FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST DIVISION. NOS.
60CR-13-2394, 60CV-15-912. HONORABLE LEON JOHNSON, JUDGE.
REBECCA BAILEY KANE.
M. GLOVER, Judge. KINARD and HOOFMAN, JJ., agree.
M. GLOVER, Judge
Bail Bonds, Inc. (Bail Bonds), appeals from the March 2, 2015
bond-forfeiture judgment and the March 9, 2015 order denying
its motion to set aside the bond-forfeiture judgment. Bail
Bonds raises four points of appeal: 1) the bond-forfeiture
judgment should not have been entered because the defendant,
Robert Lewis Ford, was in the Pulaski County Detention Center
on the day of the hearing; 2) the trial court abused its
discretion by not granting Bail Bonds a continuance to have
counsel present; 3) the provisions of Arkansas Code Annotated
section 16-84-207(Repl. 2005) were not followed in that the
trial court did not issue a warrant when Ford missed his
court date; and 4) the trial court abused its discretion by
not setting aside the bond-forfeiture judgment pursuant to
Rule 60 of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure. We affirm.
Bonds wrote a $20,000 bail bond for Robert Lewis Ford in Case
No. CR13-2394. On November 17, 2014, Ford failed to appear
for court, and a summons and order to show cause were sent to
Bail Bonds on that day, ordering it to appear in court on
February 23, 2015, and show cause why Ford's bond should
not be forfeited due to his failure to appear. It is
undisputed the February 23 hearing was cancelled due to
inclement weather and rescheduled for February 25, 2015.
Viele, who is not an attorney, appeared on behalf of Bail
Bonds at the February 25, 2015 hearing. He informed the court
that Bail Bonds's counsel was not available to come on
that day, further explained that no warrant had been issued
on Ford, and asked the court to reset the show-cause hearing
for March 9, when another
bail matter involving Ford and a different bail-bond company
was to be addressed. The judge responded by saying, "
All right. Judgment for the county for $20,000."
was not present at the February 25 hearing, but Bail Bonds
discovered that afternoon that he had been in the Pulaski
County Jail since February 24, 2015. Thinking the
bond-forfeiture judgment had already been entered, Bail Bonds
filed a motion to set aside the forfeiture judgment on that
same date, February 25, 2015. In it, Bail Bonds's basic
arguments for setting aside the forfeiture were that Ford had
been in custody since February 24; that he was still in
custody at the time of the bond-forfeiture hearing on
February 25; and that there was no evidence a warrant had
ever been entered in the ACIC/NCIC system based on Ford's
failure to appear on November 17, 2014.
March 2, 2015, the trial court actually entered the
bond-forfeiture judgment against Bail Bonds in the amount of
$20,000. A hearing on the motion to set aside was held March
9, 2015. Bail Bonds's counsel was present at that hearing
and argued the motion. The trial ...