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$99,000 Settlement Reached in Negligent Enforcement of Protection Order Case

 by Christopher Zoukis

The family of Jessica Ann Monroe-Mead agreed to a $99,000 settlement with the county of Newaygo, Michigan, and the sheriff to settle a civil rights claim alleging failure to properly respond to and enforce a domestic violence protection order and failing to protect Monroe-Mead from being murdered by her estranged husband.

     In May 2008, Monroe-Mead sought a divorce from and obtained a personal protection order (PPO) against her husband Danlee Mead because of his continued violence and threats. Mead repeatedly violated the PPOs, and numerous complaints were filed with the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office, but Mead was never arrested.

     On July 12, 2008, Mead was finally arrested by a Michigan State Trooper, and released the next day with specific orders not to contact Monroe-Mead.

      Mead immediately went to her home and threatened and assaulted Monroe-Mead and her friends who were there helping her pack her belongings. Monroe-Mead called the police and Deputy Sheriff Kurt J. Delia arrived at the residence. Despite the PPO violation, Delia did not arrest Mead.

      On July 17, Mead went to Monroe-Mead’s father’s home where she was staying, abducted her when she returned to the house, and killed her before killing himself.

     On July 16, 2010, Marshall L. Monroe, as a personal representative of his daughter’s estate, filed a complaint in federal court against Delia, Sheriff Michael S. Mercer and Newaygo County. He alleged that the defendants routinely ignored domestic violence and PPO violation complaints made by women, in violation of the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act, and denied Monroe-Mead’s right to liberty, personal safety, and fair and equal treatment under both the state and federal constitutions. Monroe argued that the defendants disregarded Michigan law and department policy, failed to properly train and supervise staff, failed to properly respond to domestic violence complaints, failed to protect Monroe-Mead as promised, and failed to arrest Mead for his numerous violations.

     On May 10, 2012, a settlement of $99,000 was agreed upon. Monroe’s attorney was designated approximately $41,000, Monroe-Mead’s two minor sons would each receive $25,000, and Monroe-Mead’s parents each received $7,400. The settlement was approved by Judge Janet T. Neff and the case was dismissed on May 16.

See: Monroe v. Newaygo County, et al., United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Case No. 1:10-cv-00679-JTN (May 10, 2012)

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Related legal case

Monroe v. Newaygo County, et al.