An Interesting Piece from The Volokh Conspiracy

Professor Eugene Volokh had a recent piece that might be of interested to a lot of trial judges:

A New York trial court in Pujols v. City of New York, filed last week but just reported today in the New York Law Journal [log-in required], held that $11,175 fine for illegally posting 149 flyers advertising babysitting purposes ($75/flyer), posted by a poor working woman, violates the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment:

Petitioner is a 45 year old native Spanish-speaking person who does not write, read or speak the English language. She resides in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City in a single bedroom apartment, with a monthly rent of $1,060.85. Petitioner is the principal provider for her household supporting her 76 year-old mother and 57 year-old sister, both of whom share the single-bedroom apartment with her. Petitioner’s earnings are derived entirely through her private babysitting jobs. Petitioner’s total annual income in 2011 was $9,013.00, out of which she paid self-employment taxes totaling $1,107.00. She qualified for an earned income credit against taxes in the amount of $404.00. Petitioner’s sister contributes to the family income by earning approximately $300.00-400.00 per month by way of privately cleaning apartments. The family also receives food stamps.

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