A federal appeals court is giving a former Northampton County Prison inmate a new trial.

In 2012 Iman Sharif pleaded no contest in a criminal trial that stemmed from an altercation with Northampton County corrections officers.

Then later, in a related civil trial, in which Sharif alleged the officers used excessive force, the judge allowed the plea from the previous trial to be heard.

His lawyer says that never should have happened.

The appeals court agreed.

A new trial date has not yet been set.