Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

June 5, 2019

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
DEANDRUS JONES, ET AL.

          APPEAL FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF LAFAYETTE, NO. 20183373 HONORABLE DAVID M. SMITH, DISTRICT JUDGE.

          Paul J. deMahy Counsel for Defendant/Appellant: American Surety Company

          Keith Stutes District Attorney Emilia Salas Pardo Assistant District Attorney Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellee: State of Louisiana

          Court composed of D. Kent Savoie, Candyce G. Perret, and Jonathan W. Perry, Judges.

          JONATHAN W. PERRY JUDGE.

         American Surety Company ("American") appeals the judgment of the trial court, forfeiting three appearance bonds American, as surety, posted on behalf of Deandrus Jones ("Jones"), its principal. For reasons that follow, we reverse the judgment granting the forfeiture of Bond Number 724225D (Power Number AS15-438564) in the current case, appellate docket 18-909. [1]

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On September 2, 2015, Jones was arrested on three counts of simple burglary, violations of La.R.S. 14:62. He was bonded out of jail on September 11, 2015, by three commercial surety bonds, numbers 724223D, 724224D, and 724225D, each issued on behalf of American in the amount of $5, 000.00. On July 27, 2017, Jones failed to appear in court after personal service. As a result, the court issued a warrant for Jones's arrest. In accordance with La.Code Crim.P. art. 334, the Clerk of Court, Lafayette Parish, notified American on August 7, 2017, that the court had issued a warrant of arrest for Jones; American signed receipt of the certified mail on August 14, 2017. On February 16, 2018, approximately 193 days after the execution of the certificate that the notice of warrant for arrest was sent, Jones was re-arrested.

         On May 23, 2018, the State filed a petition for rule to show cause, ordering Jones and American to appear and show cause why bond forfeiture judgments should not be rendered against them. In various places in its petition, the State asks for the forfeiture of two bonds. In particular, the second unnumbered paragraph of the State's pleading: "On SEPTEMBER 11, 2015, AMERICAN SURETY COMPANY, a commercial surety, issued two criminal bail bonds for the release of the defendant[.]" The third unnumbered paragraph states, "Code of Criminal Procedure 336 authorizes [the] State to obtain two judgments of bond forfeiture upon the proof of four elements." The fourth unnumbered paragraph states, in pertinent part, "The State respectfully represents that the four (4) elements required in the statute are satisfied by the following: 1. Two bail undertakings were executed for the defendant by the surety through its agent on SEPTEMBER 11, 2015, and copies are attached." Finally, the State's last unnumbered paragraph states, "For the above and foregoing reasons, counsel for the State requests this Honorable Court to order DEANDRUS JONES AND AMERICAN SURETY COMPANY to appear and show cause why two bond forfeiture judgments should not be rendered against DEANDRUS JONES AND AMERICAN SURETY COMPANY."

         Yet, in other places in its pleading the State delineates three appearance bonds, specifying that those bonds were for "criminal bail bonds for the release of the defendant [Jones] in the amounts of FIVE THOUSAND ($5, 000.00) DOLLARS and FIVE THOUSAND ($5, 000.00) DOLLARS, FIVE THOUSAND ($5, 000.00) DOLLARS" issued through its agent BONDS 4 LESS. The State's fourth unnumbered paragraph further states, in pertinent part, "The powers of attorney AS15-438564, AS5-1067356, AS5-1060104, executed by the agent for the surety are attached." Also attached to the rule to show cause were copies of the three commercial surety bonds and their three corresponding powers of attorney; a copy of the notice of warrant for Jones's arrest and the notice of the warrant for arrest mailed on August 7, 2017, to Jones and American; a copy of the certificate of service of the certified mail on Jones and American; and a letter from the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office, verifying that more than 180 days passed after the mailing of the notice of warrant for Jones's arrest. The trial court set the rule to show cause for a hearing on July 25, 2018.

         At the hearing on July 25, 2018, neither Jones nor American appeared. At that time, the State entered into evidence the appearance bonds, the powers of attorney, the notice of warrant for arrest with the certificate of service, and the one hundred eighty days letter. The State also alerted the trial court to a typographical error in its pleadings-although it used the word "two" in reference to the number of criminal bail bonds, it listed all three $5, 000.00 bonds and their three powers of attorney in its petition for rule to show cause and attached those items as exhibits to the petition. However, when an attorney representing Bonds 4 Less appeared at the hearing, the trial court took the issues under advisement, ordered the hearing reset for August 29, 2018, and ordered Jones and American re-served.

         On August 29, 2018, neither Jones nor American appeared.[2] After hearing oral argument and reviewing the evidence, the trial court granted judgment in favor of the State and against Jones, as principal, and American, as surety, in the amount of $5, 000.00 on each of the three appearance bonds. Separate judgments were signed for each of the appearance bonds.

         American suspensively appealed each of the judgments. It assigns as error that the trial court erred: (1) when it rendered three judgments of bond forfeiture against American, although the State's petition alleged two bonds were issued by American and sought to forfeit two bonds; (2) when it rendered three judgments of bond forfeiture against American based on a failure to appear on a warrant that was recalled before the State filed its petition to forfeit; and (3) when it rendered three judgments of bond forfeiture against American after Jones pleaded guilty to count one of the original charges and the State dismissed counts two and three of the originally charged offenses.

         THE ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.