Posted 6/5/2015

State v. Jones, 2015 WL 3407833 (La.App. May 27, 2015) dismissed as premature the surety’s appeal from denial of its motion to set aside forfeiture of the bond.  The surety moved pursuant to La.C.Cr.P. Art. 345 to set aside the bond forfeiture because the defendant had been incarcerated for one day during the period allowed by law for setting aside the forfeiture.  The trial court denied the motion in open court and granted the surety 30 days to appeal, but no signed judgment was entered.  The Court did not reach the issue of whether the surety’s oral motion for appeal could perfect an appeal because “The record does not contain a signed judgment on FCS’s Motion and without a signed judgment, this appeal is premature.”

In Miner v. Government Payment Service, Inc., Case No. 1:14-cv-7474 (N.D.Ill. May 29, 2015) the plaintiff was charged with two traffic offenses.  He used his credit card to pay the Clerk of Court a bail deposit of $2,612.  The defendant processed the credit card payment and added an 8% ($208.96) charge for alleged bail and bail bond services.  The Government dismissed the traffic charges and returned the full bail amount of $2,612 but the defendant did not refund the $208.96.  The plaintiff filed a class action suit alleging unfair and deceptive business practices under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, and common law claims of unjust enrichment, fraud, and conversion.  The defendant moved to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim.

The court found that the plaintiff had suffered an injury in fact and had standing to bring the action.  The court reviewed the Illinois statutes abolishing commercial bail and held that they directed conduct by accused individuals and the courts not commercial entities like the defendant here.  Therefore, the plaintiff did not state a plausible claim for deceptive trade practices or fraud based on his allegations that the defendant was providing bail bond services illegally.  The court dismissed those claims but denied the motion to dismiss as to the other causes of action.

In People v. Tingcungco, Case No. B253003 (Cal.App. May 29, 2015) the surety allegedly located the defendant in Mexico, advised the district attorney of his location, and requested extradition, three days before expiration of the extended appearance period.  The next day, before the district attorney made any decision as to extradition, the surety filed a motion to further toll the appearance period while the district attorney decided whether to seek extradition and then to either continue tolling while the extradition process was pursued or vacate the forfeiture and exonerate the bond if the district attorney elected not to extradite.  The court denied the motion, and the surety appealed.

The Court discussed the legislative history of amendments to Penal Code §1305 in response to People v. Seneca Insurance Co., 189 Cal.App.4th 1075 (Cal.App. 2010) and concluded, “compliance with subdivision (g) requires the surety to locate the fugitive far enough in advance of the end of the 180-day appearance period to allow the prosecutor to decide whether or not to extradite.  If the prosecutor chooses to extradite before the appearance period ends, tolling may be granted under subdivision (h), but only if the prosecutor, having decided to extradite, agrees to do so.”  That is, the prosecutor must agree to the tolling.  Here, the prosecutor did not have time to decide whether to extradite or to agree to an added tolling period, and the Court affirmed denial of the surety’s motion.  [Published