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Process server files claim against sheriff’s department

By March 4, 2024No Comments

A private process server has filed a tort claim against the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office, saying she was unlawfully arrested while trying to serve papers on the sheriff (as first reported by this paper last summer).

Process server Cheryl Baggs alleges that on July 14, 2023, she attempted to serve Sheriff Kevin Clardy at his home. She was aware that the sheriff’s son Kyler, a reserve deputy, lived about 500 yards away in a mobile home.

Baggs said she attempted to contact the residents of that home, where a woman told her that she could serve the sheriff during working weekday hours.

Baggs said she left the property after her first attempt to serve the sheriff, and returned about an hour later when she noticed a county police truck in the drive.

She tried to again to serve the sheriff, and when it became apparent that he was not going to accept service, she tried to leave the property when she was “cut off” at a high rate of speed by the sheriff’s son, Kyler.

She said Kyler Clardy yelled at her to get out of her vehicle and making threats he would “throw her to the ground,” She told him she was an officer of the court trying to serve the sheriff. She said Clardy indicated he didn’t care why she was present, but that she needed to “turn around.”

Baggs said she became frightened when she was ordered to turn around, but felt she had no choice but to obey.

The tort claim says Clardy then handcuffed her in a law enforcement vehicle. She was detained for 60 to 90 minutes.

“The McCurtain County Sheriff’s Department and Deputy Sheriff Kyler Clardy were negligent in their investigation; the unlawful arrest; and the resulting unlawful detentions of Cheryl Baggs, an innocent person. Accordingly, a demand of $125,000 for each occurrence is hereby made or the department’s insurance limits, whichever is more.”

A tort claim is filed in advance of a possible lawsuit against governmental bodies. The commissioners will now consider whether to pay or settle the claim. If they refuse, Baggs can then file a lawsuit.

Attorney J.P. Longacre represented Baggs in the tort claim filing.

As the newspaper reported last year, the process server was serving papers in the Bobby Barrick case, where a man later died after allegedly being tasered while handcuffed and after deputies had turned off their body cameras.

Sheriff Clardy is among the defendants in that case, which is heading toward trial in federal court.