BATON ROUGE – Two detainees have filed a class-action lawsuit against a magistrate judge over allegations that the judge unlawfully imposes secured financials conditions of release in an amount arrestees cannot afford to pay.
Adrian Caliste and Brian Gisclair, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a complaint on June 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Magistrate Judge of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Harry E. Cantrell alleging violation of the 14th Amendment.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege they remain in detention at the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office solely because they cannot afford to pay the amount of money required for their release as determined by the defendant. The plaintiffs holds Cantrell responsible because the defendant allegedly unlawfully imposed secured financial conditions of release in an amount that arrestees cannot afford.
The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek declaratory judgment that the defendant violates plaintiffs' constitutional rights and that defendant has a conflict of interest that violates due process rights. They are represented by Katie M. Schwartzmann and Eric A. Foley of Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center in New Orleans and Alec Karakatsanis of Civil Rights Corps in Washington, D.C.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:17-cv-06197