Proctor class action filed | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 1, 2010

Proctor class action filed

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Local attorney John Wesley Hall Jr. filed a class action lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court this morning, seeking repayment for probationers who paid fees to former Fifth Division Circuit Judge Willard Proctor's Cycle Breakers probation program.

The lawsuit lists Proctor, Cycle Breakers, Inc. and Pulaski County as defendants, saying that they engaged in an illegal exaction by collecting "civil probation" fees without legal authority to do so. The lawsuit points out that the concept of "civil probation" does not exist under state law. The Arkansas Supreme Court said as much in removing Proctor from the bench for a variety of ethical violations, including the civil probation process. 

The lead plaintiff in the case is Carl Brandon Euseppi, who states that he "paid illegal probation, drug testing and other fees to Cycle Breakers, Inc. of more than $1,000." The lawsuit says that Euseppi and others were assigned fees as a revenue source for Cycle Breakers, Inc. "There was an inherent conflict of interest motivating (defendants) to be kept on probation past any reasonable time just to keep them paying," Hall writes, adding that Proctor would use the threat of contempt and imprisonment to keep defendants paying fees. "(T)his was a gross violation of due process and a perversion of justice," the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit says that the property and buildings owned by Cycle Breakers Inc. could be sold to satisfy any judgment.

MEANWHILE: Pulaski circuit judges met today but didn't decide on a proposal by Judge Mary McGowan to take over Proctor's caseload and have his appointed successor assume her work, which includes no regular criminal docket. The proposal will be circulated to all 16 judges for a vote. Judge Alice Gray questioned whether the proposal squared with appointments to judicial seats created in response to a court ruling aimed at increasing the number of black judges.


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