A woman who alleges she was held for federal immigration officials after posting bail at the Douglas County Jail has filed a lawsuit against the county and Sheriff John Hanlin.

Attorneys from the Oregon Law Center filed the suit Monday in U.S. District Court in Eugene on behalf of Irene Lopez-Flores.

John Hanlin


They said Lopez-Flores should have been released after posting bail but was instead detained for two hours until Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents could arrive to take her into custody.

The complaint alleges the plaintiff had the right to leave once bail had been posted, and that the county violated her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by holding her.

Lopez-Flores, 38, was arrested Dec. 4, 2017, on charges of identity theft, second-degree theft, computer crime and negotiating two bad checks. According to a police report, two checks were made out to a different woman, a Java Run employee, in November 2017, but were illegally deposited into Lopez-Flores’ account at Cascade Community Credit Union.

On Dec. 5, according to Lopez-Flores’ complaint, ICE sent an immigration detainer requesting the sheriff notify them before Lopez-Flores was released and maintain custody of her for up to 48 hours beyond the time when she would otherwise be released.

Lopez-Flores posted bail at 10:15 a.m. Dec. 7. The sheriff then notified ICE they had custody of Lopez-Flores, and they held her there until ICE agents arrived to take her into custody, according to the complaint. She was there until 12:30 p.m., according to the complaint.

“The detainer was not accompanied by a warrant signed by a judge or magistrate or any other document giving Defendants authority to maintain custody of the plaintiff beyond the time when she would be entitled to release on her local charges,” the complaint said.

Hanlin said he could not comment on the specifics of the pending case. However, he did say the law allows the jail to tip off ICE about a suspected illegal immigrant.

“Our policy is that if we have somebody that’s brought into custody of the facility, and either we suspect or we know they’re here in the country illegally, then we can call immigration and tip them off and let them know. And they can do whatever they do,” Hanlin said.

“We wouldn’t typically hold anybody for extra time to allow (ICE) to respond here, but if they could make it here in a timely manner and not force us to hold them another day, then certainly we could do that,” he said.

He said he thought that ICE had arrived to pick up Lopez-Flores before she got processed and released.

Once they’ve let immigration know about the person they have in custody, it’s up to ICE to determine whether it wants to conduct further investigation, he said.

Hanlin said while state law bans spending public dollars on immigration enforcement, information sharing about a potential illegal immigrant is allowed.

He said some people believe he should be able to hold people simply for being alleged illegal immigrants, regardless of whether they have been charged with a crime.

“Whether you believe in that philosophy or not, if that’s the case then I would need to get paid by the federal government, you know, need to get paid by immigration to house those people. And I currently don’t, so there’s no benefit to the county or to me to hold illegals in the facility just based on their immigration status,” he said.

OPB reported ICE agents took Lopez-Flores into custody as her father Daniel Lopez, who had paid $1,500 for her bail, watched. She was then deported to Mexico.

Attorneys for Lopez-Flores could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(26) comments


Oregon and Douglas County Sheriff in particular have a sad history of racial bias, outright bigotry and I would think even nepotism. These small town law enforcement agencies are typically rooted in racism and only exist to pacify and show a display of force. As an American I find Douglas County to still be one of the most backwards, white privilege, racist wannabe cowboy organizations of thugs out there, and I have a clean criminal record after being pulled over and harassed 6 times in one month, with no justification on their behalf. Many white Trump voters see this as something that need not be addressed or changed, but what the typically poor angry white population do not realize is that they are supporting a system that doesn't give a hoot about them. Unity, the courage to stand up and speak out, and say right from wrong, regardless of the history your race is steeped in, regardless of the societal norm, regardless of what your family or friends might say, this is true courage- not the toxic white herd mentality gripping these communities and choking the liberty out of our nation. You will look back one day and regret not banding together as true Americans.


Just another illegal criminal alien attempting to "game the system" and receive a free ride on the backs of Oregon taxpayers. Oregon's sanctuary laws are to blame for this mess and those that encourage illegal immigration are no better than the criminals who come here.


Good job, Sheriff


first of all they are not illegal immigrants, legal immigration is the backbone of the greatness of our nation. However, these are illegal aliens, and the 14th amendment does not allow protection for those that are not citizens. Unless they have committed a felony, of which they are not granted citizenship but they are to be detained and locked up and then must stand trial for a felony then to be tried. if found innocent of the committed felony they are to be deported, if found guilty they serve time at the digression of the courts and then upon completion are deported. My hats are off to those that have to defend our citizens and our constitution. Liberals are finding they don't get to pick and chose which laws they want to follow or interpret their own meaning to fit their agenda. And, is why we have found ourselves so surrounded by unfounded hate and division.


On target! Amen! Well said!

my opinion

Lawsuit states her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated. Because she was here as an illegal and not a Citizen of the United States how can her constitutional rights be violated.


Bottom line is she was here illegally so that makes her a criminal.Then she commits a criminal act. State law for illegal immigrants should not supersede federal law. As far as those calling those of us who believe that illegals should be deported I don't care where you are from or what color your skin is illegals from where ever they are from should be sent home.


I'll save everyone the time and effort. Listen up. Her bail was posted at 1015am on Friday. Literally the most busy day of the week for the DC Jail due to releases, court appointments, arraignments, transports, and (most importantly) food. The fact that they got her bail paperwork all filed, transported her from her assigned housing unit, dressed in her personal clothes, completed the release process, and escorted her out in 2 hours is actually very efficient timing given that anyone who has every worked intake knows that it's a zoo! I've personally got these ICE detainers and as per our Sheriff's (as well as state) policy, the Douglas County Jail does not detain people based upon ICE detainers. They are not a legal holding document in the state of Oregon. ICE knows this, however, and will commonly be alerted if an inmate is set to be released. ICE then waits patiently at the door for said individual to walk out. Sheriff Hanlin and his jail staff are not a part of this, and despite the outrage of many local citizens, do not detain illegal immigrants simply based upon an ICE detainer. Not the jail's fault that she committed a crime while under questionable immigration status, showed up on a federal blotter, and was promptly detained by ICE as soon as a result of our Federal agencies DOING THEIR JOB


He broke the law. He swore to uphold the Constitution and he violated the oath of office. He needs to resign. He is a criminal. And its not the first time he's violated a normal person's ethical code.


He did not break the law. In order to legally detain someone, there has to be a legal holding document either accompanied by a Probable Cause Affidavit or a signed Warrant issued from a Judge (Municipal, Circuit, Federal, etc). This did not occur. She was released in a timely manner by an undermanned and overworked jail staff. The fact that the fellows in the Navy Blue jackets were waiting for her at the door is merely one of the many extents that these agents have to go to just to DO THEIR JOB and remove illegal aliens committing illegal acts in our county. If this is the thing your worried about regarding our State's Jails, you're severely out of touch with the state of our incarcerated mentally ill. I refuse to give an ounce of sympathy to criminals and career victims playing our system while mentally ill combat vets bash their faces into isolation cell walls because there's "Just no room in the state hospital."


What are you smoking? It must be some gooood stuff!

Scott Harvey

The bail may have been posted but it probably takes to to process the release. I am glad that a person who is in this country illegally and is stealing from fellow citizens is detained. I also believe that the detention was legal based on the time it takes to process a prisoner. They don't just turn the key and say "There you go".

Old Tobi

People who behave like this woman allegedly behaved I would like to deport, citizen or not.


If you support this you don't believe in the constitution of the United States. You are ok with the ends justifies the means. This is the first step to a dictatorship.


Interesting that the man elected to uphold the LAW is being sued for breaking it! And, the racist citizens of Douglas County are congratulating him for it? No surprises there. I wonder if Hanlin would get this same applause if he came to take your guns when gun control is enacted. Double standards are alive and well in this racist County. A criminal is a criminal is a criminal whether you are an elected Sheriff or whether you are in this country illegally. HE BROKE THE FREAKING THE LAW!


I live in DC. I'm not a racist. That absurd accusation could ONLY come from a left wing racist. I wonder what YOU'RE all about???


Racist?? Against whom? Quit being a victim.


Thank you Sheriff Hanlin for not being afraid to do your job. I for one appreciate your hard work. Keep up the good work.


He is not doing his job. He is breaking the law. He needs to resign.

Concerned Property Owner

Our Sheriff's department is correct! This woman has been committing Fraud against OUR COUNTRY 'S Citizens and Legal Residents ever since She entered OUR COUNTRY Illegally! Lock Her up and deport Her!


You are law and order yet you are ok with police violating the constitution. The ends cannot justify the means in a democracy.


Learn civic The U.S. is not a democracy. It is a Constitutional Republic. Big difference..


I, for one, am glad our Sheriff cared enough about the citizens of this County to do his job and get this (alleged) criminal out of our community.


So the ends justifies the means?


Seriously? His job is to break the law. He swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and then broke it. He needs to resign.


So..... remind us again what law it was that he broke? I must have missed that part because I didn't hear of any illegal activity of his doing. Only hers.

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