The ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit against the Pueblo and Teller County Sheriff’s Offices on behalf of Michael Bailey, who was held in jail for 52 days on a years-old misdemeanor warrant awaiting his first appearance before a judge.
The lawsuit, which was filed in federal district court, seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
On Sept. 8, 2015, the Teller County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mr. Bailey on a four-year-old misdemeanor warrant from Pueblo County. Although Colorado law requires that newly arrested detainees be brought “without unreasonable delay” to the nearest county court judge, who could set bond, the Teller County Sheriff’s Office refused to take Mr. Bailey to court. Instead, it waited for the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office to transport Mr. Bailey to Pueblo. For more than six weeks, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office ignored multiple notices to transport Mr. Bailey.
When Mr. Bailey finally appeared before the Pueblo County Court after 52 days in jail, he was immediately released on a personal recognizance bond, and all charges were dismissed soon afterward.
As a result of his prolonged detention, Bailey lost his job and nearly two months of wages.
Bailey is represented by ACLU of Colorado's Mark Silverstein and Rebecca Wallace, as well as cooperating attorneys Darold Killmer and Michael Fairhurst of Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP.