Lawsuit targets Montana judge, deputy in immigration case

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An immigrant rights group says a Montana judge acted illegally when he asked a sheriff’s deputy to take away from his court a Mexican-born man who was later detained by federal immigration authorities.

Attorney Matt Adams with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project said Monday that former Yellowstone County Justice of the Peace Pedro Hernandez acted outside his jurisdiction.

The Seattle-based group filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Friday against the judge and Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Deputy Derrek Skinner.

The suit claims Miguel Angel Reynaga Hernandez suffered emotional and economic harm as a result of a three-month detention beginning last October.

Judge Hernandez, who retired in November, told The Associated Press he was obligated as a judge to report that Reynaga was in the country illegally.