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Angeles County | Community News File / Downey

Man Spends Week in Jail Despite Having Paid Fine

July 07, 1998

An architecture student who spent a week in jail because authorities mistakenly believed he failed to pay a $100 loitering fine had his case dismissed Monday, his attorney said.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office dropped its case against Daniel Sneed, 22, "in the interests of justice," after Sneed produced canceled checks at Downey Municipal Court to prove he had paid the fine, attorney Duane R. Folke said.

"I'm somewhat elated but also perturbed--saddened--because it shouldn't have happened," Folke said.

Sneed, a senior at USC, spent a week being bounced between jails in Orange and Los Angeles counties after he was arrested because of a processing error by the city of La Mirada, to which Sneed had paid his fine in 1996, Folke said.

He was arrested in La Habra about three weeks ago when police discovered he was wanted for failing to pay the fine. Sneed's father, a Compton police lieutenant, said the family could not afford to bail out his son but that he thought the student would be released within a couple of days.

It took nearly a week to bring Sneed before a judge to win release. Even after a judge ordered his release, however, Sneed was kept in a Los Angeles County jail for an extra night, Folke said.

Folke said he would be file claims for damages against Los Angeles County and the cities of La Mirada and La Habra.

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