California Court of Appeals, Second District, Eighth Division
from a judgment of the Superior Court Nos. SJ4151, SJ4152,
SJ4153 of Los Angeles County. Kerry Bensinger, Judge.
Offices of John Rorabaugh, John M. Rorabaugh and Crystal L.
Rorabaugh for Real Party and Interest and Appellant.
of the County Counsel, Mary C. Wickman, County Counsel, Ruben
Baeza, Jr., Assistant County Counsel and Joanne Nielsen,
Deputy County Counsel for Plaintiff and Respondent.
Penal Code section 1305.4,  a surety may move to
extend a defendant's appearance period by 180 days upon a
showing of good cause. The trial court in this case granted
an extension of 174 days, but denied a second extension
motion. On appeal, Allegheny Casualty Company argues it is
entitled to an extension for the remaining six days. Because
more than 180 days had passed by the time of the hearing on
Allegheny's second motion for extension, however, we
conclude the trial court lacked the authority to order a
further extension and properly denied the motion. (People
v. Financial Casualty & Surety, Inc. (2016) 2
Cal.5th 35 (Financial Casualty).) We affirm the
through its agent, Nelly's Bail Bonds,  posted three
bonds on September 12, 2014, for the release of co-defendants
Jesse Ortega, Antonio Delgado, and Sergy Vagramian, who were
charged with extortion in violation of section 520. None of
the co-defendants appeared for arraignment on October 10,
2014, and bail was ordered forfeited. Notices of forfeiture
were mailed to Allegheny on October 14, 2014, specifying the
appearance period for each co-defendant would end on April
17, 2015. On April 14, 2015, Allegheny moved to extend the
appearance periods under section 1305 to October 10, 2015. On
April 23, 2015, the motions were granted and the appearance
periods were extended 174 days to October 14, 2015, which was
365 days after the notices of forfeiture were mailed.
October 13, 2015, Allegheny again moved to extend the
appearance periods “on the grounds of Penal Code §
1305, § 1305.4, and that the court lost jurisdiction
over the bond.” Allegheny calendared the motions for a
November 6, 2015 hearing.
hearing on November 6, Allegheny's counsel clarified it
was seeking an additional 10 days after the “initial
170 day extension from the date of the order granted in those
cases.” The People opposed, contending that
existing case law supported a holding that the surety
had no more than 365 days after the bonds were forfeited to
exonerate the bonds. October 14, 2015 was 365 days after the
notices of forfeiture were mailed. After extensive argument,
the trial court denied the motions on the ground that the
appearance period had expired, reasoning, “the pendency
of this motion would not have tolled the clock.”
Allegheny timely appealed in each case on November 20, 2015,
and the appeals were consolidated. On November 23, 2015,
notices of summary judgment were mailed to Allegheny.
contends it was “deprived of 6 days of time that could
have been used to locate these
defendants.” Thus, it seeks an additional six-day
extension of time on the bonds, which would result in an
extension on Vagramian's bond and exoneration of the
bonds for Ortega and Delgado. We conclude no additional
time was available to Allegheny.
Standard of Review and Statutory Scheme
the pertinent facts are uncontested, the standard of review
we apply to the trial court's interpretation of the
statutory scheme is de novo. (People v. Fairmont
Specialty Group (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 146, 151.)
surety acts as the guarantor of a defendant's appearance
in court by posting a bail bond, which is subject to
forfeiture if the defendant fails to appear. (People v.
American Contractors Indemnity Co. (2004) 33 Cal.4th
653, 657.) Once the clerk of the court mails a notice of
forfeiture for the defendant's failure to appear in
court, the surety has 185 days (180 days plus five days for
mailing) to ensure the defendant's attendance. (§
1305, subd. (c).) If the defendant appears within that ...