April 3, 2014

Today, a jury in federal court in Denver, Colorado returned a verdict of no liability against two of three agents involved in an arrest of illegal aliens in Snowmass, Colorado in 2009, and awarded a single dollar in damages against the third agent.

In March 2009, Special Agent Steve Turza and a team of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided a house in Snowmass and apprehended a number Mexican nationals who were in this country illegally. While the undocumented aliens were initially successful in convincing an Immigration judge to throw out the charges, that decision was later overturned on appeal. Undeterred, one of the undocumented aliens and her daughter filed a federal lawsuit accusing three ICE agents of flagrant violations of their constitutional rights.

Today, a jury in federal court in Denver found that two of the three agents were not liable for money damages as a result of that raid, and that the third agent was liable for $1 in “nominal damages.” Special agent Steve Turza, who was found to owe $1, is ecstatic at the jury’s verdict today. Agent Turza’s lawyer, Sean Gallagher, said “While he is disappointed that the jury found that there was at least one technical violation, Special Agent Turza takes great comfort in the fact that the jury chose to reject the plaintiffs’ allegations in the lawsuit that they had been deprived of their freedom in a significant way.”

Sean R. Gallagher
Polsinelli PC
Denver, Colorado

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