Jury to hear case of woman shackled during labor - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Jury to hear case of woman shackled during labor

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A controversial Nashville court case is headed back to the courtroom, this time with a jury.

A federal appeals court ruled Monday the case of Juana Villegas should be retried. Villegas was an undocumented immigrant pulled over for a traffic stop in 2008.

She was detained because of her immigration status, and two days later, authorities shackled her wrists and ankles as she took an ambulance ride to a hospital to give birth.

Villegas remained shackled as she gave birth, and the charges against her were later dropped.

Villegas sued the Davidson County Sheriff's Department, and in 2011 a U.S. district judge ruled the sheriff's office was "deliberately indifferent" to Villegas when she was shackled during labor and denied a breast pump after being released from the hospital.

The judge also ruled the mother's constitutional rights were violated.

Now, a federal appeals court has said that since the facts in the case are disputed, a judge alone cannot rule, and it must go to a jury trial.

In a statement, Sheriff Daron Hall said his department is pleased with the ruling, and he stands by his belief that his officers followed accepted correctional practices.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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