CHEYENNE — A parolee who says he was restrained while a nurse inserted a catheter to obtain a urine sample despite his protests is suing the Wyoming Department of Corrections and the city of Cheyenne.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Daniel Delaney on Friday. The suit alleges a parole officer ordered a nurse to insert the catheter while Delaney was handcuffed to a hospital bed on Aug. 26, 2011, as police officers stood by, even though Delaney had admitted consuming alcohol and taking over-the-counter sleeping pills. He had been unable to provide a sample on his own while lying in the bed restrained.
In his parole agreement, Delaney consented to testing without search warrants. However, Delaney’s lawyers say he is still protected by the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches. They contend forcibly obtaining the urine sample was unreasonable, given his admission and the results of previous blood test and a breathalyzer.
According to the lawsuit, a blood test performed before the urine sample was taken didn’t show any controlled substances besides alcohol and the sleeping pills, and a Breathalyzer showed a blood alcohol level of 0.007 percent, below the 0.08 legal limit for driving.
“If we don’t stand up for the rights of society’s least liked members, then everyone’s rights are at risk,” ACLU staff attorney Jennifer Horvath said in a statement.
Department of Corrections spokesman Tim Lockwood said the department doesn’t comment on pending litigation. Cheyenne City Attorney Daniel White didn’t return calls seeking comment.
According to the lawsuit, Delaney drank and took sleeping pills after he had an argument with the mother of his children on Aug. 26, 2011, and his parole officer denied his request to speak to a counselor. He was arrested at his halfway house after first trying to flee from the parole officer. He was then taken to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center.
The lawsuit claims that when the nurse began to administer the catheter, Delayed begged and pleaded against it, and another nurse held his legs down while it was inserted.