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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

AHC To Hear Case Against MO Bonding Company

The Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC) will hear a complaint against a bonding corporation and its president, Douglas Cheatham of Blue Springs, MO. The complaint, filed by the Department of Insurance, (DIFP) alleges that L&C Investment Group, Inc., and its president, Cheatham, are subject to discipline for failing to return bond premium and failing to satisfy an outstanding judgment. The complaint alleges that Cheatham collected $10,000 from a defendant's family member in order to post his bond. Cheatham stands accused of misappropriation of premium for not returning the premium to the defendant’s family after he was unable to post the bond. The DIFP also alleges that Cheatham and his company failed to satisfy a $100,000 bail bond judgment in Buchanan County in another case. The judgment was appealed and previously covered here. The complaint asks the AHC to make findings of fact and conclusions of law stating that DIFP has cause to discipline the licenses of both Cheatham and his company. The hearing is scheduled for October 10, 2006.

2 comments:

  1. Douglas Cheatham9/22/2006 12:56 AM

    My name is Douglas J. Cheatham, President/Owner L&C Investment Group/ Bada Bing Bail Bonds. I must say that I rather enjoy your site/blog as I find it very informative. You do a very superb job in covering a variety of stories for the bail bond industry. I must say as of late though I am disappointed in your coverage of myself and my company and many of the events that involve both. I do not feel that you are abreast of all of the facts in these matters. In regards to the AHC Complaint, the disputed premium was for a bond that was indeed posted. Please see CaseNet, State of Missouri vs. Antonio Flemmons (Lafayette County and the Western District of Appeals.) This bond was executed and it took the Honorable Judge Rolf (Lafayette County Presiding Judge) four months after being issued a writ of mandamus to determine that the bond should have been cash only and was granted leave to site a Scribner’s error. There were many hours put in to doing this bond not to mention the four months that this bond was listed on my liability list with various counties preventing me from doing other bonds to avoid going over my assets vs. liability. To this date I have never attempted to retain all of the money that was paid as I feel this is not just. Twice the Department of Insurance requested that I settle this matter with the defendant’s wife. I did so on both occasions. The first offer being half of the fee back and the second was $8000. Then a third offer of all of the money was offered after being strong armed by the Department of Insurance, who told me the final offer for the entire fee “was too little, too late.” I ask you, being a bondsman yourself, do you not feel you are entitled to compensation for your time, travel, expenses and loss of business. The Department of Insurance believes that I should be out of pocket for my losses due to a judge’s mistake. Not to mention the fact that the defendant’s attorney informed me on several occasions that it was a valid bond and even noted in his writ of mandamus that “I had performed every duty that I was retained to perform and should be compensated accordingly. If you our I made a mistake in paperwork, no doubt the DOI would most definitely seek discipline for this. At no time did I ever desire to keep the entire premium, even though the DOI states in their complaint that I misappropriated a fee for a bond that I was rightfully entitled to. Am I to understand that after we execute a bond that we are responsible for turning the key to the jail house as well? The main culprit in this case is the judge who took 4 months to decide that the surety bond was invalid and the bond should be cash only. The DOI has never taken this into consideration, since day one it has been their way or no way. Furthermore the judgment that continues to appear on the OSCA List has been appealed, a supersedes bond has been filed; therefore it is not an outstanding judgment. The reason the appellate court ruled against this company in the first place is the first attorney on this case failed to include several state laws and case laws prohibiting a judge from releasing a person who has been sentenced to time in prison and has no pending appeal. I have these cases and rules should you be interested in reviewing or publishing them. Many bondsmen in Missouri should hope that this opinion does not hold as it will open a door for courts to hold bonding companies liable for more than court appearance. Courts would be able to hold you and me responsible for fines, probation, parole, etc. As of this date a motion for rehearing with the applicable laws included, has been filed and also a motion for transfer to the Supreme Court. This bond was clearly marked as a Pre-Trial bond only and the court had no authority to issue a new condition without approval of this surety. Once again I have the rules, statutes and case law to back this up with. It’s now just a matter of getting a judge to take five minutes and read the law. I felt I owed to the agents of this company and myself to set the record straight. I would hope if you’re going to act in the dual capacity of a bondsman and a reporter you would get the entire story before publishing it on the internet. I would be most curious to know how you obtained an internal document such as the OSCA List and a copy of the complaint that was filed against me with the AHC. The Department of Insurance has big enough problems on the horizon with a civil suit that is being filed on Monday against them for their malicious actions against this company in the last two years. I would hope in the future that you protect yourself against slander and defamation of character by reporting both sides to the story. I would respectfully request that you post my side of the story or remove this company’s name along with my name from your blog any where that it may appear. Thank you for your consideration and your cooperation in advance.

    Douglas Cheatham
    badabingbail@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a bail bondsman and also one who is very leary of the so-called "justice" system, I always look at anything in the papers or in blogs, etc with a grain of salt. When I saw this, I thought, there has to be more to this story. I think that is the case with most bail bondsman, they know there is more to the story that we dont hear about.

    The same thing with the Lee Jackson situation, I bet many people think there is more to the story than we hear about because Lee doesnt get the opportunity to tell his side of the story. When I first read the news coverage, some things just didnt make sense on the part of the prosecution. I am very leary of news coverage, but it is entertaining nonetheless.

    This is a blog and I read it because I like to get one person's perspective on things, when opinions are expressed, I accept that as an opinion and nothing more. I think it opens my mind to consider other ways of doing things.

    So dont fret over it too much, I think most of the bail bonds community already had it figured out in their heads that it was something along the lines of what you described anyway (I know I did). We already know what idiots lurk out there in the courts.

    I just had a bond that was supposed to be cash only but the county that released the guy (a different county) released him on surety. I found out later that it was supposed to be cash only... these are not rocket scientists we are dealing with, thats for sure.

    I find it ironic but yet VERY believeable that the very people that expect others to take responsibility for their actions, wont accept it themselves... I think that fits in the category of corruption if you ask me, and it doesnt surprise me in the least.

    Oh and the DOI..well, they are like every other department in government... they are someone's b****

    ReplyDelete

Although Missouri Bondsman encourages debate on topics of interest to the bail industry, please be aware that comments are moderated. Please observe the posting rules. No comments will be printed that contain spam, profanity, or libelous comments. Please post comments in a civil, professional manner.

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