Another lawsuit filed against White Co. judge who issued surgical sterilization order

Judge Sam Benningfield (WSMV)

Another lawsuit has been filed against the White County judge who issued a standing order for surgical sterilization, according to documents filed in White County Chancery Court. The White County Sheriff was also a part of the lawsuit.

Christopher Sullivan filed the suit on Thursday morning against White County Sheriff Oddie Shoupe and White County General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield.

A lawsuit filed last week said Christel Ward and other misdemeanor-level White County Jail inmates were offered 30-day sentence reductions for free sterilization procedures. Men were offered vasectomies and women were offered the birth control implant Nexplanon, which lasts three to five years.

Benningfield issued the order on May 15, 2017, and rescinded the order on July 26 after media attention.

According to the lawsuit, Sullivan has been required to serve an additional 30 days because he refused to allow a doctor to give him a vasectomy.

The lawsuit claims the program is “patently and egregiously unconstitutional.”

Sullivan is being held for a non-violent probation violation, according to the lawsuit.

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