In this case, the State of Montana charged a Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy with assaulting a prisoner in his custody when he grabbed a prisoner in handcuffs, belly chains and leg restraints by the neck and shoved her into a wall, hitting her head. Madsen asserted that the woman wasn’t a “prisoner” because she had not been convicted. A lower court agreed, but the state appealed. The ACLU of Montana filed an amicus brief supporting the state’s position that someone restrained by law enforcement is a prisoner regardless of whether he or she has been convicted. In September 2013, the Montana Supreme Court agreed.


Anna Conley

Date filed

March 28, 2013


Supreme Court of the State of Montana



Case number

DA 13-0057