01/12/2012 06:14 EST | Updated 03/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Lawyers ask Michigan appeals court to release Moroun, Stamper from jail in bridge dispute

DETROIT - Lawyers have asked the Michigan appeals court to release the owner of the Ambassador Bridge while he appeals an order that put him in jail for civil contempt.

The filing came hours after Manuel "Matty" Moroun and Dan Stamper were sent to jail Thursday as the consequence for the bridge company failing to finish work connecting the bridge to interstates.

Lawyers say the rights of Moroun and Stamper have been violated. They say they were never warned that they might be sent to jail. The court was also asked to release Stamper, who is president of Detroit International Bridge Co.

The court filings note the age of the 84-year-old Moroun and his past heart problems.