Cases - Kansas

In State v. Chukes, 2003 WL 23018243 (Kan. App. December 24, 2003) the bond was signed by the defendant as principal and by the bail agent as surety.  There was no execution by an actual surety company although a power of attorney for the bail agent as agent for a surety company was attached.  The appeal was from entry of judgment on the bond and an order refusing to set the judgment aside.  The court held that the judgment (which was against the principal and the bail agent only) and refusal to set it aside were not abuses of discretion and so under Kansa law the judgment is affirmed as to the agent.  The surety also purportedly appealed even though no judgment was entered against it and it was not a party to the case, and the court dismissed the surety's appeal for lack of standing.

In State v. Burhans, 89 P.3d 629 (Kan. 2004) a bail bondsman was convicted of criminal trespass and assault for going on the bond principal’s sister’s property and threatening the sister’s husband, allegedly in an attempt to apprehend the principal.  The court considered cases from other jurisdictions dealing with the rights of bail agents to enter property of third parties and concluded that it did not have to decide whether a reasonable belief that the principal was on the property would have justified the bondsman’s actions since, under the facts of the case, there was no basis to believe the principal was present.

State v. Ocampo-Navarro, 2004 WL 1609122 (Kan. App. July 16, 2004) held that the surety was discharged by a material alternation in the risk of the bond.  As issued, the bond was conditioned on appearance and on the defendant not having contact with the alleged victim or others under the age of 18.  Without notice to the surety, or obtaining its consent, the court added a condition that the defendant be subject to electronic monitoring of his location.  He did not appear to have the electronic monitoring put in place, and the court forfeited the bond.  He then did not appear for a preliminary hearing and the court forfeited the bond again.  The state initially sought judgment against the bond for both forfeitures but eventually withdrew the request for forfeiture based on failing to appear for the electronic monitoring.  Judgment, therefore, was entered only on the forfeiture for failure to appear at the preliminary hearing.


The Court of Appeals reversed and discharged the bond on the theory that adding the electronic monitoring requirement was a material change in the bond that increased the surety's risk.  The Court reasoned that since the additional condition could result in bond forfeiture it was material and increased the surety's risk of loss.  [Not published].

State v. Landes, 2004 WL 1683126 (Kan. App. July 23, 2004) held that the trial court was within its discretion in refusing to remit any part of a forfeited bond.  The defendant was apprehended shortly after he failed to appear, but the surety and bail agent did not play any part in the apprehension.  The trial court thought the bail agent should have done a better job of monitoring the defendant and his appearance obligations.  The Court also refused to consider the bail agent's argument that the judgment should have been only against the actual surety not the agent because the argument was not raised in the trial court.  [Not published.]

Clemons v. Commonwealth, 2004 WL 2484530 (Ken. App. November 5, 2004) held that the bond could be forfeited based on breach of conditions other than appearance and that forfeiture of $5,000 of a $20,000 bond was not excessive where the defendant violated conditions not to consume alcohol and to be at home from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.