How Pretrial Release Practices Affect Bail Bonds
The trial court docket thought that the surety acted promptly after the ultimate forfeiture however that it didn’t do much beforehand and that it may have requested an extension of time. The court noted that the premium for the $20,000 bond would have been $2,000, mentioned treble damages, and remitted all however $6,000 of the forfeiture.
The Court of Appeals reviewed the details and held that the trial court had discretion in figuring out the extent of any reduction granted to the surety and that it had not abused its discretion on this case. The Court affirmed the judgment remitting solely $14,000 of the $20,000 bond. In Evans v. City of Etowah, 2007 WL (E.D.Tenn. April 17, 2007) the mother of the absconding defendant was at residence when the employees of the bail agent, assisted by the City police, arrived to recuperate her son.
The Court of Appeals held that the surety was entitled to return of the forfeited amount as a result of the bond was posted in the General Sessions court and the Circuit Court proceeding was a new action not a transfer of the General Sessions case. The Circuit Court was without jurisdiction to forfeit the bond, and its judgment of forfeiture was void. Only the General Sessions court may forfeit the bond, and it had not carried out so when the defendant appeared and pled responsible. This disposition of the charges against him operated to discharge his surety.
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