P.eople v. Financial Casualty & SuretyAnnotate this Case
FC Surety posted $150,000 bail to secure Ventura‘s release from custody in San Francisco. On September 15, 2014, when Ventura failed to appear, the court issued a bench warrant and declared the bond forfeited, stating FC‘s obligation to pay the bond would become absolute on April 10, 2015. On March 12, FC‘s agent discovered Ventura was in custody in Contra Costa County and tried to surrender the San Francisco warrant and have Ventura held. The Contra Costa County Sheriff found no active warrants, although the agent had verification from the San Francisco Sheriff. On April 3, the bail agent moved to vacate the forfeiture and exonerate the bond, arguing that failure to enter the warrant into the National Crime Information Center was an error that required exoneration of liability on the bond under Penal Code 980(b). The court denied the motion because the bench warrant remained outstanding. The agent then, unsuccessfully, orally requested to extend the time to secure Ventura‘s appearance. On August 19, the court issued summary judgment of bail forfeiture. The court of appeal reversed in favor of FC. FC‘s motion was timely and supported by good cause; under Penal Code 1305(c)(3) a court “shall vacate the forfeiture and exonerate the bail” if, outside the county where the case is located, the defendant is surrendered to custody by the bail or is arrested in the underlying case.