Posted 5/14/2015

In State v. Dennis, 2015 WL 1955404 (La.App. April 29, 2015) the trial court denied the surety’s motion to set aside forfeiture of the bond, and the surety appealed.  The Court dismissed the appeal because the surety had not followed the necessary procedure for a civil appeal.  The surety timely filed a notice of appeal but did not make a motion or petition for appeal or obtain a signed judgment.

In People v. Mark Garcia Bail Bonds, 2015 WL 1975200 (Cal.App. May 1, 2015) the trial court denied the bail agent’s motion to vacate the forfeiture and exonerate the bond on the basis of equitable estoppel.  The agent argued that the court clerk’s office had incorrectly stated that the case was closed and the bond discharged.  The witness’s testimony, however, contained several contradictions and the trial court found it not to be credible.  The Court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion and affirmed denial of the motion.  [Not published].

In United States v. Gonzales & Gonzales Bonds and Insurance Agency, Inc., Case No. 09-cv-4029 (N.D.Cal. May 5, 2015) the court considered cross motions for summary judgment on ten immigration bond files which the parties identified as raising issues whose resolution would help dispose of other matters.  The court granted the surety summary judgment as to eight of the files and granted the Government summary judgment as to two files.  The court gave deference to the agency’s expertise and applied an arbitrary-and-capricious standard of review rather than the de novo standard urged by the surety.  The court also found that the parties were bound by their prior contracts including two settlement agreements and documents incorporated by reference in them.  In seven of the cases, the court held for the surety because the delivery demand was not made within the 90 day removal period.  In one case the court ruled for the surety because a delivery bond was posted but the alien was under an order of supervision.  The court ruled for the Government in one case because the bond was not cancelled upon voluntary departure and in one case because the delivery demand sufficiently identified the purpose of the delivery demand.  The court also held that it was not arbitrary or capricious for the Government to refuse to waive interest or costs in the cases on which it prevailed but held that it was arbitrary not to waive penalties once the surety offered to pay the principal amount.

State v. Lopez, 2015 WL 2164721 (N.J.A.D. May 11, 2015) affirmed remission of 60% of the bond amount.  The defendant failed to appear but he was in jail in another state.  When the surety located him it attempted to inform the prosecutor’s office but otherwise did nothing to secure his return.  After the defendant was released by the other state, he committed an additional crime in New Jersey and was arrested.  The trial court reviewed the proper considerations and Guidelines and did not abuse its discretion in remitting only 60% of the bond amount.

Paige v. Cuevas, 2015 WL 2091684 (E.D.Cal. May 4, 2015) recognized that a bail bondsman is not a state actor for purposes of the federal civil rights statute, 28 U.S.C. §1983.