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Tort claim against sheriff’s office alleges civil rights violations

A White Bird man is seeking $25,000 for damages suffered as the result of alleged illegal procedures by the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO) during his DUI arrest last summer.

The tort claim was filed Dec. 10 by Larry J. Barany against Idaho County, ICSO and ICSO Sheriff Doug Giddings on allegations of false imprisonment, defamation and civil rights violations

The claim has been referred to the county’s insurance provider, ICRMP, which has up to 90 days to recommend the claim be admitted or denied. If the claim is denied or no action is taken by ICRMP within the 90-day period, Barany has up to two years from the date of the alleged wrongful conduct to file a lawsuit against the county.

The basis for the claim is the July 28, 2013, arrest of Barany by ICSO Cpl. Justin Scuka for driving under the influence of alcohol. According to court records, on the prosecutor’s motion the charge against Barany was dismissed that Aug. 13.

According to the claim, Barany states he had not committed any law violations prior to his being stopped en route from Riggins to White Bird, and at the time he was not under the influence of alcohol or any drug. The claim alleges Scuka filed probable cause documents that misrepresented events prior to and during the stop, and of both Barany’s detention and his wife’s alleged intoxicated condition at the time, all of which to place Barany in a bad light to justify his actions.

Barany alleges he was “illegally detained, illegally arrested, falsely imprisoned, and subjected to false allegations of criminal conduct and the humiliation of being handcuffed and arrested while in view of his wife and being treated as a criminal in public, including while at Syringa Hospital….” Scuka’s actions, Barany alleged, violated his constitutional and civil rights.

Barany is being represented by Lewiston attorney Jonathan D. Hally of Clark and Feeney LLP.

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