Michelle MacDonald, the attorney who lost in her effort to win a seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court last year after a drunken-driving allegation, is suing Dakota County personnel for what she claims was torture-like treatment when she was jailed for taking photos in a courtroom.
MacDonald filed her suit this week in federal court in Minneapolis, alleging that she suffered many of the 11 "internationally recognized forms of torture" in September 2013 when she was forced from the courtroom, where she was representing a client on a child custody matter.
MacDonald says she was handcuffed and brought back into the courtroom in a wheelchair so she could resume representing her client.
The plaintiff was "unceremoniously handcuffed, detained and tortured," the suit read, which added that there is no law prohibiting the taking of photos in a courtroom.
She was detained 36 hours, the suit continued, and at one point was photographed and "improperly" handled and touched while being referred to as "beautiful."
The defendants include the Fluegel Law Firm of Hastings, according to federal court records. An attorney for the firm said Friday he has yet to see the suit.
In November, MacDonald was sentenced to 30 days of electronic home monitoring and two years' probation after a jury convicted her for refusing to submit to a breath test and obstructing the legal process in connection with an April 2013 traffic stop. She was acquitted of the misdemeanor drunken-driving charge.
The Minnesota Republican Party had endorsed the West St. Paul attorney in May 2014 to run against Supreme Court Justice David Lillehaug, then backed off after learning of the charges.
MacDonald received 46.5 percent of the vote, compared with Lillehaug's 53.2 percent.