Woman suing Knox County, says falsely arrested over court clerk error

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knox County woman has filed a lawsuit against the county saying she was wrongfully arrested as a result of errors in the office of Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Joy McCroskey.

In the suit, Jodi Denise White is seeking $50,000 from the county, saying she was jailed for 31 hours after being arrested in Loudon County on a violation of probation warrant that had previously been dismissed.

White had been convicted of driving under the influence in March 2011. The violation of probation warrant was issued in January 12 because White had not paid all of the court cost and fine, and had not completed DUI school or litter pickup as ordered by the judge.

The General Sessions Court waived the litter pickup and marked the DUI school requirement as complete in February 2012. White also paid her fine and court cost in full.

She was told the case was concluded and her violation of probation dismissed.

White says in the suit that sometime after that hearing, she learned that the violation of probation warrant was still showing in the court computer system. She then visited the Session Court Clerk's office to take care of the problem. White says the clerk assured her that everything was all right and nothing more needed to be done.

White was then arrested for speeding on January 7, 2013 in Lenoir City. The arresting officer informed White she had an outstanding violation of probation warrant from Knox County. She was then arrested and held in Loudon County until later that evening when she was transported to the Knox County Detention Center where the suit says she was strip searched and jailed for 31 hours.

At that time, White's mother paid a cash bond to get her out of jail.

The violation of probation warrant was brought into the courtroom on January 9, without White present. The judge dismissed the warrant.

White learned of the dismissal when she returned for her court date on January 15 and was refunded her cash bond.

In the suit, White says in addition to the humiliation of being falsely arrested, she incurred wrecker service and impound charges of $150 and a rental car expense of $55.75 due to her arrest.

She says she also had to travel 30 to 40 minutes from her residence to the impound lot in Loudon County to retrieve her rental car.

She says she was also embarrassed by having her mugshot printed in publications such as Just Busted and on the Internet.

White is suing for false arrest, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy and gross negligence.

6 News began an investigation last year into allegations of problems within the office of Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Joy McCroskey. Emails from former clerk's office employees and an assistant district attorney detail a number of alleged problems including claims that incorrect data entered into the court computer systems led to warrants issued by mistakes and false arrests.

McCroskey has denied most of the allegations against her and her office.