Minneapolis, Minn – Today Minnesota District Court Judge Gregory Anderson issued a temporary restraining order and injunction against the Nobles County Sheriff in a class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota on behalf of four named individuals. The lawsuit alleges that Sheriff Kent Wilkening and Nobles County are violating Minnesota law by refusing to release people from custody when they attempt to post bond or should otherwise be released. Instead of releasing individuals, however, Sheriff Wilkening is re-arresting people and detaining them on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement without the authority to do so. The order requires Sheriff Wilkening to release people when they are eligible for release under Minnesota law and the Minnesota and U.S. Constitutions.
The following quote can be attributed to ACLU-MN’s Executive Director John Gordon:
“We are pleased the court acted quickly and decisively to issue this temporary restraining order against the Nobles County Sheriff. Every day immigrants have been at risk of unlawful arrest because of the Sheriff’s egregious behavior. As courts have held over and over, Minnesotans have constitutional rights regardless of their immigration status. When sheriffs flout the law and try to act as federal immigration officials, it not only harms our community but it also violates the law. This unlawful behavior needs to end immediately—not only in Nobles County but across the state. This order sends a clear message that these actions will not be tolerated, and provides immediate relief to all immigrants in Nobles County. We look forward to making that relief permanent.”
Judge Anderson specifically held in his order that “there is a substantial likelihood” that the Plaintiffs will win when the case comes to trial. That trial is anticipated to occur early next spring.
Plaintiffs are represented by Ian Bratlie and Teresa Nelson from ACLU of Minnesota and Norm Pentelovitch of Anthony Ostlund Baer & Louwagie P.A.