Fairfield bail bondsman loses appeal of jury award

By From page A3 | May 17, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A Fairfield bail bondsman, a twice want-to-be sheriff’s candidate, lost his appeal Friday in San Francisco of a jury’s award of $450,000 to a pair of Vallejo residents who sued him.

Donald and Terry Gordon sued Toler after he showed up at their home in 2008 looking for a guy who had signed off on a bail bond promissary note.

The Gordons told him they did not know the guy Toler was looking for and asked him to leave. Toler was armed, refused to leave and made threats that placed the Gordons in fear for their safety. Terry Gordon called 911, and at some point thereafter Toler was arrested but charges were eventually dropped.

Toler contended he did nothing to threaten the Gordons, but he conceded during the jury trial that his conduct “certainly (was) intimidation.”

After the confrontation at the Gordons’ home, Toler sued them claiming they interfered with a contractual relationship, defamed him and committed assault and battery on him. In response, the Gordons filed a countersuit against Toler for malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault.

Toler, on the eve of trial in 2012 and acting as his own lawyer, dropped his lawsuit against the Gordons. The Gordons did not drop their part of the lawsuit – they had a lawyer by then, Kelly Trujillo, who said the jury’s decisions hopefully taught Toler a lesson.

After a two-day trial, the jury deliberated less than an hour before deciding for the Gordons.

Toler was slapped with a judgment of $150,000 for malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault. Jurors tacked on an additional $300,000 in punitive damages.

Toler, still acting as his own lawyer, appealed the verdict.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 20 comments

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  • Rich GiddensMay 16, 2014 - 7:53 pm

    Toler is treated like ''an enemy of the State'' and the higher Courts know who he is. The higher Courts don't like to overturn the lower Court's decisions no matter how bad and legally flawed those decisions are. Those are the facts. The State of swine's Courts are rigged to protect the cops and authorities and the State picks their favorites. Such a State and system is a disgrace and unjust.

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  • TerryMay 19, 2014 - 9:49 pm

    Enemy of the State??? You have your "facts" wrong--tho this may be your opinion. He lost the trial and the appeal. The Jury and the court saw it for what it was. This is not unjust or disgraceful....it is Justice. Anyone who believes differently is misinformed. Just setting the record straight here.......

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  • BobMay 17, 2014 - 6:56 am

    Where are all those writers that thought this guy would be the great new hope for sheriff? You've been bad mouthing the sheriff's department for months, talking up Toler as the better man, can you imagine the lawsuits he could bring to our county? Well speak up, back your man, tell us how the jury was rigged by the sheriff, come on I'm sure you can work JFK's assignation into Toler not being allowed to run for sheriff I await with baited breath............

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  • CD BrooksMay 17, 2014 - 7:15 am

    Toler has had his share of problems most of which he brought on himself. He was never a viable candidate for sheriff. The Mister et al were on the Toler band wagon due to their hatred for the Sheriff and his "corrupt system."

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  • The MisterMay 17, 2014 - 7:30 am

    The CD et al were NOT on the Toler band wagon due to their love for the Sheriff and his "corrupt system."

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  • CD BrooksMay 17, 2014 - 7:55 am

    For the record, I never said I supported the sheriff (and did not vote for him), nor did I go on about any corruption. I simply told the truth about Mr. Toler not being able to win even if he did somehow get on the ballot which I doubted he would. Thankyouverymuch! ;)

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  • ToniMay 17, 2014 - 10:02 am

    Tolier has been, will be a joke ,he always says he is going to run for Sherriff when re-election comes for Sherriff. Hey Leonard Alexander didn't you say you would back him? No pund attended.

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  • 2realMay 17, 2014 - 8:09 am

    The guys owns dings bar and a bail agency. Get drunk at his bar and drive, then he bails you out. He gets paid twice. Now if that aint corrupt idk what is.

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  • boomMay 17, 2014 - 9:25 am

    @2Real- Joe McKee owns Dings cocktail lounge and ASAP bail bonds. Get your facts straight.

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  • boomMay 17, 2014 - 9:28 am

    @2Real-Joe McKee owns Dings and ASAP bail bonds, not aware of toler owning a bar.

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  • GemmaMay 17, 2014 - 11:27 am

    @2real-Owning a bar and a bail bond company isn't corrupt lol. No one makes anyone drink and drive, and once they do, no one chooses their bail bond company but them, and there are oodles to choose from.

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  • WeaverwomanMay 17, 2014 - 8:50 am

    Dear Tony and Wade; This is to inform you that as of today, 5-17-14, you have been officially dethroned as the funniest people on this site. Although the two of you have provided a lot of laughs, the comments today really have my giggle box going. ;~}}

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  • HmmmMay 17, 2014 - 9:28 am

    That little face you made at the end, the two last lines, is that your double chin?

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  • WeaverwomanMay 17, 2014 - 9:38 am

    Opps, sorry, hit "report abusive button". To answer your question.. ya, it does look like a double chin! However, for a 61 year old, I don't seem to have such a thing. yet....

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  • 2realMay 17, 2014 - 10:03 am

    @ boom, he was at one time owner of both. Im sure of it. But with the verdict that was reached not in mr. Tolers favor, im not sure he'll be owning anything much longer.

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  • boomMay 17, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    @2real-Actually Dingus(can't remember his last name now)Opened Dings (named after his nickname, see the connection)and ran it for many years until selling it to Joey about 15 years ago. Pretty sure there's an old timer around here that can confirm that tidbit of local history.

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  • Rich GiddensMay 17, 2014 - 10:29 am

    Kelly Trujillo is DAN HEALYS law firm partner.

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  • TerryMay 19, 2014 - 9:38 pm

    @ Rich Giddens..what does that have to do with this?? The appeal was handled "in pro per" with the Gordon's representing themselves-- not by any attorney--what are you implying?

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  • streetMay 17, 2014 - 2:32 pm

    Ding DeGrashia (sp?), an ex police chief is the name you are looking for I believe.

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  • boomMay 17, 2014 - 3:10 pm

    Thank you very much Street! That was the name I was looking for.

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