Bail Forfeiture for Failure to Appear to Court In a Criminal Case

In County of Los Angeles v. Surety Ins. Co. (1984) 162 Cal. App. 3d 58 [208 Cal. Rptr. 263] (hereinafter sometimes the 1984 case) a defendant charged in a criminal case failed to appear on December 8, 1982, and her bail was declared forfeited. Notice of forfeiture was mailed December 16, 1982. Division One declared that "181 days later, June 15, 1983, was the date upon which summary judgment could first be entered; summary judgment was in fact entered on September 14, 1983, two days beyond the ninety-day period for entry, which expired September 12, 1983." ( Id. at p. 61.) The trial court denied Surety's motion to exonerate the bail on the ground that the five-day extension provided by section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure applied. Division One disagreed, reasoning as follows: "There is no compelling reason or expression of legislative intent which requires us to harmonize two statutes which, though part of the same general body of statutory law, relate to different subjects and have different objectives. Code of Civil Procedure section 1013 is primarily a general civil procedure section dealing with notice--notice of all kinds, necessary to the conduct of civil litigation in a manner consonant with due process. We note that the exceptions set forth in section 1013 itself, where the five-day extension is not applicable, include a notice of appeal, the timeliness of which is jurisdictional, beyond a doubt, and was recognized as such by the Legislature. Section 1013 was never intended to apply in extending jurisdictional limits, as seems quite clear from the language utilized in the section.. . We hold that section 1306, subdivision (b) did mandate vacation of the summary judgment and discharge of the forfeiture declared in the criminal matter." (162 Cal. App. 3d at pp. 64-65.)