Dodge County Attorney’s File Brief In Response To Ongoing Litigation Involving Law Enforcement Leaders

(Juneau) Attorneys for Dodge County Thursday filed a brief in response to an appeal from a Beaver Dam man who is suing the county and its law enforcement leaders. Selepri Amachree claims he was illegally held in the Dodge County jail for six months on an invalid deportation order and is seeking $5-million-dollars in damages.

Amachree, who was born in Liberia but came to America when he was three-years-old, had deportation ordered following a drug arrest 20 years ago. However, the Supreme Court determined in 2006 that such drug offenses did not rise to the level of deportation. Amachree’s suit was dismissed with prejudice in March, but he is currently appealing that decision.

The lawsuit is against the county, Sheriff Dale Schmidt, Sheriff’s Office Investigator Robert Neuman, as well as several state and federal officials. Attorneys that represent the county, Schmidt, and Neuman filed the brief with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Dodge County’s lead counsel, Samuel Hall Jr., also provided a summary of facts that detail the supposed events that led to Amachree’s arrest and subsequent detention at the jail.

According to Hall Jr., Amachree sought access to the jail in late 2016. This triggered a background investigation, during which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement informed the sheriff’s office of a (quote) “active Final Order for Removal.” Hall Jr. says the order prohibits an individual from returning to the U.S. for a period of years, or in some cases permanently.

Federal law enforcement advised sheriff’s officials that they intended to take Amachree into custody. In February of 2017, Amachree was invited to the sheriff’s office to discuss the results of the background check. Hall Jr. says at that meeting, ICE agents placed Amachree into federal custody. He says as Dodge County has long maintained a contract to house federal detainees, Amachree was held at its jail while his immigration case progressed in federal courts.

Attorneys for Dodge County continue, saying (quote) “during that period, Amachree was a federal inmate, exclusively at the direction of the federal government.” Once the immigration litigation ended, Amachree was released from the jail at the direction of federal law enforcement.

Amachree tells DailyDodge he would advise Sheriff Schmidt to (quote) “stop talking because anything he continues to say can and will be used against him a court of law.” He adds that his legal team has firm evidence and documentation that contradicts everything mentioned in the sheriff’s press release.

Amachree maintains that there could not have been a final order for deportation, because he was still actively litigating that very case in appellate court. He says that means that there also could not have been an “active Final Order for Removal” at the time of his arrest in 2017. Amachree notes that the “Final Order” was ultimately given in September of 2017 to cancel his deportation case, and that is when he was released from the Dodge County Jail.