YOUNGSTOWN Bail bonding company sues city clerk

The clerk says a clerical error caused the company to pay a bond forfeiture twice.
WARREN -- A North Park Avenue bail bonding company is suing Youngstown's clerk of courts, saying the business was forced to pay a bond forfeiture twice.
A.A. Worldwide Bail Bonding Inc. contends in the suit filed in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court that Clerk Sarah Brown-Clark forced it to pay $6,500 twice.
"This was a simple clerical error," Brown-Clark said. "We didn't charge twice, they paid twice. They never brought this to my attention. There was never any conversation on this, or I would have taken care of it."
Can't refund it: Brown-Clark said she has a check for $6,500 to pay back the bonding company but Youngstown's law department has told her not to send it yet.
"My client now wants more," said Atty. Samuel Bluedorn, who represents the bonding company. "My client made every effort to talk to her, but she refused and she refused to check the records."
The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages of $25,000 and punitive damages of $2 million.
According to the suit, on Aug. 1, municipal Judge Elizabeth Kobly vacated a June 12 default judgment against Worldwide for a $6,500 bond forfeiture. The court found that the bonding company was not provided with proper notice of the hearing and the court reset the bond forfeiture hearing for Aug. 20.
On Aug. 20, Judge Kobly continued the bond hearing for 30 days, but on Aug. 24, Robert Cregar, president of the bonding company, was notified by Brown-Clark that he could not write bonds unless the $6,500 was paid to the clerk of courts.
The suit notes that the clerk should have known that the court vacated the entry ordering the $6,500 bond forfeiture and Brown-Clark's action ordering the company to pay the money constitutes "reckless, wanton and willful conduct.
Paid to continue: The company paid $6,500 to the court Sept. 4, so it would be able to continue writing bonds in Youngstown Municipal Court, the suit states.
On Sept. 19, Judge Kobly conducted a bond forfeiture hearing and ordered the company to pay the $6,500. The company paid that amount Sept. 21.
The suit says Brown-Clark refused to credit the plaintiff for the Sept. 4 payment.