(Juneau) A Beaver Dam man has filed a notice of appeal after his federal lawsuit against Dodge County law enforcement was dismissed. Eastern District of Wisconsin Judge Brett Ludwig dismissed Selepri Amachree’s suit with prejudice in March. That means the suit, or its claims, cannot be re-filed in the future. However, that decision is able to be appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court.
Amachree alleged he was illegally held in the Dodge County Jail for six months in 2017. The lawsuit was filed against the federal government as well as the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office. According to the dismissed complaint, 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. Amachree claimed his illegal detention was motivated by his work with recovering drug addicts in the county court system.
When Judge Ludwig dismissed the suit, he criticized Amachree’s legal team for disregarding rules and deadlines as well as failing to submit concise briefs.
Amachree tells DailyDodge that (quote) “there was some misleading talk from the defendants that the case was over, so this solidifies that it is not.” He says none of them were declared innocent or exonerated of any wrongdoing because the dismissal was strictly procedural. Amachree adds that the merits of the case were never considered.
When asked for comment, Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt referred back to his prior release following news of the suit’s dismissal. Schmidt said then he takes his responsibility to protect those who are confined in the jail seriously and as was done in this case, continues to utilize thorough background investigations to vet those who seek access to the detention facility. He added that he was grateful the federal court concluded that no viable claim was alleged in this case and dismissed the lawsuit.
Now that the notice of appeal has been filed, Amachree’s legal team has four to six weeks to file the appeal.