Should Court Be Allowed to Examine the Relationship Between the Defendant and Contributers to His Bail ?
In People v. McIntyre, 168 Misc 2d 556, 563 [Sup Ct, Kings County 1999], the court held that the defendant's relationship with his uncle, another nonblood relative, and other contributors to defendant's bail was so thin that the indemnitors could not ensure defendant's return for future court dates, nor was it shown that defendant would feel obligated to return for fear of the indemnitors' loss
See also, People v. Agnello, 183 Misc 2d 694, 697 [Sup Ct, Queens County 2000] [holding that since the indemnitor assumes the risk of the defendant's flight, public policy requires that the court be allowed to examine the relationship between the defendant and indemnitor, and to what extent the collateral posted will deter the defendant's flight from the jurisdiction].
While there might have been other factors which would inure to the petitioner's benefit with regard to whether he would return to court, it was not unreasonable for the court to find that the total lack of a relationship between the petitioner and those posting bail did not comply with its order and contravened public policy.
The burden was upon the petitioner to ultimately persuade the court that the two obligors would in fact be able to secure the petitioner's return to court. (People v. Esquivel, 158 Misc 2d 720, 727 [Sup Ct, NY County 1993].)
The record is completely devoid of any testimony or evidence of how the two individuals posting the bail would ensure the petitioner's appearance for all future court dates.
Additionally, citing CPL 520.15 (2) (e), which requires that "the person posting cash bail must complete and sign a form which states" among other things, that he will "undertake that, the principal [defendant] will appear in such action or proceeding," the court found that based on the facts known to the court, the sureties could not fulfill that obligation.
The purpose of bail is to insure a defendant's return to court at all proceedings during the pendency of his or her case.
"The assumption is that a defendant would have an incentive to appear if the defendant's assets or those of a family member are put at risk if the defendant absconds". (People v. McIntyre).