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Settlement approved in case against Nobles County Sheriff's Office

A Blue Earth county judge has approved a settlement in a case in which a Nobles County Sheriff’s Office policy that held immigrants in jail for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was found to be unconstitutional.

Chief Judge Gregory Anderson approved a resolution Tuesday to Esparza et. al vs. Nobles County that states that the county and its sheriff’s office are no longer allowed to detain individuals for ICE without legal authority from the state.

According to the information from ACLU Minnesota, Nobles County –- prior to injunctions obtained in the Esparza et. al vs. Nobles County case -- regularly refused to release individuals in detention even after they posted bail, completed their sentencing or had their cases dismissed. The trial court and Minnesota Court of Appeals each confirmed that no Minnesota law gave the county or its sheriff the authority to hold those persons in jail.

The ACLU of Minnesota, in conjunction with attorneys at the law firm of Anthony Ostlund Louwagie Dressen & Boylan P.A., filed the case in 2018 on behalf of four individuals who were illegally detained in Nobles County.

Tuesday’s ruling also includes a financial settlement of $200,000 for the four plaintiffs.

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