Inmate Sues Michigan County Over Right to Marry

A prisoner is suing the Macomb County Jail for not allowing him to sign his marriage certificate after tying the knot with his fiancee through a glass window in the visitor's room with a minister present in February.

Deputies refused to let Waukeen Spraggins sign because high-security inmates are barred from marrying in jail. Spraggins, 35, was added to the high-security list after he escaped from jail in 1999 when he was serving time for theft.

The jail allows low-security inmates to wed in a room that is not secure. But Spraggins, who was awaiting sentencing at the time, was not in that room when he was said to have wed, the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday.

Spraggins, who is serving four to 28 years in a Jackson prison for an auto scam, maintains he has a right to marry. He and his fiancDee, Laverne Hunt, each want $73,000 in damages.

"This guy is a master of schemes," Sheriff Mark Hackel said. "As the court goes through the process, they will see that we did nothing to violate his Constitutional rights."