Quantcast

Counties sued over inmate who waited 52 days to see judge - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Counties sued over inmate who waited 52 days to see judge

Posted: Updated:
Michael Bailey is seeking punitive damages after being held in jail for 52 days before appearing before a judge Michael Bailey is seeking punitive damages after being held in jail for 52 days before appearing before a judge
DENVER -

A Colorado man is suing both Pueblo and Teller Counties claiming they violated his civil rights by keeping him in jail for nearly two months before he finally got to see a judge.  Michael Bailey was arrested back in September of 2015 by deputies with the Teller County Sheriff's Office on an open warrant out of Pueblo County.

He spent 45 days in the Teller County Jail and an additional week behind bars in Pueblo before making his first court appearance.  So much time had passed that the judge reportedly said, "He should have been advised, it's an old enough case. How is this a first appearance?"

The Pueblo District Attorney's Office ultimately dropped all charges against Bailey. However, his lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union and the private law firm Killmer Lane & Newman told the court the prolonged jail stay cost Bailey his job and wages.

In the civil rights complaint, Bailey's lawyers point out that criminal defendants are entitled to a prompt first appearance under the Due Process Clause of the US Constitution and they have a right to have bail set under the Colorado Constitution.  They also believe the Teller County Sheriff's Office had a duty under the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure to bring Mr. Bailey "without unnecessary delay to the nearest available county court" to make that first appearance.

Instead, they claim the sheriff's office simply sent a routine message via the Colorado Crime Information Center (CCIC) requesting that deputies from the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office come pick him up.  When the message had gone unanswered for a month, Teller County sent a second CCIC request for transfer.

"The Teller County Defendants delegated all responsibility to bring Mr. Bailey before a judge for a prompt first appearance and bail setting to the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office," they wrote in their complaint.

The attorneys also believe Pueblo County is responsible because the deputy in charge of transportation didn't have a policy in place to regularly check the CCIC computer messages.  

"Pueblo County had the authority, ability, and responsibility to cause Mr. Bailey to be brought to court for a first appearance far more promptly than he was," the complaint reads.

The Pueblo County dispatcher who responded to the arresting officer confirming that Bailey had an open warrant is also named as a defendant. Bailey's lawyers claim she knew their client was stuck behind bars but never told her supervisors.

"For years, the ACLU of Colorado has been receiving complaints of defendants languishing in jail on warrants from other counties for 10 days or more, with no opportunity to see a judge," said Rebecca Wallace, staff attorney for the ACLU of Colorado. "This failure not only violates defendants' constitutional rights, it also contributes to the problem of over-incarceration and jail overcrowding that plagues Colorado."

The lawsuit seeks damages for the economic losses Mr. Bailey suffered as a result of his confinement. It also seeks punitive damages for his treatment by the two counties during his incarceration.

Attorney Gordon Vaughan is representing all of the defendants in the suit. He said they are still in the early stages of reviewing and considering the complaint and are working to formulate an appropriate response.

The judge in the case gave the counties a deadline of February 6, 2018, to file that legal response. Both sides are scheduled to meet in court for a scheduling conference in early March.

WEATHER
Drive the Doppler
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Woman falls victim to scammer posing as Wells Fargo employee

    Woman falls victim to scammer posing as Wells Fargo employee

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 10:29 PM EDT2018-07-18 02:29:52 GMT

    A Colorado Springs woman says she feels "foolish" after getting scammed by a caller purporting to be a Wells Fargo customer service representative.  

    A Colorado Springs woman says she feels "foolish" after getting scammed by a caller purporting to be a Wells Fargo customer service representative.  

  • Husband charged with first degree murder for wife's death in Colorado Springs

    Husband charged with first degree murder for wife's death in Colorado Springs

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 8:15 PM EDT2018-07-18 00:15:43 GMT
    Mark Christopher PetersMark Christopher Peters

    Court documents about Friday night's murder of a woman inside a home on Galleria Terrace detail a months-long struggle by the victim to get away from her husband who was accused of several threatening acts before his wife's death.

    Court documents about Friday night's murder of a woman inside a home on Galleria Terrace detail a months-long struggle by the victim to get away from her husband who was accused of several threatening acts before his wife's death.

  • Act of kindness saves special photo shoot

    Act of kindness saves special photo shoot

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 12:52 AM EDT2018-07-18 04:52:27 GMT
    Senior photoshootSenior photoshoot
    Senior photoshootSenior photoshoot

    A small act of kindness at a Fountain Starbucks saved a Falcon High School student's chance to take her senior pictures Sunday.

    A small act of kindness at a Fountain Starbucks saved a Falcon High School student's chance to take her senior pictures Sunday.

Powered by Frankly

© KOAA.com 2018, KOAA.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?