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Dodds v. Richardson, No. 09-6157

By FindLaw Staff on August 09, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Dodds v. Richardson, No. 09-6157, concerned an action claiming that defendant-sheriff violated plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment due process rights by depriving him of his protected liberty interest in posting bail.  The court affirmed the denial of summary judgment to defendant based on qualified immunity, holding that 1) defendant has yet to proffer any reason, let alone a "legitimate goal," for refusing to allow plaintiff to post bail and detaining plaintiff for three days, other than the assertion that the longstanding policies or customs at the jail, allegedly set by either the court clerk or the district judges, prohibited individuals charged with a felony from posting bond until they had been arraigned by a judge and from posting bond after hours; and 2) plaintiff's right to be free from unjustified detention after his bail was set was clearly established such that a reasonable official in defendant's position in April 2007 would have understood that his deliberately indifferent maintenance of the policies that prevented arrestees from posting preset bail for no legitimate reason violated the Constitution.

As the court wrote:  "Plaintiff Thomas Carl Dodds, Jr. brought this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 suit, alleging Defendant former Logan County, Oklahoma Sheriff Randy Richardson violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights by depriving him of his protected liberty interest in posting bail. The district court denied Defendant's claim to qualified immunity in the context of summary judgment, and Defendant appealed. Exercising jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm."

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