Plaintiff In Lawsuit Against County, ICE Encouraged By Change Of Venue

(Juneau) The plaintiff in a civil lawsuit against Dodge County says the recent transfer of his case to a federal court in Wisconsin speaks to the seriousness of the underlying charges. Selepri Amachree says he was illegally held in the Dodge County Jail for six months in 2017 and is seeking $5-million dollars in damages from the county, Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The suit was filed in US Federal Court for the Northern District of Illinois this past March. The defense asked the court to dismiss the case saying it was filed in the wrong venue. Earlier this month, Judge Mary Rowland agreed noting that Amachree lacked personal jurisdiction and directed the case to the US Federal Court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The judge noted her authority to dismiss the case or “transfer such case to any district…in which it could have been brought.”

Amachree tells that the judge had the discretion to dismiss the case but did not in the interest of justice. Amachree says he “does not think people grasp how serious the charges are.”

The complaint alleges that the sheriff conspired with ICE to detain the Liberian-born, legal US resident on a technicality. Emails in the complaint between the DA and sheriff paint Amachree as a conman, drug addict, thief and pervert. Amachree calls the claims defamatory and baseless built on hearsay. Amachree’s business is private drug interventions and the Beaver Dam man cites clashes over sentencings with county officials as their motivation. The county has not been commenting on the lawsuit citing its status as pending litigation.

There is no court activity on the calendar yet in Wisconsin.