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Erie County Moves to Dismiss DOJ Lawsuit

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – The Collins administration wants a judge to dismiss the United States Justice Department's lawsuit alleging abuses at the county's jails. The county filed a legal motion to dismiss the case this week.

Click the audio player above to hear Joyce Kryszak's full story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

The DOJ charges that the county is violating the constitutional rights of inmates at the holding center and the correctional facility. Their lawsuit cites inadequate medical care, facilities, as well as physical and sexual abuse.

But the county has called those allegations baseless fiction. And now county officials want a judge to throw out the case. Cheryl Green is Erie County Attorney. She said the DOJ is over-reaching its authority.

A hearing is scheduled on December 16 before United States District Justice William Skretney. Green said after hearing arguments the judge could decide the DOJ did not meet the federal requirements, but could give the department a chance to re-plead its case against the county. Still, Green said the judge could opt to dismiss the case entirely.

Green acknowledged that no matter what the judge rules, with the expected appeals of any decision, the costly legal battle could drag on for years.