Man sues bank over wrongful arrest

By John O'Brien | Aug 16, 2006

HUNTINGTON - A Cabell County man says he went to cash a check and wound up in prison.

Wade Midkiff filed a lawsuit Aug. 3 in Cabell Circuit Court against Huntington Federal Savings Bank, alleging it is to blame for his wrongful arrest.

He says he attempted to cash a $50 check issued by Paul Clevenger, a school classmate, when a problem arose.

"Unbeknownst to the plaintiff, Betty Clevenger, the owner of the bank account the check was to be drawn from, informed the defendant that her checks had been tolen and that the bank account should be closed," the complaint says.

"Upon information and belief, Ms. Clevenger informed the defendant that she believed her grandson, Paul Clevenger, had stolen the checks."

When Midkiff informed the bank that he was not Paul Clevenger, he said the Barboursville police were called and he was arrested for stealing the checks.

"The 'false pretenses' charge was ultimately dismissed and Mr. Midkiff was unnecessarily forced to expend considerable time, resources and money in order to have the criminal charges dismissed and his record expunged," the complaint says.

Midkiff charges the bank with false imprisonment.

"The defendant illegally detained Mr. Midkiff without lawful process and unlawfully restrained Mr. Midkiff's personal property," the complaint says.

He also charges the bank with negligence, infliction of emotional distress and outrage. He seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as court costs.

Midkiff is represented by David Armsbary of Huntington law firm Bailes, Craig and Yon.

Judge David Pancake has been assigned the case.

Cabell Circuit Court case number 06-C-556

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