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Kentucky woman sues Sammons in federal court

A Kentucky woman has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against suspended Campbell County General Sessions Court Judge Amanda Sammons. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Ashley Keisling of Whitley County, Kentucky by attorney Kathy Parrott also names the Campbell County and Whitley County Sheriff’s Departments, the Campbell County government and the Campbell Court Clerk as defendants.

The lawsuit alleges that Sammons removed Keisling’s two children from her custody without the legal authority or jurisdiction and without a request from the Department of Children’s Services.

According to the lawsuit, in September 2015, Sammons handwrote a note indicating that DCS believed that Keisling’s three children were being abused by their mother and set a hearing in the matter without notifying Keisling. One major problem with that is that Keisling has only two children. The lawsuit also states that DCS had never made such a recommendation. After Keisling missed the hearing she did not know about, Sammons ordered that the children be placed into the custody of their father, whom a Kentucky court had earlier barred from having contact with his children after allegations of abuse.

Keisling’s children were taken out of school by Whitley County deputies and returned to their father, but Keisling only learned about the situation when her son briefly eluded officers and sent her a text message. Sammons denied a request for an immediate hearing in the matter, according to the lawsuit. It took Keisling three weeks to get her children back and the lawsuit alleges that while they were with their father, Johnny Elliott, they were not in school and fell behind in their studies. The lawsuit also alleges that Elliott’s home was unsanitary and the children came back home with bug bites and that one of the children suffered “severe emotional injuries” on being made to return to Elliott’s home as a result of Sammons’ conduct.

The lawsuit also states that Sammons said in court that she had acted “solely on her impression from an unrelated case where she thought these children were mentioned.” Which case she was referring to has not been disclosed.

In addition to this case, Sammons is also under a four-count criminal indictment accusing her of official misconduct and will stand trial on those charges early next month. After the indictment came down, she was suspended from the bench and last month the Campbell County Commission appointed longtime former Judge Joseph Ayers, whom Sammons had defeated in the 2014 election, to serve until her case is resolved. She is also the subject of an ethics probe by the state Board of Judicial Conduct.

The lawsuit asks the court to issue an order preventing the Campbell County government from paying Sammons during her suspension and is also seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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One comment

  1. Judge sammons in Campbell county originally from Kentucky we moved to LaFollette 3 years ago on October 19-2018 we gave a got a ride and he had got out of the car and left his methamphetamines he had been working for the cops as soon as he got out of the car here comes three cop cars then I walked up to the car they asked what was that in the holder when I look down I realize that he left his stuff I got it so I grabbed it as my husband was talking to the cops we went to jail my kids was nowheres around my kids was at the football game with my son’s girlfriend and her papa and memo which is the constable in Campbell County our kids was took by her dchs where is already in jail a week she never had no evidence but on hearsay my kids was happy happy kids we were the hobby family even in my first report it says this is a close happy and loving family now if you look at my kids now they’re not so happy they’re scared because she likes taking kids from parents for the money if you could please get ahold of me cuz I need help to get my kids back saving a family remember transport at the beginning and they still since I was going to be 6 months when Kentucky’s already then I’ll everything drug test home visit everything fully take your kids from us

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