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This past week, a deaf man reached a settlement with two Minnesota counties after he was denied the help of a sign language interpreter after his arrest. The man was held in jail for six months on $50,000 bail prior to his trial. It was alleged, that he was basically forgotten until advocates for the deaf were able to provide him help and find him proper representation.

As a result of the lack of effective assistance, Nobles County is paying $50,000 and Martin County $25,000 to the deaf man from Iowa. As I have previously blogged, there is a major concern about the erosion of the constitutional right to counsel for the indigent. In a severely underfunded system, examples of individuals that need additional help such as this, can be left totally unprotected.

These types of cases can involve insurance issues concerning governmental immunities and municipal liability caps. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

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