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State v. Better Bail Bonds

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

December 5, 2013

STATE OF ARIZONA, Plaintiff/Appellee,
v.
BETTER BAIL BONDS, Defendant/Appellant.

Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. CR2001-013347 The Honorable Brian S. Rees, Commissioner

Maricopa County Attorney's Office, Phoenix By Kim Felcyn Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant.

Marc J. Victor, P.C., Phoenix By Marc J. Victor Counsel for Defendant/Appellee.

Presiding Judge Winthrop delivered the decision of the Court, in which Judge Johnsen and Judge Thompson joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

WINTHROP, Presiding Judge

¶1 Better Bail Bonds ("Bondsman") appeals the judgment of the trial court ordering forfeiture of an appearance bond on Jesus Arturo Zamora. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 In August 2001, Zamora was arrested in Maricopa County for possession and transportation of narcotic drugs for sale, which are class two felonies. In September 2001, after his release from custody, Zamora was indicted by a grand jury. A Maricopa County warrant was issued for Zamora's arrest, permitting his re-release after posting a $75, 000 bond.

¶3 In January 2012, Zamora was finally arrested on the outstanding warrant by a federal officer with Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") in Pima County. Suspecting Zamora was in the United States illegally, ICE lodged an immigration detainer while placing him in the custody of Pima County. The next day, at Zamora's initial appearance, the Pima County court affirmed the $75, 000 bond on his 2001 Maricopa County warrant. During his 2012 arrest and initial appearance, Zamora used an alias, though at least one document from Pima County lists his real name. The immigration detainer lists Zamora as "Guadalupe Zamorano Labrada." Similarly, the Pima County booking documents list Zamora as "Guadalupe Zamora Labrada, " which Pima County used in its communication with Maricopa County and later with Bondsman. [1]

¶4 After the initial appearance, the Pima County Adult Detention Center contacted the Maricopa County Superior Court to arrange a pick-up. Meanwhile, two indemnitors contacted Bondsman to secure Zamora's release under his alias, using cash and two Tucson houses as collateral. Satisfied with its background check, Bondsman posted the bond. The next day, two officers from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office took custody of Zamora but learned in transit that bond had been posted and they no longer had legal custody of Zamora. Because of the immigration detainer, the officers turned Zamora over to ICE's Phoenix Office as a "courtesy drop off." Zamora was later deported to Mexico.[2]

¶5 In February 2012, Zamora failed to appear for his Maricopa County arraignment, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. At the resulting bond forfeiture hearing in September, the trial court ordered the entire appearance bond forfeited. Bondsman then filed a timely notice of appeal. We have appellate jurisdiction pursuant to the Arizona Constitution, Article 6, Section 9 and Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") § 12-2101(A)(1) (West 2013).[3]

ANALYSIS

¶6 Bondsman argues that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering the bond forfeited, because Zamora was not eligible for bail and therefore the bond was void ab initio. Bondsman also argues that the trial court should have exercised its discretion under Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure 7.6(d) to ...


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