Woman in Jail 96 Days with No Access to Lawyers Given Permission to Sue by Circuit Court

A U.S. District Judge initially ruled that a woman could not sue a county government after it held her in a county jail for 96 days with no access to a lawyer, and no appearance before any court.  The judge had ruled that since she had been indicted by a grand jury, her right to a quick hearing was non-existent.  That judge’s ruling was overturned by a three-judge panel on the US 5th Circuit Court.
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From The Clarion Ledger

Mississippi woman’s 96 days in jail ‘unfair’, federal appeals court rules

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the constitutional rights of a Mississippi woman jailed 96 days without seeing a judge were violated, saying she can sue the sheriff and county that held her.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled a lower court, reinstating Jessica Jauch’s lawsuit against Choctaw County and Sheriff Cloyd Halford. In doing so, the court made clear all Mississippi sheriffs have a duty to get those jailed promptly before a judge.

U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock had initially dismissed the suit, ruling that because Jauch had been indicted by a grand jury on a felony drug charge, she had no right to a quick hearing.

Jauch, now 35, was arrested on traffic charges in 2012 and held after being served with the drug indictment. While in jail, she says she was forced to temporarily sign over her daughter’s custody rights to her mother. After finally seeing a judge, she was appointed a public defender and quickly made bail. She was eventually cleared of the drug charge after undercover video didn’t show her committing a crime.

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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines.
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