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What is my legal recourse for a paperwork error resulting in being jailed after bail was paid?

Columbus, OH |

I was arrested on Sunday the 25th of August 2013 for a failure to appear bench warrant for Hilliard, OH. The fine that had not been paid was $281.00 for DUS. My fine/bail of $281.00 was paid on Monday the 26th. I was not released until the evening of Friday the 30th. This delay in release was due to the nonfeasance of either the Hilliard Clerk of Courts or the Franklin County Correctional institution. I lost my job to this lengthy incarceration well past what was reasonable considering my bond had been paid. When alerted on Friday of the error I was immediately released. I am curious what my recourse is as far as official complaint or redress were concerned.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Contact a local Criminal Attorney and or a Civil personal injury lawyer to review your facts.


  2. I would not contact a criminal attorney because your recourse would be to file a civil complaint against the city/county officials. There are some civil attorneys that specialize in prisoner rights. I would recommend contacting one of them before a personal injury attorney. Your local bar association should get you in touch with the proper type of attorney

    Casey Cerreta, Esq.


  3. You would have a possible civil case for false imprisonment, and/or a violation of your federal civil rights under 42 U.S.C. §1983, but a lawyer would need to do a thorough investigation. Was there some other condition that technically had to be met, other than paying the fine, before Hilliard could clear you for release? I'm not a fan of our sheriff's policy of delaying release for a few hours after the official moment of discharge (say, after a not-guilty verdict), and that practice may well prompt a federal lawsuit, but there also may have been some holder (other than the non-payment of the fine) that justifiably delayed your release as well. Since we're talking about the possibility of less than a week of false imprisonment, you need to be 100% sure there wasn't a technicality the sheriff can fall back on. My advice would be, before you schedule an appointment with a lawyer, that you run to the Hilliard clerk of courts and get a complete copy of the file of your case, and also get a record check from the Franklin County Sheriff.

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