After convicting the claimant of drunk driving, the Dane County Circuit Court sentenced her to jail, with work-release privileges.
As a condition of her exercise of those privileges, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office required the claimant to submit urine samples, at random intervals, for drug testing. She did so without problem until one day two sheriff’s deputies appeared at her workplace and took her into custody. One of the deputies told the claimant that she had failed a drug test.
Over the claimant’s protest, the sheriff’s office kept her in custody for four days before holding a hearing to determine whether she had violated the terms of the work-release program. That hearing revealed that the sheriff’s staff had relied on the results of a positive drug test performed by a sheriff’s deputy (not a professional laboratory technician), and two days later the sheriff’s office conceded, on the basis of retesting, that the initial test had been faulty.
At that point the sheriff’s office released the claimant. She then retained our firm to pursue a due-process claim on her behalf. The federal District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin dismissed the case, and we appealed to the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. The case settled while that appeal was pending.
Other clients include:
- A man released from jail a day late ($13,500);
- A woman who was improperly excluded from a public swimming pool ($10,000);
- Two men turned away from a motel, ostensibly on the basis of race;
- A woman excluded from a senior center for allegedly failing to show “respect” to the staff;
- A man barred by the police from attending public meetings (in a public building) of a neighborhood association after he publicly criticized the police.