Two of the civil rights lawsuits against the private probation firm Sentinel Offender Services are set for trial for the last week in August.
Plaintiff attorney Jack Long said Thursday that either Pamela Lynn Tennille’s or Willie James Gilyard’s lawsuits in Columbia County Superior Court will be tried starting Aug. 29.
Tennille and Gilyard are two of more than a dozen people who sued Sentinel in Richmond and Columbia counties.
Tennille filed suit in 2012 contending her Sentinel probation officer threatened on Dec. 6, 2012, to issue a warrant for her arrest if she did not report to the company’s office that day. Tennille alleged she didn’t have any transportation.
Tennille contends she shouldn’t have had to pay Sentinel any monthly probation supervision fees – nor for the drug tests that were not a part of her sentence – because Sentinel did not have a legal contract with Columbia County.
Gilyard also filed suit in 2012 contending he was illegally arrested and imprisoned in July 2010, nearly two years after his sentence expired.
Gilyard was arrested again Sept. 15, 2012 on a probation violation warrant. He was held in jail for a month until a judge terminated his case.
If their cases goes to trial, they would be the second and third ones on Sentinel to go to a jury. Earlier this year, a Richmond County Superior Court jury awarded Kathleen Hucks $50,000 in damages and $125,000 in attorney fees.