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Archive for Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Mistaken arrest may lock out bondsman

September 6, 2006

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Armed bounty hunters took Robert D. Davis II from the comfort of his home last week and delivered him to jail; the next day he appeared before a Douglas County judge.

The problem, as it turned out, was that the 28-year-old Lawrence man wasn't wanted. He happens to have the same name as another man the bondsman was looking for - but who is dead.

"Their job is to go get the fugitive, but I'm not a fugitive," Davis said. "They're messing with the wrong guy."

Judge Paula Martin was upset when she learned that Davis was wrongly brought before her. Now it's up in the air as to whether the bondsman that arranged for Davis' arrest, Jim Price of A-1 Bonding Co., will be able to stay in business here.

"You should not have been arrested," Martin told Davis in court Thursday afternoon. "I can't give you legal advice. But we need to talk, Mr. Price, about whether you are going to continue to post bonds in Douglas County based on this."

Price, 69, said he's recently had health problems, including a stroke and a grand mal seizure that may have contributed to the confusion. He said he incorrectly believed that he was looking for a different man, Robert Lee Davis Jr., who is deceased, and didn't realize the mistake until he stood before the judge.

Lawrence bail bondsman Jim Price of A-1 Bonding was scolded by Judge Paula Martin for bringing the wrong defendant to jail last week.

Lawrence bail bondsman Jim Price of A-1 Bonding was scolded by Judge Paula Martin for bringing the wrong defendant to jail last week.

"It's kind of a mixed-up deal all the way around," he said.

Davis said he was getting ready to go to sleep Wednesday night at his home at Gaslight Village mobile home park, 1900 W. 31st St., when a group of bounty hunters came to his door.

"They just told me I knew the procedure. I put my hands behind my head. They put me in handcuffs, put me in their vehicle and took me to the county jail," he said. "I knew they were in the wrong."

He spent the night in jail and appeared before Martin the next day. She ordered him to be released on the spot. Davis said his arrest caused him to lose a temporary factory job.

"I'm going to find a lawyer to see if I can sue Mr. Price for false arrest, harassment and having me lose my job," he said.

Bondsmen such as Price have a financial interest in tracking down people who fail to appear in court. They typically charge people a 10 percent fee to post the money required to get them out of jail. If the defendant fails to appear in court later, the bond can be forfeited and the bondsman can be ordered to pay the money to the court.

Bondsmen have the power to arrest someone they've bonded out of jail in an effort to bring them back to court.

Davis said he doesn't believe that the bounty hunters really thought he was the deceased Robert Davis.

Instead, he thinks they mistakenly thought he was still wanted for a 2005 driving-while-suspended case for which Price had bonded him out of jail. Even though Davis had failed to appear in court several times while out on bond in that case, he eventually appeared to answer the charge and was sentenced to five days in jail, plus fines and court costs.

Martin ordered Davis' bond in that case to be forfeited in late December, after Price failed to appear at a hearing on the matter, according to court records.

Price said he met with Martin after Thursday's hearing but that no decision had been reached about whether he will keep working in Douglas County.

Comments

christie 8 years, 3 months ago

I'd press charges to the fullest. And I'd expect the District Attorney to file kidnapping charges as well against Mr. Price and his bounty hunter friends.

I think your days at gas light village are over. I'd be looking at 20 to 40 acres right now with a 3000 to 5000 square foot home on it.

prioress 8 years, 3 months ago

Hmmmmmmmmm..........these bounty hunters must work for either FEMA or Homeland Security?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 3 months ago

If he sues for losing his job he'll be awarded about $12.66 in lost wages.

Seriously, this was a stupid mistake. Stupid in that whenever you are looking for someone with a common name (John Jones, Mike Smith, etc.) you KNOW that you need to double check your information. I used to do skip tracing. You don't assume that a "Robert Davis" is THE Robert Davis without some similarity beyond just the name. That's a rookie mistake.

Sixty-nine is a good retirement age. Maybe that's the answer, here.

Fatty_McButterpants 8 years, 3 months ago

Ah ha! So he DID, as the bounty hunters put it, "know the drill"!

daddax98 8 years, 3 months ago

"It's not like this guy hadn't been used to being in jail" are you saying that because he has been in jail before this is ok? that is just plain stupid.....actually that is extraordinarly stupid

I would love to see some of you "conservatives" have your rights violated, you would leave skid marks getting to a lawyers office

daddax98 8 years, 3 months ago

so someone comes to your house in the middle of the night pulls you out of bed and takes you to jail for no reason other then stupidity (theirs not yours) and you are saying you would take no legal action? Sure buddy whatever you say.

Ceallach 8 years, 3 months ago

I only have room for one bounty hunter hero in my heart, and that of course if DOG!! Love Dog! This guy however is a d-o-g.

I'm a conservativeish person and I can assure you that if they had hauled me out my house and I had to spend a night in jail I would want to take legal action to either put this guy out of business or make him think twice about his future pick-ups.

The law cannot, and rightfully so, look back and say, hey, this guy messed up before so he has less rights than others. Truth is, if they can do it to him, they can do it to you. I'm just glad there are so few Ceallachs out there :)

fletch 8 years, 3 months ago

You can't take a 69-year old bounty hunter suffering from grand mal siezures? Take a karate class.

Kelly Powell 8 years, 3 months ago

the bounty hunter law need to be looked at.....What if the bounty hunters shot him? Probably be called self defense....but if he shot them it would go the other way......And a driving with no liscense is no crime to warrant a midnight invasion.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

"And no, I haven't ever seeked out an attorney for having my rights violated...and don't ever plan to."

If you don't stand up for your rights, then nobody will. There must be some sort of accountability for government abuses whether it be by claims made under 42 U.S.C. 1983 or by decisive, clear self-correcting measures. In this case, there may be several possible viable claims including one against the jail for wrongful imprisonment and one against the bondsman, whether as one acting under the color of state law or as an individual who committed a common law tort.

The only one to prevent violations of one's rights is to take a strong stand whenever it occurs. Without this sort of legal remedy, everyone would be following the path of fletch: beating the crap out of old men. Seems like a poor alternative to the legal and equitable remedies supplied by our judicial system.

linus 8 years, 3 months ago

There are so many unanswered questions in this story! Why did the Douglas County Jail hold this man? Do they take the "word" of bounty hunters over their own systems? Why didn't Mr. Davis SAY SOMETHING either to Mr. Price or to the officers at the jail? Can you say L-A-W-S-U-I-T? Mr Davis was treated unfairly, I will give him that! But what REALLY happened here?????

toughangel41 8 years, 3 months ago

Bob you hit it right on the head.. well done :)

angelofmine 8 years, 3 months ago

Dog the Bounty Hunter DID make this mistake, on film. He is currently being sued for it. Remember the football player they cuffed in Cali? Wrong guy. Ooops.

This sort of thing happens all the time. And when it does, you're guilty until proven innocent. They aren't going to go out of their way to prove it either, that's all on you.

John Spencer 8 years, 3 months ago

I hope they take this to Judge Judy, or Mathis or one of the myriad of TV 'Judges.' I wish Mills Lane was still on, he would really go off on Price.

Eride 8 years, 3 months ago

There are laws that restrict the liability of bounty hunters for their mistakes. You can't just sue whoever you please whenever you feel wronged. That isn't how our legal system works. :)

Kelly Powell 8 years, 3 months ago

Then it needs to be changed.....My uncle was a bondsman and I know the breed(spits on floor)...luckily you can bail out using a credit card on most small charges.......

Eride 8 years, 3 months ago

Powershopper sorry but, no, you may not sue whoever you wish for any reason you wish. There are laws that restrict liability for bounty hunters and this isn't an unusual circumstance, there are many, many laws that restrict liability.

Take an intro tort law class.

JimmyJoeBob 8 years, 3 months ago

Angel of Mine, I watched that episode but I don't think they actually cuffed him did they. No matter Dog won't be sued it was proven later in the episode that the Player and team officials were hiding the fugitive. They were all arrested later in the show.

JimmyJoeBob 8 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

"Dog the Bounty Hunter DID make this mistake, on film. He is currently being sued for it. Remember the football player they cuffed in Cali? Wrong guy. Ooops"

They never handcuffed the guy in Cali. He was a lot bigger than "Dog" or his posse and he was going to knock anyone out that touched him. When push came to whoop rump, Dog and his boys realized their mistake.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

Eride,

Yes, you can. The correct class to reference would be civil procedure, and in fact you can sue anyone for anything. That is to say one can at least file the suit - whether a 12(b) would knock it out or some other statutory limitation or legal principle would render a remedy impossible is a separate and distinct question. Such a question may be answered in a tort class, certainly.

One would also have to consider the very real possibility of getting hit with a malicious prosecution claim if one were to file a truly patently invalid claim. Checks and balances abound even though technically one can file a claim for just about anything.

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

There is not this GIANT pot of $$$$$ to draw from, like so many of the lawsuit advocates think. We will all pay. Mr. Price will sue the city, because they discriminated against him and his disability (stroke/grand mal seizure), Robert Davis's attorney will sue the jail for taking Mr. Price's word and warrant.

In the end, they both will have more money than they started with, and The City of Lawrence will have less.

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

Dirtbags like to sit around and hope to get rich off of somebody else.

Losers retirement = Lottery, Lawsuits, & Long lost relatives

Best way to deal with this would be to pay Robert Davis his hourly wage from his "temporary factory job" while he was locked up, excuse his debt to Mr. Price, for the bail that was forfeited from his previous run in with the law, and have Mr. Price hire him as a bail bondsman, because he "knows the drill".

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

Powershopper- maybe you should sue JimmieJoeBob or Eride for disrespecting you and your vast legal knowledge or maybe you could just go play the lottery or find a long lost relative.

trinity 8 years, 3 months ago

i agree with ceal, there's only room in my heart for ONE bounty hunter-only it's a pup of Dog's, Leland; my GAWD that's one hot lil' fella! ;)

i know at least one very very good bondsman; he's just a straight up guy with tons of integrity, and he runs a very tight ship; "mistakes" just aren't made, on his watch.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

Bone is way off base. There is no big money to be recovered here - only enough to compensate the victim for his losses. Hopefully, this is also enough to make sure the bondsman and employees of the county do not make this type of completely preventable mistake again.

Now if someone has another idea about how to compensate a victim for his losses, protect the sanctity and inviolability of our rights, and prevent encroachment of the same by our government or those acting on its behalf, I would love to hear it. I haven't heard anyone yet claim our system is perfect.

Confrontation 8 years, 3 months ago

"their "bounty hunters" are typically pathologically violent and controlling people who fail the psych exam to enter into real law-enforcement."

It's even scarier to think about the violent ones who pass the psych exam and torture people under their care. It takes a "special" kind of attitude to be a police officer.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 3 months ago

"Do they take the "word" of bounty hunters over their own systems?"

Bounty hunters are PART of their system. They help lighten what would be an impossible caseload if there were no bondsmen/bounty hunters. We think of these bondsmen as being the fly in the ointment, when that couldn't be further from the truth. They are a necessary evil.

I got arrested once for doing something stupid. Our bondsman was so "in" the system, he got the charges dropped. As a matter of fact, I don't think I even have an arrest record.

trinity 8 years, 3 months ago

ok confrontation, nice blanket statement; so do tell, just exactly how many bounty hunters/bondsmen do you personally know-beyond the scope of their job?

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

Baille- I think a good start to stop this kind of thing from happening again would be to put it on Channel 6 and in the Journal World and point out that mistakes were made. Then you could have the judge threaten to take the bondsman's livelyhood away and again point out mistakes were made. Finally you could put the jail on notice about the warrants and tell them that mistakes can be made, so they should have a better procedure to make sure this doesn't happen again. Oh, it seems like this has already happened!

Looks like it is time for step 2...............PAYDAY!!!!

It is just a shame there is no such thing as a mistake or a tragedy anymore. It's got to be a PAYDAY!

I definitely think that there is a time and place for lawsuits, but just not every crack in the sidewalk or mistake made, warrants an automatic civil proceeding.

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

Compensated for losses? Let's see a lost night at Gaslight Village and not having to go to a temporary job where they didn't respect you enough to accept the excuse of all excuses.

Looks like Robert Davis might owe the bondsman a little compensation.

Three hots, a cot, and his 15 minutes of fame!!! What's it worth? Hmmmm?

fcraig 8 years, 3 months ago

Helpful hints on how to " bounty hunt ": 1. Get with LPD to double check warrant and status of person-KSDL will tell if person is alive or not. 2. Take photo of subject you want to nab. 3. Take time to ask questions of the subject you are nabbing. 4. If you don't believe subject you just nabbed, ask the corrections officer to compare jail photos.

OldEnuf2BYurDad-It will show that you were arrested on your record called " Triple I ". It will also show who dropped the case and for what reason.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

Maybe. It would certainly be nice if exposure of wrongdoing were enough to prevent it, but in my experience that simply is not the case.

In this matter, there may or may not be a reason for a lawsuit. If the wrongdoing of the bondsman, the thugs he hired, and the county employees was not enough to cause enough loss so as to make a lawsuit economically practical, then such a suit will not be filed or will not be able to be maintained if it is. If there is sufficient loss, then why shouldn't the victim be compensated? Why should he bear the loss when others took the risk and committed the wrong? Part of the civil justice system is the idea that risks are shared and that wrongdoers accept responsbility by paying for their losses.

What is the loss of your freedom for one night and the loss of your paycheck mean to you? Maybe not much. To some, it is worth quite a bit. If one can't make thier mortgage or rent because some idiot handcuffs him and throws him in jail for no reason, then the idiot should have to pay. The innocent should not have to bear the loss.

Maybe you feel differently, but I would gladly pay my share of the loss caused by the county employees because it serves to prevent the county from doing it again and insures my inalienable rights and liberties. We we act together in a communal activity such as governance then we all bear the risks associated with it, including the risks that our agents will do something wrong. When they do, we must all pay our share. If we do it enough, then we start to pay attention and - maybe - will demand change where such is needed.

daddax98 8 years, 3 months ago

"I definitely think that there is a time and place for lawsuits, but just not every crack in the sidewalk or mistake made, warrants an automatic civil proceeding"

trtanslation- if it don't effect me then it is not worth the courts time.

bone are you saying you wouldn't sue this guy if his thugs dragged you out of your bed in the middle of the night for no reason? you would accept the ecxuse of "i had a stroke and didn't know any better"? sure buddy whatever you say

Steve Jacob 8 years, 3 months ago

Why anyone on this board saying ANYTHING bad or mean about Mr. Davis is beyond me! He could of just as easily been hurt or killed. If I'm the bondsman, I show up to his door again with a grand or two cash and a piece of paper saying the matter is settled if he signs.

And isn't this the place where someone got busted for making meth years back?

raine 8 years, 3 months ago

i'm with baille... well written and thought out..

Ceallach 8 years, 3 months ago

trinity, Leland is a cutie, just be careful so as not to break the little guy. I'm thinking his mama could do some serious damage if she is upset:)

Confrontation 8 years, 3 months ago

"Posted by trinity (anonymous) on September 6, 2006 at 1:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

ok confrontation, nice blanket statement; so do tell, just exactly how many bounty hunters/bondsmen do you personally know-beyond the scope of their job?"

Where did I make a blanket statement about bounty hunters? I also don't get personal with bounty hunters or bondsmen. That appears to be your line of work.

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

"When they do, we must all pay our share. If we do it enough, then we start to pay attention and - maybe - will demand change where such is needed."

Geez, I hope you don't hurt your ankle, falling off of your soap box. Soap box makers beware. There is a lawsuit in the works.

This is the same attitude that has made insurance soooooo affordable.

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

Daddax98-

First I would protect myself in my residence, by calling the Louisville Slugger police, and then I would demand that the police and an ambulance show up.

Robert Davis owed the bailbondsman a mistake. He caused his first bail to be forfeited and had experience with Mr. Price, due to his past criminal dealings.

Sometimes you have to ask yourself, where are you responsible in all of this?

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

Ah, the sweet smell of ignorance. Notice how it attacks not the merit of the argument, but the proponent of the argument. Then stand back in awe as it attempts the subtle slide into scare tactics.

Actually, Bone, insurance premiums are not at all affected by the amount of civil litigation. Study after study has shown this, all of which are very easy to locate by a quick Google and a little bit of reading. Insurance professionals know this very well. They have several consultants who speak at their seminars about how the to reduce quarterly costs by delay and nickel-and-diming pay-outs on legitimate claims; however, the paper-revenue produced by these tactics does not affect their overall profits at all. Instead, insurance companies are required to keep large amounts of surplus cash on hand - billions for the big boys. This cash is invested, of course, and so we find that the only thing that really impacts insurance premiums is the fluctuation of the stock market.

The history of tort reform supports this as well. In states where tort reform has been enacted, insurance premiums have not fallen. It really is just that simple.

45 seconds on Google:

"A new study of medical malpractice insurance providers has found that insurance companies have been price-gouging doctors by drastically raising their insurance premiums, even though claims payments have been flat, or in some cases decreasing. The study analyzed data from the 15 largest insurance companies' 2004 Annual Statements, which are filed under oath with state insurance departments..."

~http://www.centerjd.org/

"Insurance was cheaper in the 1990s because insurance companies knew that they could take a doctor's premium and invest it, and $50,000 would be worth $200,000 five years later when the claim came in. An insurance company today can't do that."

~Victor Schwartz, general counsel to the American Tort Reform Association, "Dose of Legality," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, April 20, 2003.

"Non-economic damages are a small percentage of total losses paid. Capping non-economic damages will show loss savings of 1.0%."

~GE Medical Protective regulatory filing with Department of Insurance (TDI), October 30, 2003. The revelation was contained in a document submitted by GE Medical Protective to explain why the insurer planned to raise physicians' premiums 19% a mere six months after Texas enacted caps on medical malpractice awards.

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

Baille, I don't have time for all of your intelligent mumbo jumbo. Dog Bounty Hunter is on pretty quick, and I gots to get ready..............Yeeeeeee Haaawwwwwww!!!!!!!!!

kcbailguy 8 years, 3 months ago

i have been in the bonding buisness for 8 yrs, price's bounty hunters are in hte wrong for doing this. but thats what happens when you hire bounty hunters that dont know what they are doing. mr. price and his bounty hunter tim james have put a bad name on the bonding industry. in kansas city the bounty hunters would be in jail right now for kidnapping and rightfully so. another thing, why is jim price hiring bounty hunters that are fresh out of prison, felons. bottom line, A1 bonding and jim price deserve what ever happens. it will make things eaasier for us bondsman who do things like they are supposed to. and for the record, Dog is a moron!

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

Amen, brother. Bail bondsmen do a vital community service and there is a place for responsible bounty hunters (although I would like to see some changes in the regulatory laws). Howeverm the conduct and decisons made in this case are reprehensible. I think criminal sanctions would go a long way in deterring this kind of conduct as well, and may in fact be the wiser course over a civil remedy in this partcular matter.

kcbailguy 8 years, 3 months ago

not all bondsmen and bounty hunter are thungs. but will agree that there are alot of bond companies that hire just anyone to pick up there skips. as a bondsman myself, i think that all recovery agents should be licensed through the department of insurance. but remember, there are bad apples in all lines of work, including police departments and bounty hunters. that does not make all bad. this is the second incident of this kind that jim price has be involved in. it wasnt too long ago that he done the same thing. he arrested the right guy but the guy already posted a new bond with another bonding company. remember several years ago about the bounty hunter kidnapping someone, that was jims bounty hunter tim james, he just recently got out of prison......my advice, dont use A1 bonding.

dthroat 8 years, 3 months ago

kcbailguy -- AMEN !!!! (except for the part about Dog, I like the show. But in all honesty he is a little off)

Price and James go back a long ways and only because of incompetent prosecutors in Jeff Co. is James out of prison with no legal reason to stop him from what he is doing. He has been a THUG for years and will always be. He and his "group" (who try to emulate Dog) will definately hurt someone before too long if allowed to continue. I hope this puts a stop to it, but am not holding my breath.

kcbailguy 8 years, 3 months ago

i agree baille, dont punish the ones that do things the right way by more regulations, charge the ones that mess up bad like these guys. "bounty hunters" bring in 85% of the people with warrants that are on bond with no cost to the taxpayer

kcbailguy 8 years, 3 months ago

it would be real simple to rid them, nobody use their bonding services.

kcbailguy 8 years, 3 months ago

you would think so, i have alot of police officer friends, and i hear stories on how they cant tell you the bad guy is when pd gets call on bounty hunters. whats scary is i heard this tim james guy had a bunch of law enforcement grade tasers for sale. tell me where whos came from. if i were guessing they fell off a truck somewhere.

daddax98 8 years, 3 months ago

"First I would protect myself in my residence, by calling the Louisville Slugger police, and then I would demand that the police and an ambulance show up"

2 or 3 guys bust in with guns drawn and you are gonna grab a bat? that ambulance will be for you

and for that argument "i will grab my pistol and get all wild west on dat azz" unless you sleep with it in your hand chances are these guys will get the drop on you and put alot of drainage holes in your chest

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

I bet this ends up in "News of the Weird." under "can't possibly be true."

wbob 8 years, 3 months ago

I would humbly suggest that Baille's analysis of the insurance industry is a huge mistake.

nbnozzy 8 years, 3 months ago

I read the first half dozen responses, determined that overall they were bull sh*t, skipped the rest of the inane comments, and lets throw some reality on this...........

HE WAS FALSELY ARRESTED.

I wish him well in his lawsuit. EVERYONE who posted in this thread would sue as well and you know it.

panchita 8 years, 3 months ago

I just read this article - looks like Lawrence is once again being held hostage by a bully(s). But, the citizens keep letting these thugs go and then wonder why they keep doing what they are doing. When is everyone going to wise up? To NOT sue would be ridiculous, at the very least.

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