What is Time Wrongfully Spent in Jail Worth?

May 20, 2015

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Very few people ever have cause to worry about spending time in jail after being wrongfully detained by law enforcement. And even fewer have had to ask themselves the question: how much should law enforcement pay me for the time that I wrongfully spent in jail?

Surely the answer to this question depends on the jail, the time, and the loss that the individual suffered while being incarcerated. But, if you were incarcerated in the Whitley County Jail from March 30, 2006, through 2009, it is apparently worth $43 for every hour that you were detained beyond that required by law. In March of 2008, Lawrence Bickel and other inmates incarcerated at the Whitley County Jail filed a complaint and pursued a class action alleging that they were held more than forty-eight hours without a probable cause hearing in violation of federal law. In March of this year, Northern District Judge Theresa Springmann conditionally approved a class action settlement involving the Whitley County Jail. In that March order, the Court approved a $725,000 settlement including $317,000 for attorney’s fees for a class of 243 individuals who were arrested and spent more than two days in custody prior to appearing before a judge. Unfortunately for the individuals who were wrongfully detained, this settlement came many years after their rights were initially violated.

Contact us today if you have questions or believe your First Amendment or criminal rights have been violated. We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to their individualized case. Act now and contact us today at (317) 857-0160.