Monday, October 04, 2021

People v. North River Ins. Co. (Cal. Ct. App. - Oct. 4, 2021)

Justice Perluss buries the lede in this opinion.  In a footnote, no less.

It's yet another bail forfeiture case.  Most of the analysis in the opinion consists of strings of quotations and citations, which makes it a bit difficult -- or at least off-putting -- to read.  But the basic scoop is that the defendant was charged with a crime, a bail bonding company posted his bail, the defendant skipped town, the guy was ultimately arrested and incarcerated in another state, and the LAPD ultimately went to Nebraska and extradited the guy and brought him back to Los Angeles.  Since the guy was returned in time, the trial court vacated the prior forfeiture of the bond, but charged the bail company the costs of returning the defendant to California, which were over $6,000.  (This amount seems super high to me, but perhaps the officers who went and picked up the offender ate and drove/flew quite well.)

But the Court of Appeal reverses.  The rule is that if the defendant eventually shows up on time, then the trial court has to vacate the bail forfeiture, which left the trial court without jurisdiction to make the order for reimbursement of extradition costs.  There you have it.

The final footnote, however, says that the trial court could have conditioned the vacatur of the forfeiture on payment of the extradition costs.  Which might be something to put in the first paragraph.  If only so everyone relevant makes sure to read it.

But at least we now know the rule.

Assuming you read footnotes.