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People v. Tingcungco

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Eighth Division

May 29, 2015

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
ERICSON TINGCUNGCO, Defendant ALLEGHENY CASUALTY COMPANY, Real Party in Interest and Appellant.

APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County No. BA401644. Maral Injejikian, Judge.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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COUNSEL

John M. Rorabaugh for Real Party in Interest and Appellant.

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Ruben Baeza, Jr., Assistant County Counsel and Joanne Nielsen, Deputy County Counsel for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

RUBIN, J.

Allegheny Casualty Company appeals from the order denying its motion to vacate its forfeiture of a bail bond, contending that the applicable statute required additional tolling of the forfeiture period while prosecutors decided whether to extradite a fugitive who had been located in a foreign country. We disagree and affirm the order.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On August 30, 2012, Allegheny Casualty Company, through its agent, posted $50, 000 bail for Ericson Tingcungco, who had been charged with burglary. When Tingcungco did not appear as ordered on September 5, 2012, the trial court forfeited bail. The appearance period – the period during which the bond might be exonerated if Tingcungco appeared – was later extended to October 4, 2013.

On October 1, 2013, Allegheny notified the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office that Tingcungco had been located in Mexico, and asked it to decide whether to begin extradition proceedings. If the district attorney elected not to do so within the appearance period, then the bail bond would be exonerated. (Pen. Code, § 1305, subd. (g).)[1] On October 2, 2013, Allegheny filed a motion asking the trial court to further toll the appearance period while the district attorney decided whether to pursue extradition and then either continue the tolling period during extradition proceedings or vacate the forfeiture and exonerate bail, depending on which course the district attorney pursued.

The district attorney opposed the motion, contending that section 1305, subdivision (g) imposed a hard deadline that prevented vacating a bond forfeiture if prosecutors had not elected whether to extradite within the appearance period, even if the fugitive had not been located until right before that period ended. The opposition was supported by the declaration of prosecutor Ann Huntsman, who set forth in detail the lengthy and complicated steps that must be taken before deciding whether to extradite a fugitive located in a foreign country. According to Huntsman, it usually took two

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weeks to make that decision. The trial court denied Allegheny’s motion. Allegheny contends ...


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