Lawsuit over decades of illegal arrests faces roadblock
BATON ROUGE- A federal investigation revealed that authorities in a rural Louisiana parish routinely used illegal "investigative holds" to arrest hundreds of people for questioning and secretly keep them jailed for days without criminal charges.
But a federal judge's ruling could preclude most of these people from getting any class-action compensation for their ordeals.
In a court filing last Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna recommended dismissing three people's claims because they were freed from jail more than a year before they sued the city of Ville Platte and Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office over their improper arrests.
Plaintiffs' lawyers argued that a one-year statute of limitations shouldn't apply in this case because people were told to keep silent.
A district court judge must decide whether to adopt Hanna's recommendations.