Opinion No. 150
from the District Court of the Third Judicial District of the
State of Idaho, in and for Canyon County. Hon. George A.
Southworth, District Judge.
judgment of the district court is affirmed.
Richard L. Hammond, Hammond Law Office, Caldwell, submitted a
brief on behalf of the appellant.
respondent did not submit a brief on appeal.
an appeal out of Canyon County from a judgment against a bail
bondsman who revoked a bail bond for an illegal alien at the
request of an agent of United States Immigration and Customs
Enforcement. The district court awarded damages in the amount
of the bail bond premiums, and the appellants contend on
appeal that they were entitled to additional damages. We
affirm the judgment of the district court.
October 14 or 15, 2012, Jose Luis Garcia was arrested in
Canyon County for driving under the influence of alcohol
("DUI"), and he was also arrested under an
outstanding warrant issued in another case in which he was
charged with petit theft and attempted petit theft. Mr.
Garcia was thirty-one years of age and had entered the United
States illegally when he was an adult. At about 8:30 a.m. on
October 15, 2012, Maria Garcia, his mother, paid Walter
Almaraz, a bail bondsman, to obtain bail bonds for the two
cases. Mr. Almaraz was an agent of Absolute Bail Bonds, LLC.
Prior to making the payment, Ms. Garcia informed Mr. Almaraz
that Jose Garcia was an illegal alien and that she wanted him
bonded out quickly before United States Immigration and
Customs Enforcement ("ICE") placed a
"hold" (immigration detainer) on him. Mr. Almaraz
posted the bail bond in the petit theft case on October 15,
2012, and he posted the bail bond in the DUI case on the next
day. He then received a telephone call from an ICE agent who
told him to revoke the bail bonds, and Mr. Almaraz did so
before Jose Garcia was released from jail. On October 17,
2012, ICE placed an immigration hold on him.
Garcia pled guilty to the petit theft charge on January 22,
2013, and he was sentenced the following week. The DUI charge
was amended to driving under the influence of alcohol with an
excessive alcohol concentration of 0.20. He pled guilty to
that charge on December 21, 2012, and on March 18, 2013, he
was sentenced. Upon completing the unsuspended portions of
his jail sentences for petit theft and DUI, he was released
from jail into the custody of ICE on May 3, 2013, and
deported to Mexico.
2, 2013, Jose Garcia and Ms. Garcia filed this action against
Mr. Almaraz and Absolute Bail Bonds, LLC, seeking to recover
damages for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of
good faith and fair dealing, breach of fiduciary duty,
failure to provide records and an accounting, and bad faith
breach of contract. The Defendants were served with the
summons and complaint and a request for admissions, but they
did not appear in this action. On July 19, 2013, the
Plaintiffs filed a motion for entry of default against them,
and on December 13, 2013, the court entered their default. On
November 12, 2013, the Defendants filed the affidavit of Ms.
Garcia seeking a default judgment against the Defendants.
district court set the case for a hearing for entry of a
default judgment on April 23, 2015. On the morning of the
hearing, the Plaintiffs filed a motion seeking to amend their
complaint to add a claim for punitive damages and a
supporting affidavit of counsel. At the hearing, the court
questioned the Plaintiffs' counsel about the claimed
damages and took under advisement the motion to amend the
complaint. On April 27, 2015, the Plaintiffs filed two
additional affidavits seeking punitive damages and a
6, 2015, the district court issued its memorandum decision
addressing the motion to amend and the amount of damages. The
court denied the motion to amend the complaint to add a
prayer for punitive damages, and it awarded damages of $3,
300.00, which it stated was the total amount of the premiums
on the bail bonds. The court found that the consequential
damages claimed were not caused by the conduct of the
Defendants. The court also awarded the Plaintiffs $2, 500.00
in attorney fees, which is the amount requested in the
complaint if judgment was entered by default. On May 6, 2015,
the court entered a judgment awarding the Plaintiffs damages
against the Defendants in the sum of $5, 800, and the
Plaintiffs timely appealed.
Did the District Court Err in Denying the Motion for
motion to disqualify for cause must be accompanied by an
affidavit of the party or the party's attorney stating
the specific grounds upon which disqualification is based and
the facts relied upon in support of the motion." I.R.C.P
40(b)(2). "An affidavit includes a written certification
or declaration made as provided in Idaho Code section
9-1406." I.R.C.P. 2.7. Idaho Code section 9-1406 permits
an affidavit to be a dated and signed "unsworn
certification or declaration, in writing, which is subscribed
by such person and is in substantially the following form:
'I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury pursuant
to the law of the State of Idaho that the foregoing is true
and correct.' " On December 5, 2013, the
Plaintiffs filed a motion to recuse the district court for
cause. The only part of the motion that would qualify as an
affidavit under the statute was the initial paragraph, which
The Plaintiff in the above entitled action, by and through
his attorney of record, Richard Hammond, hereby respectfully
requests this Honorable Court to recuse himself, be removed
under IRCP 40(d)(2) or reconsider its position stated in
chambers to deny consequential damages to a person due to his
or her immigration status. AFFIDAVIT
Richard L. Hammond certifies and declares under penalty of
perjury pursuant to the law of the state of Idaho that the
foregoing is true and correct to ...