jail overcrowdingJim Clevenger, Attorney for Marshall County, updated the Commissioners on the jail lawsuits during their meeting on Monday.

Clevenger said, “I continue to work with Betty Knight on the ACLU case.”  He said they are meeting this week with the County Judges and Knight is arranging a meeting with lawyers from the ACLU.

While the inmate population was reduced to the 250’s last week on Monday it was in the 270’s.  Clevenger said the population reduction was reduced some thanks to the efforts of the judges, prosecutor, Community Corrections and the Probation Department.

The Sheriff and the county have been working with Elkhart County officials to transfer some sentenced inmates to their jail at a cost of $40 a day.  Elkhart County wouldn’t take any of Marshall County’s inmates because they accepted inmates from Wabash County and now don’t have room for ours.

Clevenger told the commissioners there are seven individuals who have filed damage claim lawsuits against the county and one inmate filled a second lawsuit.  The pending lawsuits have been filed in federal court.  GIE hired Knight Law Firm to defend the jail on the claims for monetary damages made by the inmates.

Attorney Lisa Baron is handling these cases.  She has made contact with the jail staff and Clevenger noted that these cases will go through a long process before being resolved.

While Clevenger told the commissioners at their last meeting that he would not be reporting on these cases at future meetings, there were only four cases and within the last week four additional cases have been filed.  He said he will keep them notified via email from time to time.  Clevenger also presented a list of the inmates who filed claims, the reasoning and amount sought.

Clevenger listed the overcrowding lawsuits:

Kenneth Allen Livergood – Overcrowding, scabes – $25,000

Christopher Todd Williams – Overcrowding, scabies, sleeping on the floor – $10,000

David William Boon Cottrell – Overcrowding, sleeping on bare floor, insects – $10,000

Dennis B. Fuchs – Overcrowding, eating on toilet or floor – $15,000

Brent Belton Edwards – Overcrowding and eating on toilet or floor – $20,000

Tyler J. McPhail – Overcrowding and eating on toilet or floor – $15,000

Shane Hatter and Jamal Morris filed via small claims – Overcrowding – non use of rec area $5,000 each.  Judged Colvin refused.