Prosecutor: Woman suing sheriff had a UAE license but expired Michigan license.

June 17, 2015

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

GRAND RAPIDS — A woman who is suing the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office for violating her civil rights claiming she was forced to remove a religious head scarf as she was being booked in the county jail last month on a charge of driving while license suspended was driving on an expired Michigan license. However, she did have an active driver’s license from United Arab Emirates.

Fatme Dakroub, 34, of Dearborn Heights, filed a 14-page complaint June 9 in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Michigan that states she is a Muslim and was humiliated and degraded by having to remove her scarf in front of male police officers, as well as male inmates. The complaint alleges that “male inmates made advances at her and hit on her” while she was not wearing the scarf.

According to 78th District Court staff in Hart, Dakroub’s misdemeanor DWLS charge was dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea to a civil infraction of careless driving.

Oceana County Prosecutor Joe Bizon said assistant prosecutor Jeffrey Kabot handled the case, but it is his understanding that Dakroub’s Michigan driver’s license was expired when she was arrested.

“My understanding is her Michigan license was expired,” Bizon stated. “She had a license issued out of the United Arab Emirates. We allowed her to enter a plea of ‘responsible’ to careless driving. Careless driving is a civil infraction. The responsible/guilty is a distinction without difference. In civil cases and juvenile cases, the court rule uses the terms ‘responsible’ and ‘not responsible’ as opposed to ‘guilty’ and ‘not guilty.’”

Oceana County Sheriff Robert Farber is listed a defendant in the case along with the sheriff’s office, “John Doe Sheriff’s Officers” and Oceana County. Farber said he could not comment specifically on the case, because he has not been served a copy of the complaint as of Wednesday. “I am concerned about people and their civil rights,” Farber said. “The Oceana County Sheriff’s Office isn’t one that would ever want to violate someone’s civil rights.”

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