Ohio Sheriff Blocks Jailhouse Marriage of Caregiver of 6-Year-Old Paraplegic Boy Facing Deportation

An Ohio Sheriff has blocked the jailhouse marriage of a man and his fiance, a mother of a paraplegic 6-year-old boy because he says it needs to go through ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) first.

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In November, Yancarlos Mendez was turned over to ICE after he was stopped for driving without a license.

According to Cincinnati Enquirer, Mendez is the financial provider and medical caregiver of Ricky Solis, who is paralyzed from the waist down after a devastating car accident last February. This was at the same time that his fiance Sandra Mendoza, and he were trying to tie the knot. 

Mendoza who has gone through medical training to take care of Ricky depends on Mendez for financial support. Ricky remains hospitalized at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and will need surgery in February.

Morrow County Sheriff John L. Hinton said he will not allow the jailhouse marriage of Mendez. He told The Enquirer, "We haven't allowed any in the past."

Attorney Nazly Mamedova said that legal precedent exists that prevents jailers or sheriffs from denying a prisoner's legal right to marry. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 1987 Missouri case — Turner v. Safley — that preventing inmates from marrying violates their constitutional rights. Mamedova said the precedent has been affirmed in other cases by the court that a fundamental right to marriage exists under the Fourteenth Amendment.

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"I'd take a look at it," Hinton responded. Mendez has court dates that stretch until April.