Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Idaho Supreme Court Denies Bail Bondsmen Damage Claims

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of the State of Idaho has ruled against Allied Bail Bonds, Inc., who had appealed a lower state court decision denying it relief for several claims, including the alleged breach of a prior settlement agreement.

According to the decision, Allied had initially brought suit against the Sheriff of Kootenai County, alleging that certain practices of the Sheriff interfered with the conduct of its business. An agreement was entered into by the parties, whereby the Sheriff "was required to inform (prisoners) of their bail bond options." In 2007, Allied filed the lawsuit currently before the court, alleging a breach of that settlement agreement.

Idaho law requires the filing of a surety bond, pursuant to Idaho Code Section 6-610, and the lower court ruled that Allied had to comply with this requirement before the suit could go forward. The lower court then held that since Allied failed to post the proper bond and sureties, as required, the suit must be dismissed. A second lawsuit filed by Allied was also dismissed, this time for failure to properly comply with the notice requirements of the Idaho Tort Claims Act (ITCA), Idaho Code Section 6-901. Attorney’s fees were awarded to the Sheriff and the County because they were the prevailing parties.

In reviewing the lower court's decision, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled that the District court properly dismissed the claim for failure to file a timely notice as required: "It is undisputed that Allied failed to provide timely notice of its claims against the (County) Board and the Sheriff as required by (law) and is therefore barred from pursuing tort claims against the respondents."
The court also ruled that "the district court properly dismissed Allied's claims against the Sheriff for failure to timely post bond.” The court rejected Allied's statement that they did not "totally" fail to file a bond, but only filed it late, but the court pointed out that there was no exception under the statute.

The court further declined to find the County Board responsible under any circumstances for any alleged breaches by the Sheriff of the settlement agreement, stating the lack of any specific statutory authority to do so. The court also declined to entertain Allied's assertion that they had a constitutionally-protected property right that was violated by the Sheriff, stating that it was not pleaded with "sufficient particularity" to be considered on appeal. It held that such a license was a "mere privilege" and did not create a property right under any circumstances. See: Allied Bail Bonds, Inc. vs. County of Kootenai, 151 Idaho 405, 258 P.3d 340 (Id. 2011).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Allied Bail Bonds, Inc. vs. County of Kootenai