A local lawyer files a law suit for two former inmates against the Warren County Regional Jail.
Plaintiffs Stuart Cole and Loren Patterson are together in a fight against the Warren County Regional Jail for putting their checks into an inmate account at South Central Bank. “Of course, I question that, because I thought that was extremely odd because the check was made out to my son, it was for books. So, I don’t know how in the world a bank could cash a check that doesn’t belong to them,” said Patterson’s mother Penny Patterson.
Patterson was in the jail in September of 2011 and Cole was there in March of 2009 both for arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence. However, both were in jail for only a matter of hours. The two former inmates say the jail took about 400 dollars combined in checks that weren’t endorsed, from their possession, put a stamp on them and then put them into an account, saying they were part of fees.
“They have a right to charge the fee, I don’t contest that. But they don’t have a right to engage in conduct that is completely outside the realm of decency and common usage. Anyone knows that if you have a check made payable to you, that you must endorse that check, or authorize its endorsement,” said the Plaintiffs Attorney Gary Logsdon. Logsdon filed the class action suit and says there’s no way this is legal.
“No, absolutely not. If you could do that, people would be in the street doing it to other people,” said Logsdon. There are multiple people the suit is against including deputies, bank officials, the jailer, and County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon. The defendants attorney said it was too early to comment extensively, but did release a statement and file an answer to their complaint.
“The jail has a statutory right to charge a booking fee to any inmate in the jail,” said Defendants Attorney Stacey Blankenship. The other plaintiff Cole, brings up the question, what if I didn’t have any checks on me? Cole said he never got the money back. He had two checks on him from his wife, girlfriend at the time.
For Penny Patterson, it’s not so much about the money, but what they were doing. “We were able to get are 150 dollars back, but that’s only because I went out of my way to hunt down and find out what happened to the check. Another thing is, my son told me they took the check. I’m sure there are plenty of kids that go to jail, and don’t want their parents to know they got arrested, let alone that something happened to some of their money,” said Patterson. Logsdon said this is just the tip of the iceberg, he is hearing several instances of this happening from multiple people.