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State v. Dennis

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

April 29, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
DOUGLAS DENNIS

APPEAL FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH. NO. 514-738, SECTION " I" . Honorable Karen K. Herman, Judge.

Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney, J. Edward McAuliffe, III, Assistant District Attorney, Parish of Orleans, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE/ STATE OF LOUISIANA.

Michelle H. Hesni, Gretna, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT/ FINANCIAL CASUALTY & SURETY, INC.

(Court composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay, III, Judge Dennis R. Bagneris, Sr., Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins).

OPINION

 SANDRA CABRINA JENKINS, J.

Page 1125

[2014-1258 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] A commercial surety purports to appeal the trial court's denial of its motion to set aside the judgment for bond forfeiture. For the reasons that follow, we find no jurisdiction vests in this Court and dismiss the appeal.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The defendant, Douglas Dennis, was arrested and charged with illegal carrying of a firearm, a violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1. On February 13, 2013, a commercial surety bond was posted by Financial Casualty & Surety, Inc. (" Financial" ) in the amount of $20,000.00. A hearing on motions was set for March 27, 2013. When the defendant failed to appear on March 27, 2013, the State filed a motion for forfeiture of the bond. The trial judge granted the motion, the bond was forfeited, and notice was mailed to Financial.

On October 23, 2013, Financial filed a Motion to Set Aside Judgment of Forfeiture and Petition for Nullity of Judgment. The State timely filed an opposition, and after a hearing on the merits, the trial court denied Financial's motion in open court. It is from this ruling that Financial appeals.

[2014-1258 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] JURISDICTIONAL ISSUE

While the appeal was pending in this Court, the State filed a motion to dismiss Financial's appeal arguing that bond forfeiture proceedings are civil in nature and

Page 1126

Financial failed to comply with the requirements to take such an appeal. Financial responded contending that bond forfeitures are governed by the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure and because those provisions were followed, the State's ...


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