FILE - This undated photo released by the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office, shows Jessica Jauch. A federal judge in northern Mississippi ruled on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, that Choctaw County and Sheriff Cloyd Halford liable for jailing Jauch for 96 days without seeing a judge in 2012. The judge is setting a trial in 2019 to determine damages, but the county and Halford are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to get the case thrown out. Jauch was cleared of a drug charge after a police video showed she had committed no crime. (Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Judge rules county liable after woman spends 3 months in jail without seeing judge

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In 2012, Jessica Jauch was arrested for traffic charges and was held after being served with a drug indictment. Ninety-six days later, she was appointed a public defender and quickly made bail. She was later cleared of the drug charge after undercover video didn't show her committing a crime.

While in jail, Jauch says she was forced to temporarily sign over her daughter’s custody rights to her mother.

>> Woman sues after spending 3 months in jail for possessing cotton candy

Because some rural Mississippi counties circuit courts only meet twice a year, Halford said he didn’t have to take Jauch before a judge until the court met because she had been indicted on a felony drug charge, which gave officials probale cause to detain her.

Judge Aycock originally agreed with that argument, dismissing Jauch’s case in 2016. But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was sharply critical of Aycock’s ruling, reinstating Jauch’s case in 2017 and calling her detention “unjust and unfair” and “alien to our law.”

According to The Associated Press, it’s unlikely that Jauch will collect money from the judges in the case because judges are generally immune from lawsuits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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