Black Crow et al. v. Lake County et al.

Individuals incarcerated in Polson's Lake County jail have been subject to dangerous, unhygienic, and overcrowded conditions for years. Also, while the majority of individuals at the jail are enrolled members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the jail has only provided access to Christian religious ceremonies—in violation of the federal and state constitutions—and has charged the plaintiffs for accessing medical care, in violation of the Hellgate Treaty of 1855. This lawsuit, filed in March 2022, asks the court to declare that the county has violated the Plaintiffs’ rights, and to put an end to the practices giving rise to the lawsuit.

Notice of Class Action Certification

If you were incarcerated at the Lake County Jail at any time on or after September 3, 2021, you are a member of the class. You do not need to do anything in response to this notice. If you would like to talk to the attorneys appointed to represent the class, you may contact the following:

Constance Van Kley,

Timothy M. Bechtold,

Filings / Press

Amended Complaint (July 28, 2022)

Answer (August 18, 2022)

Seaborn Larson, Inmates sue Lake County over jail conditions, Independent Record (March 31, 2022)

Shaylee Ragar, 38 inmates sue Lake County, alleging ‘inhumane’ jail conditions, Montana Public Radio (March 31, 2022)

Conner McCauley, Lake Co. jail faces lawsuit over unlawful conditions, NBC Montana (March 31, 2022)

NBC MT Today: Jail lawsuit filed, delegation responds to Biden gas plan, cold fronts (April 1, 2022)

Maggie Dresser, Lake County Inmates Allege Inhumane Jail Conditions, Flathead Beacon (April 2, 2022)

Scot Heisel, Lake County sued over 'dangerous' jail conditions, Clark Fork Valley Press (April 6, 2022)

Megan Mannering, 38 inmates sue over Lake County jail conditions, KPAX Missoula & Western Montana (April 12, 2022)

Maria Anderson, Lake County jail inmates sue over inhumane living conditions, ABC FOX Montana (April 28, 2022)