Idaho State Police pay $40,000 to settle claim over encounter with trooper

Idaho State Police trooper Justin Klitch stops an Oregon driver in 2012.
Idaho State Police trooper Justin Klitch stops an Oregon driver in 2012.

The Idaho State Police have agreed to pay $40,000 to an Arizona man who sued a trooper over the way he handled a traffic stop on Interstate 84 near Boise.

Jose Castillo alleged that trooper Justin Klitch targeted him for a stop on May 16, 2014, because he was driving a car with Arizona plates.

Castillo said Klitch followed him “for many miles and for more than 10 minutes” before pulling him over for failing to move into the left lane while passing a stopped emergency vehicle.

Castillo said he told Klitch that he had obsessive-compulsive disorder, which causes him to be sensitive to any lack of cleanliness. Klitch then told Castillo his doctor had told him Klitch that he had “more germs than anyone he had ever met before” and made other comments that Castillo alleges were intended to increase his anxiety. Klitch’s comments were captured on his patrol car’s dashboard camera.

Klitch found nothing illegal and told Castillo he was free to go.

Castillo sued on May 21, 2015, in federal court in Boise, alleging his car was illegally searched, his rights under the American with Disabilities Act were violated, and Klitch was improperly trained by ISP.

Chief District Judge B. Lynn Winmill dismissed Castillo’s claims of negligent training and ADA violations in August but said he would allow the civil-rights claim to go to trial. The trial was set for Feb. 21.

The two parties held a settlement conference on Dec. 6.

“Mr. Castillo wanted Detective Klitch to be held to answer at trial,” said Castillo’s attorney, Craig Durham of Boise. “But we’re pleased that the amount of the settlement goes at least some way to recognizing and remedying the harm to Mr. Castillo from this encounter.”

The Idaho State Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cynthia Sewell: 208-377-6428, @CynthiaSewell