APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 14-3778, DIVISION
"A" HONORABLE RAYMOND S. STEIB, JR., JUDGE
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, STATE OF LOUISIANA Paul D.
Connick, Jr., Terry M. Boudreaux, Darren A. Allemand
composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Marc E. Johnson, and
Hans J. Liljeberg
J. LILJEBERG, JUDGE
State of Louisiana appeals the trial court's judgment
granting defendant's motion to quash the bills of
information filed against him. For the following reasons, we
reverse the trial court's judgment, reinstate the bills
of information, and remand for further proceedings.
21, 2014, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney charged
defendant, Germaine Gumms, by two separate bills of
information, with possession of methamphetamine, a felony, in
violation of La. R.S. 40:967(C), in district court case
number 14-3778, and possession of synthetic cannabinoid, a
misdemeanor, in violation of La. R.S. 40:966(C), in district
court case number 14-3779. Both offenses are alleged to have
occurred on March 3, 2014. Defendant pleaded not guilty to
August 23, 2017, defendant filed a motion to quash, arguing
that the State failed to commence trial of the charged
offenses in a timely manner. The State filed a response to
defendant's motion to quash, maintaining that the
prescriptive period was interrupted, and thus, the
prosecution of defendant's alleged crimes had not
prescribed. The following is a timeline of the relevant
events leading up to the hearing on the motion to quash.
• March 3, 2014: the charged offenses
were allegedly committed; on the same date, defendant
obtained a commercial bond for his release and agreed to
appear in court on April 17, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.
• April 17, 2014: defendant failed to
appear in court as instructed; an attachment for
defendant's arrest was issued and a judgment forfeiting
defendant's bail bond was signed by the Criminal
• May 8, 2014: certificate of mailing
judgment of bond forfeiture was sent to defendant at last
known address provided by defendant.
• July 21, 2014: the State filed bills
of information against defendant for possession of
methamphetamine (case number 14-3778) and possession of
synthetic cannabinoid (case number 14-3779).
• September 19, 2014: the commercial
surety filed a motion to set aside judgment of forfeiture and
petition for nullity of judgment, stating that relief is
warranted because "within six months of the mailing of
the notice of bond forfeiture to the surety company,
defendant was incarcerated in Jefferson County, Texas from
June 14, 2014 through June 24, 2014;" attached to the
surety's motion was a copy of a "Prisoner Jail
Record" from "Jefferson Co[.]" providing a
sentence start date of "61414" and a sentence
expiration date of "62414."
• January 12, 2015: trial court granted
the surety's motion to set aside bond forfeiture;
attachment for defendant's arrest remained outstanding.
• May 31, 2017: attachment was
satisfied by arrest of defendant, and recall of attachment
was issued; defendant was arraigned on the charged offenses
and entered pleas of not guilty; defendant was personally
served with a subpoena for his appearance in court for a
pre-trial hearing on July 14, 2017.
• August 23, 2017: defendant filed a
motion to quash the bills of information arguing the
prosecution against him had prescribed.
September 21, 2017, the trial court heard the motion to
quash. After listening to the arguments of counsel, the trial
court granted defendant's motion to quash, finding
"the Court believes that once the State is aware of Mr.
Gumms's location that they had a duty to go ahead and to
ask Texas to produce him or to serve him in Texas."
Thereafter, the State filed motions for appeal in both the
felony and misdemeanor cases, and they were granted by the
trial court. This Court consolidated defendant's appeals
on November 17, 2017.
appeal, the State argues the trial court erred in granting
defendant's motion to quash. It asserts that defendant
failed to appear in court on April 17, 2014, pursuant to
actual notice, and an attachment for his arrest was issued,
causing an interruption to the prescriptive period. The State
maintains the attachment against defendant was not satisfied
until May 31, 2017, when he was arrested and appeared before
the trial court, and thus, prescription did not commence to
run anew until the date of his 2017 court appearance,
rendering the prosecution of his misdemeanor and felony
offenses timely. The State avers that while defendant claimed
that notice of his alleged incarceration in Texas was
provided to ...