BATON ROUGE, La. — A pair of settlement agreements has resolved class-action claims that law enforcement officers in a rural Louisiana community used illegal “investigative holds” to arrest and jail hundreds of people for questioning.

A court filing on Wednesday says all of the federal lawsuit’s claims against Evangeline Parish Sheriff Eddie Soileau and his office have been settled. A separate agreement last week resolved all claims against the city of Ville Platte and its police chief. Terms weren’t disclosed.

A 2016 report by the U.S. Justice Department said unconstitutional arrests were a routine part of criminal investigations in Evangeline Parish for more than two decades.

The lawsuit hit a snag last year when a judge dismissed three plaintiffs’ claims because they were freed from jail more than a year before their lawyers sued.

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MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
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