Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Dodge County Sheriff, DA Dismissed

(Juneau) A federal lawsuit filed against Dodge County law enforcement leaders has been dismissed. Selepri Amachree’s suit alleged he was illegally held in the Dodge County Jail for six months in 2017. It sought $5-million dollars in damages from the county, Homeland Security, and Immigration. The suit was filed against the federal government as well as the Dodge County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s Office.

The complaint alleged that the sheriff conspired with Immigration agents to detain Amachree, who was born in Liberia but came to America when he was three-years-old. Amachree 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. In the dismissed lawsuit, Amachree claimed his illegal detention was motivated by his work with recovering drug addicts in the county court system.

Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt says he is grateful the federal court has concluded that no viable claim was alleged in this case and dismissed the lawsuit. Schmidt says he takes his responsibility to protect those who are confined in the jail seriously and, as was done in this case, continue to utilize thorough background investigations to vet those who seek access to the detention facility.

In a release, Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg said the federal court presiding over Amachree’s lawsuit made several negative observations including that the complaint (quote) “may as well be abstract art.”

The suit, which was originally filed in Northern District of Illinois in June of 2018 then transferred to the Eastern District of Wisconsin, was dismissed by Judge Brett Ludwig with prejudice. This prevents the suit or its claims from being re-filed in the future. Judge Ludwig also criticized Amachree’s legal team for disregarding rules and deadlines as well as failing to submit concise briefs.

Amachree tells DailyDodge he is disappointed over what happened but notes that the judge never declared the defendant’s innocent. He says the case was dismissed on technicalities, not on its merits. Amachree adds that his attorney filed longer briefs and documents because it is better to have everything on record. He notes that this is not about a settlement but preventing something similar from happening to anyone else. Amachree has 30 days to file an appeal with the Seventh Circuit Court. He says his counsel is still discussing next steps and has not officially decided anything yet.