While in jail, she says she was forced to temporarily sign over her daughter’s custody rights to her mother.
There are two remaining questions left for a Mississippi woman who sued over being jailed 96 days without seeing a judge: Will the U.S. Supreme Court get involved, and if not, how much will she get paid?
U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock on Tuesday ruled that Choctaw County and Sheriff Cloyd Halford are liable for violating Jessica Jauch’s constitutional rights. She set a March jury trial to determine damages. However, the county and Halford are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case. If the high court refuses to hear the appeal, as happens in most cases, the county will be out of legal options.
Jauch, now 36, was arrested on traffic charges in 2012 and held after being served with a drug indictment. While in jail, she says she was forced to temporarily sign over her daughter’s custody rights to her mother. After finally seeing a judge, she was appointed a public defender and quickly made bail. She was eventually cleared of the drug charge after undercover video didn’t show her committing a crime.
In Choctaw County, like many rural Mississippi counties, circuit court only meets twice a year, and the next meeting was months away. The sheriff said he didn’t have to take Jauch before a judge until court met because she’d already been indicted on a felony drug charge, thus establishing probable cause for her detention.
READ: County liable for jailing woman 96 days without seeing judge