Another court case reinforcing police immunity on duty to protect the public....


PDA






emc
August 13, 2004, 12:14 AM
Once again, the courts have ruled that YOU are going to have to be the one primarily responsible for your own safety. All of us know this, but too many citizens do not.

To paraphrase things -

"Be careful out there, and carry MAJOR heat, WITH reloads!"

Or......

"We need guns. LOTS of guns." And the willingness to use them when the chips are down.

*********************************************************

INDIANAPOLIS - (AP)

The St. Joseph County Police Department cannot be held liable for releasing a man who later killed three people during a burglary, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

The agency is protected under government immunity laws, the court ruled Tuesday.

In its ruling Tuesday, the appeals court said that law enforcement agencies cannot be sued for not enforcing the law - in this case, the jail bond.

If you enjoyed reading about "Another court case reinforcing police immunity on duty to protect the public...." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Sindawe
August 13, 2004, 01:23 AM
n its ruling Tuesday, the appeals court said that law enforcement agencies cannot be sued for not enforcing the law - in this case, the jail bond.

Then just what the frell are we paying for with the police? Exciting dash cam footage? Hollyweird does it better.

Steve in PA
August 13, 2004, 07:58 AM
Too much info left out.

El Tejon
August 13, 2004, 08:59 AM
Should be able to find the opinion on the ICoA website thingy.

CannibalCrowley
August 13, 2004, 10:10 AM
Here's more on the story: Court: Police not liable in Stroud release (http://www.southbendtribune.com/stories/2004/08/12/local.20040812-sbt-FULL-D1-Court__Police_not_li.sto)

Basically, this guy was in jail and posted $3,000 in bond and was let out. Unfortunately the amount set was $8,000 but he was let out anyway. This all happened back in 2000, and it's being blamed on an "improper computer entry". Someone should have at least lost his job over this, a criminal negligence charge would be nice too.

emc
August 13, 2004, 10:44 AM
As an FYI for Steve, the article that I posted above was copied verbatim from my local newspaper. Thanks to Crowley for obtaining a lengthier account!

FWIW,

emc

FedDC
August 13, 2004, 11:35 AM
The Police do not determine who is released from jail or how much their bond is set at. That would be the court system. The bail bond system and the bounty hunting industry in the US are a scourge on our justice system. They actively seek to have violent criminals released for money so that they can charge huge interest rates to people that may very well go out and kill someone. They do all of that for money and I for one would call it blood money.

Plus, take a look at the restrictions for bounty hunters. There are very very few. They do NOT abide by the same restrictions that LEOs have to go by and they can invade your home virtually at will. They can and do use deadly force and are not held to the same standard as the rest of us. I am suprised that there is not more complaining about the bountyhunting industry on this forum, since they actually do many of the things that everyone on here complains about the police doing...

alan
August 13, 2004, 11:46 AM
FEDDC offered:

"Plus, take a look at the restrictions for bounty hunters. There are very very few. They do NOT abide by the same restrictions that LEOs have to go by and they can invade your home virtually at will. They can and do use deadly force and are not held to the same standard as the rest of us. I am suprised that there is not more complaining about the bountyhunting industry on this forum, since they actually do many of the things that everyone on here complains about the police doing..."

There have been some complaints and mention made of/about the problems of some of the "bounty hunters" you mentioned. 60 Minutes ran a lengthy segment and repeated same. Probably not nearly enough complaint though.

As to mention of governmental immunity: "The agency is protected under government immunity laws, the court ruled Tuesday."

One wonders as to exactly "immunity" is spelled, and the following also comes to mind. How might I obtain a giant sized helping thereof?

FedDC
August 13, 2004, 11:49 AM
Yeah, I mispelled it..Oh darn;)

CannibalCrowley
August 13, 2004, 12:43 PM
FedDC The Police do not determine who is released from jail or how much their bond is set at. That would be the court system.What does that have to do with this case? The court set a bond of $8,000 and the police let him out after paying $3,000. In this case the police let him out without him paying the full bond.

"The Police do not determine who is released from jail" :rolleyes:

manwithoutahome
August 13, 2004, 01:09 PM
How would the folks think about this IF he had posted the entire bail and did the same thing?

People do make mistakes and someone should lose a job over this and maybe sued in civil court. But, if we all got sued for typos then this board as well as others would be broke and quick.

Hence, the real solition is to not depend on the police, do not depend on the courts, depend on yourself. And if illegal to carry in your state, either do it anyway or vote out the blissnannies. Better yet is to get together and do class action suits against the state for not allowing you your rights.

I think that people in positions where a mistake could be life or death should be held to a higher standard.

Wayne

*oh, and not agreeing with anyone, just MHO.

Deavis
August 13, 2004, 02:13 PM
The bail bond system and the bounty hunting industry in the US are a scourge on our justice system. They actively seek to have violent criminals released for money so that they can charge huge interest rates to people that may very well go out and kill someone. They do all of that for money and I for one would call it blood money.

Holy crap, I agree. I'm marking this day on my calendar. A higher standard for violent criminals to be released... it just might work!

But, if we all got sued for typos then this board as well as others would be broke and quick.

fail English? That's unpossible! :D

FedDC
August 13, 2004, 02:16 PM
Again, the Police do not determine who is released from jail. The court sets bail and then the court clerk enters the bail ammount into the system. When the defendant goes to pay his bail, it is not paid to the PD, but to the court clerk. If you want to get angry over a typo, be angry at the clerk, not the Police. Although, I would say that it is more appropriate to be angry at the criminal himself.

With the current bail bond system in America, even if the defendant had a 100K bond, he would have only had to come up with a few thousand dollars and the bond company would gladly provide the rest.

CannibalCrowley
August 13, 2004, 02:56 PM
manwithoutahome But, if we all got sued for typos then this board as well as others would be broke and quick.I don't know about you, but I've never made a typo on this board which resulted in a suspect being released from jail.

FedDC When the defendant goes to pay his bail, it is not paid to the PD, but to the court clerk.Incorrect. I've had to pay bail before and I gave it to a state trooper.If you want to get angry over a typo, be angry at the clerk, not the Police.We don't know for sure who made the typo because the County Police won't release the name.Although, I would say that it is more appropriate to be angry at the criminal himself.That would apply only if the criminal was free at first, but he wasn't. Of course we should be angry at the criminal, but the person who accidentally let him out should share some of the blame.

TallPine
August 13, 2004, 02:57 PM
I am suprised that there is not more complaining about the bountyhunting industry on this forum, since they actually do many of the things that everyone on here complains about the police doing...
Actually, I would like to hear more about that...

Maybe you could start a thread(s) with some accounts of that?

thanks:)


(btw, i don't think they'd want to bust into my house :uhoh: )

FedDC
August 13, 2004, 03:14 PM
I could go on just about forever about bounty hunters engaging in behavior that I would consider criminal (warrantless entry, vehicle chases, etc.) but if you want a real look at it, check out this topic from GT: http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=269680&highlight=bounty+hunter


As to paying bail to a trooper, maybe it is done differently in some small towns, but everywhere I have ever worked your bail was set by the judege and then the admin work including payment went to the clerk...but then again, I never worked in a small town.

TallPine
August 13, 2004, 03:29 PM
Ok, thanks Fed - I'm checking it out ...

TallPine
August 13, 2004, 03:50 PM
From that bounty hunter thread on glocktalk

In my time as a recovery agent I have never had to force entry into a residence to make a capture. With a well thought out plan there is always a way to capture a bail skip wothout having to destroy property or resort to violence.
Hmmmmm ............ ;)

manwithoutahome
August 13, 2004, 04:31 PM
I also believe that if you blow away a bounty hunter that breaks into your house by mistake is called self defense.

Me personally, I think that "whomever" made the mistake should pay for it. Maybe even brought up on neglict charges.

But I would still like to hear what everyone would have done if this hadn't been a typo and he had paid the entire $8000 bail to get out.

Also, been thinking about something. Was the $8000 the entire bail amount? I do believe that you only have to pay a portion of the total bail to a bail bondsmen and then you get out.

The more I think about it, the more questions that I'm now having.

Wayne

SUE ROVR
August 13, 2004, 04:53 PM
The other problem with this case is causation.

If he paid 3k he WOULD have paid 8k. The mistake did not cause him to be released.

Sure they rule on soverign immunity, but he would have lost on causation too. They would have had to prove he only had access to less than 8k, otherwise no dice.

alan
August 13, 2004, 05:04 PM
manwithoutahome:

I believe that one posts 10% cash to "go bond" for another.

If the person held were "going bond" for themselves, I believe the same would apply.

jnojr
August 13, 2004, 07:12 PM
If my door is ever kicked down by "recovery agents" or "bail enforcement", there's gonna be blood and brass on the floor. Period.

As for the $3000 / $8000 typo... I don't see real liability there. What if the con had had the $8000, got out, and killed three people? What if he'd just plain escaped? What if he'd never been arrested in the first place, and was being sought by police when he killed three people? The typo is certainly an indication that (at the time) there was a process issue that needed to be looked at. But the con is who's responsible for three murders, not the police.

But, this absolutely is also yet another indication that I am ultimately responsible for my own safety.

Bruce H
August 13, 2004, 07:25 PM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In my time as a recovery agent I have never had to force entry into a residence to make a capture. With a well thought out plan there is always a way to capture a bail skip wothout having to destroy property or resort to violence.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wouldn't this also work for law enforcement? Why have no knock warrants? I always liked the saying,"Proper previous planning prevents pi**poor performance".

Standing Wolf
August 13, 2004, 09:29 PM
The agency is protected under government immunity laws, the court ruled Tuesday.

If we don't have it, government shouldn't have it—period.

wprebeck
August 14, 2004, 06:46 PM
I love the fact that there are people on here who seem to know everything about each individual aspect of each individual district in the country...:rolleyes:


For example, here in Louisville (Jefferson County), KY, there is NO such thing as a "bail bondsman". For that matter, there is no such animal in the entire state. Let me walk you through the arrest/booking/release steps that we go through here in Louisville. Oh, and I'd like to the court of THR to accept me as an expert witness in this field. My qualifications are 4.5 years of working in the local jail, and almost two years of that time has been spent dealing with booking people in, and releasing them. So, do I qualify as an expert witness (or am I just another JBT?)


So, you're driving along, and get pooped for a DUI. Skipping all the stuff about a PBT, FST's, and the BA, and let's get to the point where I take you. I look over the arresting ofifcer's citation, ensure it's filled out correctly, and then ask you some questions:
"Do you have any drugs/weapons/contraband in your possession?"
"Are you sick/injured in any way?"
"Have you ever been arrested in Jefferson County?"

After these are answered, you're brought in to the security area of the jail. You're then searched, and we do a two-finger (right index and middle) scan, plus ink your right four fingers onto your citation.

Now, you'll wait a bit, until the CIVILIANS (yep, non-sworn people actually enter you into the system) book you in. Then, pre-trial services will interview you. They're a state agency tasked with presenting your case to a judge later on. After this, you'll be interviewed by the medical staff, photographed, fingerprinted (LIVESCAN machine), and then interviewed by classification staff. After all this is complete, you'll be "booked" into the jail completely.

Now, assuming pre-trial was successful in getting the judge to set a bond for you (based on your criminal history, job history, verification of address/employment/etc), then you'll want someone to pay it. Well, that someone has to go (follow me closely, as this is tricky) to DISTRICT COURT, which is open 24/7/365, and pay the bond. The person paying this will be given an envelope, and instructed to take it to jail records. The records staff are ALSO civilians (nope, no sworn here either). They will run the release, and a copy of it will be sent to the booking floor.

This copy will have a photo of you, and will also contain other personal info that we'll use to ID you, such as your SSN, address, etc. This is to help ensure that you're the person you say you are.

Before you can go, though, a warrant check is completed by the good peole in the ID lab (they're a mix of civilians and officers for now. No more officers will be assigned to the lab; it was a union issue a few years back).

After the warrant check is completed, the release officer will come and get you. Remember the two-finger scan I mentioned earlier? Well, you get to do it again. This time, it will compare your current scan to the original one, and your pretty little mugshot will pop up on the screen, along with your name, stating the print was verified. You sign the release, and we send you into another room to get your property, and you leave.


That's the process. If you didn't notice, WE (we're not technically the police, either) don't have anything to do with WHO gets out of jail. If a release is sent over by records, we can only assume that it was properly issued by a judge. Either the subject met the conditions of the bond (i.e. - paid it), or a judge ordered it. That's a records/district court screwup , if something gets entered wrong. I've seen it happen here. THe people in records are human, and they do type stuff in wrong. Also, most (heck, all of them almost) are handwritten, and a 8 can easily resemble a 3...

My point to all this:

This is the most rabidly anti-police site (other than the idiots out there at places like copwatch) I've ever been to. People on here jump at ANY chance to bash the police, even (especially, in some cases) when they don't know what the heck is going on. I really liked the part about having someone arrested because they mistyped a 3....Yeah, that's nice. How about that poster being arrested because he made a simple mistake?

In any case, the booking/release system varies greatly from district to district (some of the smaller counties probably aren't open 24/7, like we are), let alone state to state. I mean, shouldn't people realize things might be different than where they live, especially on a board like this, where most of us keep up with multiple state law on CCW.


So, the next time you write a number down incorrectly, please take yourself down to the nearest police station, and have them arrest you, 'kay? And while you're down there, make sure you tell them exactly how to do their job, since you're an expert at it, too.

CannibalCrowley
August 14, 2004, 07:18 PM
wprebeck So, the next time you write a number down incorrectly, please take yourself down to the nearest police station, and have them arrest you, 'kay? I will do so the next time I copy down an incorrect number AND it causes a suspect to be released from jail early. BTW how many military servicemen are at your jail? There must be a good number since you kept referring to some of the workers as "civilians".

wprebeck
August 14, 2004, 07:42 PM
Ooh, is this where I get to post the most current definition of "civilian", and you tell me that you don't care what that particular dictionary says, it's wrong, that's not what "civilian" means, etc, etc, or can we skip all that?:rolleyes:


And to answer your question, I had a fellow officer (not a CIVILIAN) standing next to me who is in a Special Forces reserve unit, and just recently returned from hunting Bin Laden through the caves in Afghanistan. Of course, if he's not enough, here's some more for you:
1 ex-Navy
1 currently activated Navy
1 currently reservist Navy
Countless MP's with the Army National Guard. These would include some of my upper command staff, like a Lt.
One of my sgt's is an 0-4 with the Army
Another is an E-something or other with the Army
One of my coworkers in my area is an E-6, and is currently activated at Ft. Knox, training people.
One is getting ready for another 18 month deployment with the Army.
One of my deputy chiefs served in Gulf War I.
Two others are in an artillery unit with the Army
One is a former Marine, then Army, now USAF ANG, and is on active duty, doing 90 day deployments
Another just returned from active duty with the USAF, and is a reservist at the same unit as the above person.
One is a retired Marine/Army guy
Another is a retired Army vet


There are too many to mention here, as we have a staff of about 400 officers, and about 80% of them (just a guess, but it should be cose to that) have had, or are currently in, service with the US military. And you know what, they refer to the civilians as such, and to the rest of us as officers.

Bail Agent
August 31, 2004, 01:12 AM
This is my first post on this board.

Much like wprebeck I would like to ask that The High Road accept me as an expert witness in the field of bail bonds. My qualifications are; I have worked in the bail industry for almost 12 years. I opened the doors to my own bail agency in Feb., 2000. I've written bail all over the state of CA, I've been to Nevada on multiple occasions related to the business, looks like I will be going to Arizona later this year. I've been to Washington, Oregon and Tennessee chasing skips, I caught them all too. With introduction and qualifications out of the way I welcome constructive questions about the industry.

The Police do not determine who is released from jail or how much their bond is set at. That would be the court system. The bail bond system and the bounty hunting industry in the US are a scourge on our justice system. They actively seek to have violent criminals released for money so that they can charge huge interest rates to people that may very well go out and kill someone. They do all of that for money and I for one would call it blood money.

FedDC -

The ignorance and frustration are blinding in this post. The "Bail Schedule" is set, either yearly or every other year, by judges of the county.

The bail system, at least here in CA, work quite well. A person is bailed, for an amount decided upon by judges, with a promise to appear in court until the case is completed. Should the bailed fail to appear in court, for any reason, the bond shall be forfeited and the bail agency is liable for the entire amount of bail. If a person, while out on a felony bond, commits a felony they should be charged, by the District Attorney, with a bail enhancement. The enhancement has a minimum two year prison sentence.

Once the bond is forfeited, here in CA, the agency has 180 days to return the defendant to the custody of the court. In all of the time in the business I have never hired a bounty hunter. I guess I am too cheap to hire someone to do it. I also don't want someone else increasing my liability. This year I lost my first defendant. He ran to mexico and I just had no way of finding him. As a punishment for that I got to pay the county of Alameda $20,984.00. The $984.00 was for interest and penalties. That hurt, that was my money, it came out of my checking account. But that was my agreement with the court.

Wprbeck, I would be very interested in finding out what the Failure to Appear rate is on your OR'd defendants. Here in CA the apprearance rate on bonded cases is in the very high 90%s (www.cbaa.com). On fta's the capture rate is hovering just over 94%. We, bail agencies, have a financial interest in making sure that defendants appear, I am reminded of the almost $21,000.00 I don't have anymore.

FedDC, the high interest rate you refer to is determined by the California Department of Insurance. They decide how much I can charge, not me.

I expect to be attacked because of this post, but like I said before, I welcome constructive questions about the industry.

tcsd1236
August 31, 2004, 02:53 AM
I expect to be attacked because of this post, but like I said before, I welcome constructive questions about the industry.
Pretty much anyone with any actual knowledge of law enforcement or anything related to it can be expected to be attacked here and elsewhere on the net by the know-nothings; its a sad commentary on society.......

mrapathy2000
August 31, 2004, 03:57 AM
I like Bail enforcers. think they do valuable service to the community the cops dont always want to do. nor do I blame either for job. short comings and wrong doings another matter.

ever since a bad introduction to how long 911 responce takes couple years back have gone back to firearms and self defense. good reality check. been doing all sorts of things my parents didnt like. nothing like restricting and forbiding your children of theyre potential.

Sergeant Bob
August 31, 2004, 05:58 AM
As a couple others have said, what if the guy had paid the full $8,000, then got out and killed three people? I guess noone would be faulting the police then?
Was the guy known to be dangerous? (Yes, I clicked the link but it required a subscription). If he was then I would fault the judge for setting the bail too low. If the guy could come up with $3,000, he could probably come up with $8,000 (maybe he was committing the burglary to get money to pay off his bail?;)).

I can't see how his paying $8,000 instead of $3,000 would have changed his actions after being released. The only thing you could argue is that he wouldn't have been able to come up with the extra $$, but that really has nothing to do with the police.

As for bail bondsmen, nobody likes them until they need them. Thankfully, I never have, but I know an innocent man who was wrongfully accused of a major crime (in which the cops ignored obvious evidence of someone else being responsible) and he would have languished in jail for about 6 months until it was straightened out had it not been for one of those "dirty" bail bondsmen.

Of all the things you could legitimately fault cops for, I think this one is a bit of a stretch (using the info given).

BryanP
August 31, 2004, 06:48 AM
This is the most rabidly anti-police site (other than the idiots out there at places like copwatch) I've ever been to.

This site has some posters who gleefully jump on any chance to make negative statements about the police. They love to throw around the phrase "JBT." This site also has plenty of posters to whom no police officer can do any wrong. There must be more to the story, we don't know all the facts, etc... Both are a vocal and annoying minority.

The majority on this site believe that cops are people who mostly do a difficult job as best as they can and occasionally screw up. Are there cops who have no business carrying a badge? Absolutely. But most of them are decent enough people.

Double Naught Spy
August 31, 2004, 09:01 AM
I just love threads like this where the original post and often subsequent posts that describe some sort of horrors of government, in this case the notion that this incident reinforces police immunity on duty to protect the public really turns out to be more about the complainers' ignorance of the law or actual situation. Get over it!

All this discussion over who gets what bail money is completely moot relative to the original posting and the original posting is in error as noted in the follow-up article, it was a court error, NOT police error. The police did no wrong here.

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
August 31, 2004, 09:02 AM
The immunity the Police have from liability for failure to protect is justified.

If they didn't, it's likely that they'd get sued every time someone became a victim of serious crime, and consequently we wouldn't have Police forces.

No municipal government could possibly afford the insurance cost of operating a police force under those conditions.

There are far better ways of sanctioning Police Officers who are negligent in their duties than letting the Tort lawyers bankrupt every local Government.

WYO
August 31, 2004, 09:18 AM
States are free to waive sovereign immunity in its entirety, or to waive it with caps on the amount they will pay. When states do that, the taxpayers foot the bill. Does that make people happy?

Deavis
August 31, 2004, 07:07 PM
The immunity the Police have from liability for failure to protect is justified.

If they didn't, it's likely that they'd get sued every time someone became a victim of serious crime, and consequently we wouldn't have Police forces.


Right, sort of like how doctors performing a dangerous and potentially deadly surgery are exempted from liability if the patient dies right? SOrt of like how an RT sees an accident and stops to give CPR to a dying man on the freeway is exempt from liability if the man dies. Lots of people do dangerous jobs all the time and are held liable.

I think what you meant to say is that police should not be held liable for crimes they could not be expected to prevent due to distance, lack of time, or insufficient information. Afeter all, they aren't super heroes and cannot be everywhere at once!

Bruce H
August 31, 2004, 08:53 PM
This place and the people in it are far from the worst at attacking police officers. Only the most bizare and actually criminal cases ever show up. The kind of cases that will push anybodys hot buttons. Sure there are some idiots here that never know when to shut up, both law enforcement and non law enforcement. The times law enforcement do their regular job is very seldom mentioned. Why talk about people doing their daily jobs? Mostly it is boring.

If you enjoyed reading about "Another court case reinforcing police immunity on duty to protect the public...." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!