This lawsuit challenges Nobles County ICE hold practice

Case Description

The ACLU of Minnesota filed a lawsuit against the Nobles County Sheriff and their staff on the behalf of Jose Lopez Orellana. The Nobles County Sheriff denied Lopez Orellana his right to post bail set by a Minnesota court and was held unlawfully for ten days because of an immigration detainer. Lopez Orellana was arrested and booked into the Nobles County jail for DWI on November 9, 2014. His bail was set the following day. On November 21, Lopez Orellana's wife was not allowed to post bail because Immigrations and Customs Enforcement requested that Lopez Orellana is held at the Nobles County Jail for them. He was held in jail for an additional ten days while ICE investigated his immigration status. After the ten days, he pleaded guilty before a judge and paid a fine. Lopez Orellana was held an additional ten days in jail that he could have spent with his family over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Joes Lopez Orellana understands that he made a mistake and was held accountable, but the additional ten days he had to spend in jail was unnecessary and unjust. The ACLU-MN argues that Lopez Orellana should not have been held in jail for ten extra days that he could have been released because his family could have made bail. Lopez Orellana should not have been detained on the basis of an ICE detainer because the Fourth Amendment does not permit people to be held by ICE detainers. Multiple courts have also agreed with this position. The ACLU is asking the courts to order the Nobles County Sheriff to stop abiding by ICE detainers and award Orellana damages for his unlawful detention and violation of his constitutional rights.

Case Update

In 2017 the case was settled. Jose received compensation for his mistreatment and the department agreed to reform their practices. 


Ian Bratlie and Teresa Nelson of the ACLU-MN along with William Patrdige of Farrish Johnson Law Office

Date filed

October 14, 2015


U.S. District Court - State of Minnesota