A Clark County man has filed a lawsuit against the county and the sheriff's office, accusing them of jailing him for crimes his brother was accused of committing, even while his brother sat in the jail.
In the lawsuit, Daniel Conley seeks unspecified damages for "mental and physical pain, both past and present," wage loss and "unnecessary" legal fees.
"You know, some people would say because he had a prior record or because he had been arrested before, it's not a big deal," said Daniel Conley's attorney, Rob Milesnick. "But falsely arresting somebody is extremely psychologically damaging. They know they didn't do it."
He continued, "And what was particularly upsetting here is the jail learned of it, they learned they had two people incarcerated under the same warrant and they didn't do anything about it. They didn't do anything about it for 10 days."
According to the lawsuit, the trouble began when David Conley was arrested in summer 2010 for DUI and two separate driving while suspended offenses. He told officers he did not have identification and provided his brother, Daniel Conley's, name and birthday.
David Conley skipped a court appearance for one of the driving while suspended charges and a warrant was issued in Daniel Conley's name, the lawsuit said.
Milesnick said when Daniel Conley arrived at the jail to clear up the confusion, jail staff ran his name and discovered the warrant.
Daniel Conley protested, describing the physical differences between himself and his brother. A deputy was called.
According to the lawsuit, records staff discovered David Conley was arrested on the warrant the night before. Despite that, the deputy took Daniel Conley into custody, noting David Conley's arrest in his incident report.
Daniel Conley was in jail for at least 10 days until he posted bail, according to Milesnick. The county dismissed the charges against him later that month.
Milesnick said staff made two mistakes -not fingerprinting the Conleys and not acting to clear up the confusion.
"So even if they would have been fingerprinting, which they weren't, even if they would have been doing that, they have to act," he said. "And they didn't act. They just let him sit there."
Clark County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Fred Neiman did not comment specifically on the lawsuit, but said it is jail policy to photograph and finger print suspects being booked into jail. Those fingerprints are then run through a database.
Clark County civil prosecutor Bernard Veljacic told FOX 12 the county has issues with the accuracy of some of the factual assertions in the lawsuit. He would not specify, but said he planned to file the county's formal response to the lawsuit Thursday.
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