March 19, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

Lincoln, Neb - The ACLU of Nebraska today warned the York County Sheriff’s office that monitoring calls between an attorney and a client is a violation of constitutional rights and the county could be facing legal action by both attorneys and clients. The letter sent by ACLU of Nebraska Legal Director Amy Miller was in response to complaints the ACLU has received from attorneys and detainees. The letter says that if the Sheriff’s office does not review these constitutional rights with staff, they could face a civil rights lawsuit.

Ensuring access to attorneys for those facing criminal charges has been a recent priority of the ACLU. The ACLU opened up investigations into county funding for public defenders two years ago. Multiple counties have since increased their funding based on the ACLU’s recommendations.

Statement from Danielle Conrad, Executive Director:

The attorney client relationship is fundamental to protecting everyone's due process and a fair trial rights. The confidential nature of attorney client communications is sacrosanct. This holds true in any context including county jails. Courts have clearly and specifically addressed these very issues and found that government officials should not monitor or record attorney client communications. The ACLU of Nebraska will continue to work at the federal, state, and local levels to protect the Constitutional rights of all persons. Should we receive additional complaints from York County or other facilities in Nebraska we will explore  legal action.

For a copy of the letter: http://aclunebraska.org/images/attachments/228_York%20County%20phone%20confidentiality%20letter.pdf

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