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Lawsuits filed against Lowndes County

 

Dispatch Staff Report

 

The following lawsuits are among those pending in federal court against Lowndes County:

     

     

  • Clifton H. Jones and Jerry D. Nance, both of Alabama, are suing Lowndes County, Sheriff Butch Howard and a deputy for holding them five days in 2008 without giving them opportunity to make bail, see a judge or call an attorney. 

     

    Jones and Nance had bought camping supplies, which were taken to be methamphetamine precursors by Deputy Ivan Bryan, said Jeff Navarro, attorney for Jones and Nance. 

     

    They were arrested on April 5, 2008, and released the following Wednesday without charges ever having been filed. 

     

    The defendants argue that the unusually long delay was out of their control because a judge was not available until Wednesday. 

     

    Jones and Nance are only seeking reimbursement for the pay they missed while in jail, Navarro said. 

     

    The case will be heard in federal court at Aberdeen at 9:40 a.m. Nov. 29. 

     

  • Howard Smart, a former employee of Lowndes County, is suing the county for race discrimination and wrongful termination. 

     

    Smart claims he was passed over for promotion because he is black, and was fired after he took sick leave for medical tests and possible surgery to his back. 

     

    He also claims that when the positions of white employees are eliminated, they are given another position. 

     

    Smart is seeking reimbursement for missed pay and out-of-pocket payments for health insurance premiums and for damages to his reputation, mental state and future employment opportunities. He is also seeking reinstatement of his employment and retirement benefits. 

     

    He is scheduled to appear in federal court in Aberdeen March 21, 2011, at 9:30 a.m.

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment kj commented at 10/11/2010 1:28:00 PM:

"The defendants argue that the unusually long delay was out of their control because a judge was not available until Wednesday."

That is a load of crap. 72 hours isn't unreasonable. The principle of habeas corpus is well established. There's no excuse for violating it by two days. If all these guys want is the wages they lost because the justice system was unavailable for five days, just pay them. It's probably going to cost us more to defend this in court than it is to do the right thing, admit error, and pay them.

 

Article Comment frank commented at 10/11/2010 4:24:00 PM:

I agree with KJ. The county is getting off light on this. Heck give them each a week's pay and settle this case before they decide to file a real lawsuit!

 

Article Comment lorenza102053 commented at 10/11/2010 10:40:00 PM:

The pay is not the issue with me, it's the principle of the thing....I would have been terrified had I been arrested and held with out the due process that America is known for ...and then I would have been angry as I'm sure these men are. It's a pain at times to let people have their rights when you think they are guilty, but if it was me or mine in those shoes, I would want things to be done correctly. Law enforcement has a bad enough reputation in this area with out making it any worse.....

 

Article Comment michelle commented at 10/12/2010 7:42:00 AM:

noone is saying if they have ever been arrested for drug violations before. i believe they were cooking meth the narcs here get a 100 calls a week saying ppl r buying r buying precursers Agent Bryan knew what he was doing when he charged them. Good job to him and yeah if i got stopped with all that crap i would say i was going camping to lol lock up the meth heads.!!!!

 

Article Comment michelle commented at 10/12/2010 7:46:00 AM:

plus if they were going camping they wouldnt have been ast work anyway to loose those wages. its a lie they was cooking it

 

Article Comment frank commented at 10/12/2010 9:49:00 AM:

@michelle

1. They were never charged. Somebody did not know what they were doing.

2. Check your calendar. They were arrested on Saturday which would be a logical day for working people to go camping.

Settle the suit and thank them for not nailing the taxpayers of Lowndes County for more money.

 

Article Comment green commented at 10/12/2010 1:07:00 PM:

Maybe people shouldnt believe what they read. They were arrested, and charged and indicted by the Grand Jury. Need to check the court records.

 

Article Comment frank commented at 10/13/2010 10:54:00 AM:

The article says, "released the following Wednesday without charges ever having been filed".

If it is inaccurate, the CD needs to print a correction.

 

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