RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is being released by the Claims Administrator for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Immigration Stops and Detention Compensation Fund on behalf of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office ("MCSO") and the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") of Arizona about the lawsuit Ortega Melendres v. Penzone (previously Arpaio), Case No.: CV-07-2513-PHX-GMS.
A federal court ordered Maricopa County to establish a $500,000 fund (the "Compensation Fund") to pay people ("Victims") who were stopped or held improperly by MCSO officers between December 23, 2011, and May 24, 2013, based on their suspected immigration status. Victims stopped or held improperly for more than 20 minutes will receive at least $500 and can receive up to $10,000 depending on how long they were stopped or held. Additionally, Victims can receive even more money if, because of their MCSO stop, they were also detained by federal authorities or suffered physical harm, severe emotional distress, or loss of wages or property. Lawful immigration status is not required to receive these payments.
The court ordered Maricopa County to create the Compensation Fund because it determined that MCSO violated a preliminary injunction that prohibited MCSO deputies from detaining a person solely on the basis that MCSO personnel believed the person was in the U.S. without authorization. A detention occurs whenever an individual is not free to leave law enforcement custody. Detention for the purposes of the Compensation Fund may include being transported in a motor vehicle by an MCSO deputy or other law enforcement officer, held at the side of the road by an MCSO deputy, or placed in a cell.
To receive payment, a Victim must file a complete and valid claim by December 3, 2018 and must agree to release any claims he or she may have resulting from the same detention. Claims may be filed easily and quickly online at www.MaricopaSheriffCompensationFund.org or www.fondodecompensaciondelsheriffdemaricopa.org.
SOURCE MCSO Immigration Stops and Detention Compensation Fund Claims Administrator