VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - News 10 has learned that Vigo County was granted an extension in a federal lawsuit regarding its jail.
The lawsuit accuses the jail of being unconstitutional.
According to court documents, the county has until August 3rd to respond to motions for a summary judgment.
Court documents showed the county filed the motion for an extension on July 13th. The order, accepting the extension, was filed by the courts on the 17th.
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We reached out to county leaders for comment, but they were not available.
However, News 10 spoke with Attorney Michael Sutherlin by phone. Sutherlin is the attorney suing the county, representing former inmates in the lawsuit.
Sutherlin told News 10 they filed motions for a summary judgment. Sutherlin said that means a judge could find that the jail is unconstitutional based on certain facts already presented. The summary judgment, Sutherlin said, would also avoid having to go to trial.
If the judge finds the jail unconstitutional, Sutherlin said that gives the judge authority to order the county to do something to alleviate or minimize the conditions.
Court documents showed the Plaintiff's motion for a summary judgment was filed on June 22, 2018. Documents went on to show Vigo County would have been required to respond on or before July 20th.
With this extension, the county now has until August. However, Sutherlin said he feels the county is stalling.
"They can only bury their head in the sand so long," he said, "and they can't avoid the responsibilities to ensure that the individuals kept in the jail are safe and are not harmed by the environment."
Vigo County officials are expected to meet in an executive session regarding the jail on Wednesday afternoon.
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