Cases - Maryland

Pantazes v. State of Maryland, 2003 WL 22453793 (Md. App. October 30, 2003) held that the court's delay in forfeiting the bond was not grounds to grant the bail bondsman any relief.  The defendant failed to appear for sentencing and the court "revoked" his bail status but did not enter an order forfeiting the bond.  Some months later, the administrative judge corrected the error and entered an order forfeiting the bond and giving the surety 90 days to produce the defendant (by statute the 90 days is supposed to run from the date the defendant failed to appear, but the judge's action foreclosed an argument that the belated forfeiture deprived the surety of its 90 days to recover the defendant.)  The bail bondsman presented no evidence of his actions to monitor or recover the defendant.  The court rejected arguments that prejudice resulted from the "cold" trail to find the defendant or that the "revoked" bond could no longer be forfeited.


The court then went on to lecture the bail bondsman that he was not a central party to the case which was really between the state and the defendant and that the bond was just a form of security posted by the defendant and that the business risk assumed by the bondsman was that the defendant would not appear in court.  The defendant did not appear, and the court showed little sympathy for the bail bondsman's attempts to escape the financial consequences.