Man alleges he was illegally detained for extended period

Kelly Holleran Oct. 1, 2014, 8:48am

An incarcerated man has filed suit against the Montgomery County sheriff, saying he has not been released from jail in a timely manner.

Bernardino Cuevas states he was arrested July 28 for allegedly driving while intoxicated. He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail, according to the complaint filed Aug. 27 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas. 

While Cuevas was incarcerated, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an I-247 form, which is an immigration detainer form, the suit states. The department allegedly requested that Montgomery County Sheriff Thomas Wayne Gage detain Cuevas for a period of up to 48 hours past the time he would have otherwise been released, the complaint says.

On Aug. 20, Montgomery County's district attorney requested that the charges filed against Cuevas be dismissed, Cuevas says. Although the judge did drop the charges against Cuevas, he continued to be confined in the Montgomery County Jail, according to the complaint.

"Cuevas is still, as of Aug. 27, incarcerated in the Montgomery County Jail, under the control of both defendants," the suit states. "Defendant Gage intentionally continued to confine Cuevas after he otherwise would have been released, and then continued to hold him after the 48-hour period requested in the I-247."

Cuevas alleges he was denied his due process rights and was unlawfully detained based on the immigration detainer.

Cuevas seeks compensatory damages, plus injunctive relief ordering Gage to immediately cease his unlawful confinement, costs, attorney fees and other relief the court deems just.

Franklin Bynum, of Bynum Law Office in Houston, will represent him.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number: 4:14-CV-2478.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.

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