Gretchen Schuldt

Sheriff Clarke Loses Key Ruling

Judge won’t dismiss case on shackling of pregnant inmates in county jail.

By , Wisconsin Justice Initiative - May 19th, 2017 10:32 am
Sheriff David Clarke speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Sheriff David Clarke speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

A federal judge last week refused to dismiss a former inmate’s allegation that Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and the county implemented an unconstitutional policy requiring that pregnant inmates be shackled while giving birth.

Clarke and the county had argued that the claim by the former inmate, identified as “Jane Doe” in court filings, should be dismissed because she did not exhaust all potential administrative remedies available to her before filing suit, as required by law.

U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller, citing an earlier ruling from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, said that Doe was not required to pursue a grievance because there was little the jail could do to rectify the harm the shackling caused her as and after she gave birth to her daughter in October 2014.

“Defendants’ allegedly harmful shackling thus concluded upon the birth of her daughter, and so “[s]he had no opportunity to grieve [the shackling] until after the harm done by it was complete and could not be undone by the defendants,” Stadtmueller said in his opinion.

Doe filed suit in 2014, alleging that she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by Corrections Officer Xavier D. Thicklen while she was a County Jail inmate. Her shackling claim was added to the suit later. Doe originally sought class action status for that claim, but dropped the request in March.

The county has not disputed the claims.

The trial in the case is set for June 5.

Read earlier reporting on the case here, here, and here.

Gretchen Schuldt writes a blog for Wisconsin Justice Initiative, whose mission is “To improve the quality of justice in Wisconsin by educating the public about legal issues and encouraging civic engagement in and debate about the judicial system and its operation.”

6 thoughts on “Sheriff Clarke Loses Key Ruling”

  1. Vanessa says:

    And Trump want this nutcase to work in the White House it’s time to wake people David Clark needs to be in jail

  2. This merits the court’s fullest attention. I am sickened by this state of affairs.

  3. Paul Nannis says:

    pay your dues before you blow out of Milwaukee cowboy

  4. Matthew Noss says:

    Clarke and trump 2018

  5. Would not have been cuffed had she not committed a crime. She was a prisoner and the fact she was pregnant doesn’t change that. Just curious does she even know who the Daddy is. Probably not. You all don’t like anyone who says they are against illegals. Did you catch the word illegals. It means against the law

  6. Jim Asbury says:

    It is highly likely the Clarke messed up his hiring at DHS by prematurely announcing it to the media. I can only imagine the political fallout of being smacked down by Trump for jumping the gun, so to speak. If Trump decided Clark is a blabbermouth, his goose might already be cooked. He obviously doesn’t care for Milwaukee and the feeling is mutual, but he’s getting p[aid to be Sheriff, not gallivanting around the country, displaying his imagined valor, while looking for a new job.

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