Michelle MacDonald, the 2014 Republican endorsed candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, and her husband Thomas Shomita have filed a sixty-page civil rights lawsuit in federal court, in which they claim she was "handcuffed, detained and tortured" in a Dakota County courtroom and jail in September 2013.
The lawsuit stems from an incident where MacDonald, who was representing a client in court, was removed from the courtroom by deputies and placed in a cell after taking pictures in the courtroom. MacDonald and her husband are seeking injunctions and monetary awards for compensatory and punitive damages, along with all attorney fees and costs associated with the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, MacDonald was handcuffed, placed in a wheel chair and wheeled back into the courtroom by a deputy. The hearing resumed and MacDonald continued to represent her client, but she was in a wheel chair and handcuffed. The lawsuit states MacDonald was detained for 36 hours and was charged with one count of contempt of court, which was later dismissed.
In her lawsuit, MacDonald alleges "seven of the eleven internationally recognized forms of torture" were used against her including, "sexual humiliation, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, solitary confinement and isolation, temperature extremes, sensory bombardment, and psychological techniques."
MacDonald's lawsuit even notes she has started smoking and continues to suffer from embarrassment due to this incident as she considers another run for public office. Moments after she was sentenced on charges in November 2014 from a traffic stop for speeding and suspicion of drunk driving in 2013, MacDonald declared she would again run for office as a judicial candidate.
Nathan Busch, MacDonald's attorney, said in a press release announcing the lawsuit, "[o]ur Constitution guarantees every citizen inalienable rights of due process before arrest and detention to prevent exactly the outrageous tyranny Dakota County officials have inflicted on Ms. MacDonald."
MacDonald lost to incumbent Justice David Lillehaug by just 7 points - 53 percent to 46 percent. MacDonald received the highest vote percentage of any Republican statewide candidate for office on Election Day and said "she would have won" her campaign if she had not been detained.
Picture source: Michelle MacDonald