County

For-Profit Ada Probation Agency Defendant In Class Action Lawsuit

Ada County’s private for-profit misdemeanor probation services, ACMPS has been named as the sole defendant in a class action lawsuit filed Thursday in 4th District Court. Plaintiffs could include “thousands” of people currently and previously on probation.

The three named plaintiffs are Kenneth E. Green, Nicholas J. Hall, and Thomas Smith. They are represented by attorneys Philip H. Gordon and Benjamin A. Schwartzman who filed the action.

All three of the men were convicted of misdemeanor crimes in Ada County and placed on supervised probation with the for-profit agency. Their major allegation is they were forced to pay fees in excess of the $50 monthly maximum (which was recently raised by act of the legislature to $75).

Ada County Misdemeanor Probation Services, Inc. is privately owned and operated by Nancy Cladis on behalf of the county. The GUARDIAN began receiving complaints in May which were brought to the attention of the Ada County Commission. Cladis’s contract with the county is currently up for review and tentatively set for a vote next week.

Complaints have persisted and dominated the GUARDIAN news blog for the past week or two. Some of the commenters offered stories of intimidation and alleged they were forced to take repeated urine tests and rent electronic devices when their crimes were not alcohol or drug related. One writer described having to fill out an “evaluation card” claiming he was satisfied with the services provided.

A common thread in all the blog discussion was a fear of going to jail if the probationer didn’t comply with their private probation officer’s demands.

The legal filing asks the court to approve a class action because the questions of law and the facts are common among “thousands of individuals.”

The civil action cites four counts seeking various remedies including:
–Permanent injunction requiring that ACMPS not charge various test fees not ordered by the court.
–Violation of Idaho Code which sets the maximum monthly probation fee.
–Unspecified monetary damages as a result of the overcharging for fees.
–Unjust enrichment claiming ACMPS and Nancy Cladis were unjustly enriched at the expense of the probationers.

Finally, the complaint asks “for leave to file, pursuant to applicable state laws, a prayer for punitive damages in an amount sufficient to determine similar wrongful conduct on the part of the defendants and all others who supervise misdemeanor probation in the State of Idaho.”

No trial date has been set, but they are asking for a jury trial.

For links to related posts, click on CONTINUE READING.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Outstanding Dave!

  2. JOKEEEEEEEEEEEE
    Oct 6, 2011, 10:57 pm

    Is this a joke? “A common thread in all the blog discussion was a fear of going to jail if the probationer didn’t comply with their private probation officer’s demands.” The point of probation is to give a offender another chance rather than putting them in jail immediately. If someone cant abide by probation then don’t chose to do it! Sit in jail for your crime or how about dont drive when you drink, steal things, or hit your spouse! You guys are defending people that have committed a serious crime and they need consequences.
    And “Gaurdian” I guess now I know why your not accepted in the media world here in Boise. You guys try to stir up arguments, and if you were trying to get a REAL story you would cover the other side and let people make their own opinion. But that just wouldnt be fun for you then!
    I for one want probation officers to do their job to keep our community safe and hopefully rehabilitate offenders so they dont put society at risk!

  3. This is great news. In my previous posts, never has my question been answered as to where ACMPS gets its assumed authority to require tests, or other requirements not ordered by the court. My new question in light of this class action lawsuit is: Will Ada County be named as a participating defendant for its failure to oversee this operation. Hey VERN and RICK, Can you hear me now????

  4. As a Probation Officer myself yes it is our job to rehabilitate our clients and make the community safer. However, Nancy loves to keep them in HER system for as long as she possibly can. No joke here.

  5. Perhaps John Bujak can take this over and clean it up.

  6. We have seen it time and time again. Every time you outsource any part of the justice system you put justice at risk. Put greed on one side of a scale and justice on the other and justice looses every time.

  7. Nice work Dave.

  8. IT'S ABOUT TIME
    Oct 7, 2011, 11:11 am

    The fact that it’s taken so long to find someone willing to file a lawsuit is beyond me, but it’s long overdue. Often times offenders are paying $50 a month for supervision fees, $30-200 a month for UAs, and $80-$100 for treatment. This would be very difficult for most to afford. That’s not even including the fines they pay to the courts. How can you claim to help offenders when giving them unattainable goals and requirements?? Kudos to you Phillip Gordon, I wish you all the luck. Its time the citizens being taken advantage of be heard

  9. chicago sam
    Oct 7, 2011, 11:27 am

    Someone willing to file a lawsuit usually takes some bucks and lawyers usually don’t work for free nor should they. In this case the people who feel they are being taken advantage of are for the most part at the bottom of the economic ladder. Whatever arrangement has been negotiated with the attorneys kudo’s to them and the three people stepping forward and challenging the system

  10. Let’s not forget her 400 a month SCRAM devices. She has her probationers sign a a “request for SCRAM” form if they do not sign this they face a probation violation. It is NOT a request at all. At one point the Judges would not allow her to do put a person on SCRAM because on her PVs she was stating that the probationers were REFUSING the SCRAM, not so they just couldn’t come up with the 200 dollars that she DEMANDS up front. She then came up with the request form. Really?

  11. Jokeeeeee…….

    Shouldn’t what you say be true of Sen. John McGee and John Bujak, et al? McGee got a pass for doing more than most posters on this topic.

    Regarding Dave Frazier/Boise Guardian…both are WELL-RESPECTED by the media world.

    KTA

    Member: Idaho Press Club; Society of Professional Journalists

  12. probationer
    Oct 7, 2011, 12:13 pm

    I would love to know how I can testify against ACMPS. I’ve been dealing with the $50 monthly, but they gave me excessive mandatory urinalysis tests when my case was nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. There are other things they were trying to make me do, but to remain anonymous from ACMPS (as I witnessed Kim Helmandollar scrolling through the Guardian comments on the stories related to that corporation) I can’t disclose much more.

    Its about time that someone can step up against this For-Profit court service. I am sick of being treated like an asset and nothing more. I go to school, I work, I comply 100% with their demands yet never could get my head above the water with ACMPS. It seemed they were trying to beat me down to stay in their system every month…a guaranteed profit.

    I only hope that I can help the plaintiffs and stop the corruption at last. Guardian, you’ve been amazing at keeping up on this story and giving a medium for us probationers to see that “I’m not the only one”.

  13. re: probationer
    Oct 7, 2011, 1:35 pm

    Contact Phil Gordan

  14. Join the lawsuit, probationer. You look to be a member of the class. Contact Phil’s office and he’ll get your contact info. And ask him about protection from retaliation.

    Here’s my plug for you Dave.

    http://www.43sb.com/?q=node/5992

  15. Isn’t there a Cladis Bail Bonds? I wonder if they’re related.

  16. Jokeeeeee is misinformed at best, ignorant at the least. No one here is defending the probationer. It is the private organization that the county approved to oversee the probationers that is the topic. All of these people serve the jail time ordered by the judge and pay the fines, etc. ACMPS then went rogue requiring payment for things not ordered by the judge under the threat of “violating” them and having the judge put them back into jail. Not for going contrary to the sentencing requirements of the judge, but for going contrary to the rules set up by Nancy Cladis. SHE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO REQUIRE ANY MORE THAN THE JUDGE ORDERED. It would be like you had to pay more for a traffic fine because the cop that wrote you the ticket wanted you to pay more even though you were not required to by law. One of the problems is the Judicial system accepted the arrangement with Ada county believing this was a legitimate operation. IT WAS NOT. It will be very interesting to see if the commissioners still award the contract for the next year knowing what she did to thousands of people.

  17. Joke, do I believe you, or my one lyin’ good eye here. You are coming off as Nancy’s relative or someone with an axe to grind here.
    Literally, dozens of posts that say you are prejudiced or just full of “ka-ka”.
    And don’t ever sell the Guardian short on journalistic integrity. He has more in his baby finger than many from the mainstream can muster in total!

  18. probationer2
    Oct 8, 2011, 11:38 am

    How does one get in contact with Phil’s office?

    EDITOR NOTE–Google “Philip H. Gordon, Boise”

  19. EX EMPLOYEE
    Oct 10, 2011, 6:59 pm

    Not only has this hit the statesman but there will be a special on this matter during the 10 o’clock news tonight. Tune into KTVB channel 7 for more info.

  20. Cladis Bail Bonds is linked to Nancy Cladis cookie. Nancy and her sister ran it.

  21. If you are a current or former probationer with ACMPS, Inc., and you wish to join the class, call Mr. Gordon’s office at 345-7100.

    His legal assistant, Tracy, will take your information.

    Do not be afraid of retaliation. This case has received so much media coverage that any retaliation by your PO would be completely self-destructive at this point.

    If I was still on probation I would insist on an immediate cessation of UAs.

  22. The basis for testing is usually the judgment that orders you to cooperate with probation. Then, when you meet with probation they give you a checklist of conditions that you have to accept.

    This is kind of like agreeing to buy a house, signing the contract and paying money, and then getting the list of disclosures a week later.

    In theory a defendant can reject probation and demand a legal sentence (fines and jail), but when you tell a judge you don’t want to be on his probation, pretty much nothing good happens after that.

  23. Publica,

    ACMPS cannot, as part of their terms, require you to do anything that violates the law. Being charged for UAs caused them to require you to pay more than the law allowed.

    Perhaps they could, as part of their terms, have required UAs. But, it would have had to be at ACMPS, Inc.’s expense.

    The law is explicit in that it states the cost of supervision cannot exceed a certain amount INCLUDING testing for drugs and alcohol.

  24. Fees:

    I know the law, chief. ACMPS bases its argument on 19-2608, which says a probationer must pay for testing of breath or bodily fluids.

    The plain language of that statute applies only when a court orders the testing. The problem is that the judgments don’t order such testing – ACMPS just tells everyone to do it.

    Additionally, the statute says the probationer has to pay the government agency providing the test. Nancy isn’t a government agency.

    That code section is older than the statutes I laid our previously. The doctrine of implied repeal would kick in to the extent it could gymnastically be read to apply to non-court ordered testing done by a private company.

    We’re on the same side. I don’t require correction…

  25. Publica,

    If we’re on the same side, why not rebuke/correct me in a more friendly manner? I’m always open to receive correction.

    It would benefit everyone on this board if we kept it cordial.

  26. I thought that was pretty not hostile. In real life I’m a complete ahole.

    Color me frustrated. ACMPS has been a thorn in our side for a LONG time and Gordon’s action has been a long time coming. I know the argument that ACMPS is using to justify its actions. Gordon’s argument is good and I agree with it, but what the courts will do with it . . .

  27. ex probationer
    Oct 15, 2011, 10:23 am

    Publica sounds like a PO…. “I know the law chief” kinda sounds like… my way or jail talk…or am I confused? I’m sure that will get her sights set on me.

  28. Ex, you are confused.

    A whole lot of the time, being a criminal defense attorney is a lot like being a PO.

    What your PO tells you when she is giving you grief about probation: Have you started your class? Why not? Do you want to go to jail?

    What your attorney tells you when you call her about the grief your PO is giving you: Well, have you started your class? Uh, why not? Get your butt in a class before the prosecutor thinks you are violating your probation and you get arrested and sit in jail for six weeks, because then you’ll be calling me all the damn time.

    Sounds pretty similar.

  29. Pissed - current probationer
    Oct 19, 2011, 4:12 pm

    Oct 19, 2011, 2:23 pm

    Instead of continuing to talk about it, we need to take action.
    These commishes dont expect us to do anything but talk about it.
    Lets do something real.

    I propose a full display of disapproval. Picketing at ACMPS and at city hall, and at the court house. The week of 10-23 – 10-29

    Comment if you agree and lets get organized. Everyone here is right and in agreement. What they are doing is ilegal. Lets hold them accountable.

  30. Pissed - current probationer
    Oct 22, 2011, 4:34 pm

    Cookie

    After a search to see that Nancy was lying about having ties to Cladis Bail Bonds. The following was discovered. For all those saying Kathy didnt own it.

    Q: Does Nancy Cladis own or have ties to Cladis Bail Bonds?

    A: By checking with the Idaho Department of Insurance, you will find that Nancy Cladis does not come up as a licensed person. However, when search for “Cladis bail Bonds”, the following information:

    Agency Information
    Name: KATHY CLADIS BAIL BONDS LLC License Number: 380486
    Address: 500 W IDAHO ST STE 200
    Issued: 6/17/2011
    BOISE, ID 83702-5755 Expires: 7/1/2013

    Phone: (208) 344-3234 License Status:
    License Type: Active
    Bail Agency

    Line Description Line Code
    Bail Surety BSUR

    To sort by category, click on the column header
    Producers City State License Number Appointment Date
    BLAKE, JOHN BOISE ID 35566 6/17/2011

    Insurance Company City State License Number Appointment Date
    SENECA INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. NEW YORK NY 1229 6/17/2011

    Michael

    Fastrak Bail Bonds Inc.
    815 North Harbor Boulevard
    Fullerton, California 92832
    (714) 870-7730

    Source(s):

    http://www.doi.idaho.gov/default.aspx

  31. ex probationer
    Nov 5, 2011, 10:09 pm

    I heard a rumor that the class action is about to be dismissed… anyone know if thats true? Publica do you know if the way probation’s being run is really against the constitution?

  32. Ada county probation has only one goal in mind, to make as much money off violaters as possible. Now the monthly fee has risen to $75.00 a fee which, along with court fines and uas is almost impossible for most to pay. I realize that we have all broken some law and must accept due punishment, however I beleive punishment should be aimed at correction and rehabilitation, not financial destruction. Also I’ve been informed that making a person use a specific testing lab may be illegal, and why does Globe appear to have a high turnover rate. Lastly I keep hearing about the law suits, investgations etc. When is someone really going to do something to correct this injust.

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