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Legal News in Minnesota

Farrish Johnson Instrumental In Federal Court Immigration Case

Farrish Johnson attorney Will Partridge acted as pro bono counsel in a lawsuit filed in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota.  The lawsuit challenged Nobles County’s practice of holding undocumented persons pursuant to detainers placed on them by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) past the time they should have been released from State custody.

In this case the plaintiff’s wife attempted to post bail on her husband’s relatively minor criminal charge.  Nobles County refused to accept bail because her husband was subject to an ICE detainer.  As a result, the lawsuit claimed that the plaintiff had been held for 10 days longer than he should have been held.  The judge found that the plaintiff’s continued detention pursuant to the ICE hold was a warrantless arrest which must be supported by probable cause.  The judge ruled that an ICE detainer does not constitute probable cause to hold someone in jail past the time that they should have been released under State law.

The finding led to Nobles County agreeing to change its policy and resulted in a significant financial settlement for the plaintiff.

If you have questions about this issue, contact Will Partridge at 507-625-2525.