information about when to appear in court, and the in-person appearance requirement "imposes particular difficulties on low-wage workers, single parents and those with limited access to reliable transportation."