Michigan’s top court rules for ACLU in jail records dispute
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union won a decision Friday at the Michigan Supreme Court in a dispute over jail records related to the detention of a Marine veteran in 2018.
Calhoun County has refused to release records, claiming they can be withheld because the jail was holding a man who was arrested by federal immigration officers.
But the Supreme Court, in a 7-0 decision, said a federal regulation restricting information doesn’t trump the terms of Michigan’s open records law. The case was sent back to a Calhoun County judge.
The arrest of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez by federal authorities was a major mistake. The U.S. citizen was a lance corporal in the Marines and received awards for service in Afghanistan.
Ramos-Gomez was picked up at the Kent County jail, where he had been lodged in an unrelated matter, and taken to the Calhoun County jail. He was released after three days when questions about his citizenship finally were resolved.
The ACLU is seeking medical records, audio and video from Ramos-Gomez’ time at the jail.