Lawsuit: Teen illegally held for months on burglary charge

A lawsuit claims Louisiana authorities have illegally detained a teenage boy for nearly a year after his burglary arrest.

The suit filed Tuesday by attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center seeks the 15-year-old boy's immediate release from a Monroe juvenile detention center. They say the boy, who was 13 when arrested, should have received a hearing 11 months ago to determine if he can be safely released.

Under a 2016 law, children facing non-violent felony charges cannot be held longer than nine months unless the state demonstrates at a hearing they must remain incarcerated.

A lawyer for the boy says other children have encountered similar delays.

A state Office of Juvenile Justice official is named as the defendant only because the agency has custody of the child.