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State v. Richardson

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

May 2, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
TORRIS RICHARDSON (LEXINGTON NATIONAL INSURANCE CORPORATION) Defendant-Appellant

         Appealed from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Webster, Louisiana Lower Court Case Nos. 87280, 87281 & 87282 Honorable A. Parker Self, Jr., Judge

          WILLIAM NOLAND Counsel for Appellant.

          J. SCHUYLER MARVIN District Attorney Counsel for Appellee.

          GRAYDON K. KITCHENS, JR. JOHN M. LAWRENCE Assistant District Attorneys.

          Before DREW, LOLLEY, and PITMAN, JJ.

          PITMAN, J.

         Lexington National Insurance Corporation ("Lexington") appeals the district court's order in favor of the State of Louisiana. For the following reasons, we reverse the order of the district court and declare the bond forfeiture judgment to be a nullity.

         FACTS

         On March 4, 2013, Torris Richardson filed a motion to reduce bond. He stated that he was arrested on or about January 28, 2013, and was tentatively charged with distribution of Schedule II controlled dangerous substance ("CDS"), with bond set at $25, 000; distribution of Schedule II CDS, with bond set at $15, 000; possession with intent to distribute Schedule I CDS, with bond set at $25, 000; and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, with bond set at $25, 000.

         A bond reduction hearing was held on March 18, 2013. Based on the agreement between the State and Richardson, the district court reduced the bond amount to $45, 000 in total.[1]

         On March 18, 2013, Lexington, as surety, through its agent Sheryl Humphries (the "Agent"), posted appearance bonds for each of the four charges, [2] and Richardson was released from custody. The appearance bonds stated that Richardson agreed to appear in court on April 1, 2013. These appearance bonds were posted through Lexington's power of attorney.

         Richardson was present in court on April 1, 2013, and the district court ordered him to return on April 29, 2013, for arraignment.

         On April 25, 2013, the State filed a bill of information in Docket Number 87280 (Docket Number 51, 367 on appeal) charging Richardson with two counts of distribution of Schedule II CDS. The State filed a bill of information in Docket Number 87281 (Docket Number 51, 368 on appeal) charging Richardson with distribution of Schedule I CDS. On April 26, 2013, the State filed a bill of information in Docket Number 87282 (Docket Number 51, 369 on appeal) charging Richardson with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

         On April 29, 2013, Richardson was present in court and entered a plea of not guilty. The district court scheduled a status conference for June 10, 2013, and a trial date for July 22, 2013. Richardson appeared in court on June 10, 2013, and the status conference was reset for August 12, 2013, and the trial date was reset for October 21, 2013. Richardson appeared in court on August 12, 2013, and the matter was reset for September 23, 2013. Richardson appeared in court on September 23, 2013, and the status conference was reset for November 18, 2013, and the trial for January 13, 2014. Richardson appeared in court on November 18, 2013, and refused to be fingerprinted. The district court scheduled a hearing on the fingerprinting issue for November 22, 2013, and stated that the status conference was reset for January 13, 2014. Richardson appeared in court on November 22, 2013, and the district court stated that the next court date was January 13, 2014. Richardson appeared in court on January 10, 2014, to be fingerprinted. The district court stated that the status conference was reset for March 31, 2014, and the ...


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