Rocky -- Dennis Michael Smith was shackled and thrown in jail for the actions of a man who has haunted him since 1989.
Jose Ernesto Ibarra spent 26 days in jail, missing his son's first birthday, on an arrest warrant for someone else.
Both men share similar names as the suspects wanted by police.
On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado sued the city and county of Denver on behalf of these two men and three other Coloradans - Christina Ann FourHorn, Samuel Powell Moore and Muse Jama.
The lawsuit alleges its clients were innocent victims of mistaken-identity arrests.
The suit also names seven law enforcement officers.
The ACLU and its lawyers argue that "recklessly sloppy police work" put their clients behind bars in cases in which they had no connection.
Officers knowingly ignored facts and information that showed they were arresting the wrong person, said Mark Silverstein, legal director for the ACLU.
The Rocky Mountain News