BOSTON — Civil rights attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit accusing Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson of unlawfully detaining an immigrant for nearly three weeks.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and Latham & Watkins LLP.

It says 38-year-old Moises Rivas was jailed on charges stemming from a domestic dispute. The lawsuit says when Rivas' family tried to bail him out, the jail refused to release him because was wanted by immigration authorities.

The complaint says the refusal to free Rivas violated state law because Massachusetts' highest court ruled earlier that year that authorities can't hold immigrants solely based on a request by federal authorities.

A spokesman for Sheriff Hodgson said he couldn't immediately comment on the lawsuit.

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