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Affordable Bail Bonds, Inc. v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

November 19, 2014

AFFORDABLE BAIL BONDS, INC. APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

APPEAL FROM THE POPE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. CR 2012-390. HONORABLE WILLIAM M. PEARSON, JUDGE.

Stone Law, by: Matt Stone, for appellant.

Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Rebecca B. Kane, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

ROBIN F. WYNNE, Judge. GLADWIN, C.J., and PITTMAN, J., agree.

OPINION

Page 322

ROBIN F. WYNNE, Judge

Affordable Bail Bonds, Inc., appeals the forfeiture of its bail bond ordered by the circuit court following Eloy Alvarez's failure to appear at his trial on charges of delivery of a controlled substance. We affirm.

The facts and sequence of events are not in dispute. Alvarez bonded out on a $100,000 appearance bond on September 10, 2012, guaranteed by appellant. He was required to appear in circuit court on October 22, 2012. Although Alvarez had retained counsel, neither Alvarez nor his attorney appeared. On October 29, 2012, the court entered an order for issuance of arrest warrant and summons/order for the surety to appear. The warrant was never served on Alvarez, and the summons/order was not served. The charge of failure to appear was nolle prossed in a hearing held on November 26, 2012, which Alvarez attended with his attorney. His jury trial was set for May 14, 2013.

Alvarez failed to appear for his trial on May 14, 2013. The parties stipulated that appellant was served on May 15, 2013, with notice of the May 14 failure to appear. On August 20, 2013, the circuit court entered judgment against appellant and ordered

Page 323

the forfeiture of the $100,000 appearance bond. This appeal follows.

Forfeiture of bail bonds in the case of failure of the defendant to appear is governed by Arkansas Code Annotated section 16-84-207 which states, in pertinent part, as follows:

(a) If a bail bond is granted by a judicial officer, it shall be conditioned on the defendant's appearing for trial, surrendering in execution of the judgment, or appearing at any other time when his or her presence in circuit court may be lawfully required under Rule 9.5 or Rule 9.6 of the Arkansas Rules of Criminal Procedure, or any other rule.
(b)(1) If the defendant fails to appear at any time when the defendant's presence is required under subsection (a) of this section, the circuit court shall enter this fact by written order or docket entry, adjudge the bail bond of the defendant or the money deposited in lieu ...

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