A mother in Pahrump, Nevada claims that Nye County officials forced her daughter to unnecessarily stay in jail for more than year. In the lawsuit filed against Nye County, the woman claims that the officials ignored the orders of the court to send her daughter to the state psychiatric facility.
The mother filed the federal lawsuit on Tuesday against both Bye County and Sheriff Sharon Wehrly. According to the lawsuit, Caryssa Lennox was arrested by law enforcement in February 2014 for destruction of property and the misuse of an emergency phone number.
Two months after her arrest, Lennox was evaluated by two psychologists at the Nye County Detention Center. The two psychologists concluded that Lennox was mentally incompetent to go to court and stand trial. They recommended that Lennox receive treatment at Lake’s Crossing Center.
After another two months, a district judge in Nye County ordered that the sheriff’s office take Lennox to the maximum-security Lake’s Crossing, which is a psychiatric facility. The district attorney of Nye County and the lawyers of Lennox agreed that the 28-year-old would be treated at Seven Hills Hospital, which is a behavioral health treatment center.
The sheriff’s office neglected or refused to transport Lennox to either facility. Lennox was forced to remain in jail until October 2014 when the district judge again ordered Lennox to be transported to Lake’s Crossing. Three months later, Lennox was evaluated by psychologists and it was again deemed that she was mentally incapable of standing trial.
In the lawsuit, the mother claims that the sheriff’s office violated Lennox’s due process rights. According to Greg Cortese, who is the lead attorney of the lawsuit, an inmate is usually committed to Lake Crossing after two psychologists agree that the inmate is psychologically unfit to go to court. However, the sheriff’s office refused to fulfill these expectations in Lennox’s case.
For the third time in the span of year, the court ordered that Lennox be transported to Lake’s Crossing in February 2015. The charges pressed against Lennox were dropped in April and the court ordered that Lennox be taken to Seven Hills Hospital. Within six days after Lennox’s charges were dismissed, the women was taken to the private Henderson center.