SHREVEPORT –– A DeSoto Parish man claims the local sheriff's department targeted him in a child custody dispute.
Ryan Jones filed a complaint on Sept. 11 in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Louisiana against named members of the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Department that includes some of his former wife's family.
According to the complaint, the defendants repeatedly abused their law enforcement authority to maliciously prosecute and and defame Jones while he battled with his ex-wife Courtney Dowden over the custody of their child.
The lawsuit details several family relationships between Dowden and law enforcement. Dowden's sister is the chief deputy under the sheriff of DeSoto Parish. Dowden's mother is also employed by the office.
Jones claims his was pulled over several times without cause, cited for numerous traffic violations and placed in jail.
Jones also alleges the defendants persuaded a girlfriend to file false domestic abuse with child endangerment charges against him. According to the complaint, Jones was charged with a felony when the offense itself is a misdemeanor.
To further harm his reputation, Jones says, the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Department posted a photo of him on their social media page under the headline "Felon of the Week."
Jones was not found guilty of the charges, the complaint states.
Jones is asking the court for compensatory damages, punitive damages and legal fees. He is represented by Pamela Jones of Downer, Jones, Marino and Wilhite L.L.C. out of Shreveport.