It has been more than three years since Omar Guerrero failed to appear in District Judge Aida Salinas Flores’ courtroom for his scheduled arraignment in connection with a second-degree felony drug charge.Finally, three years after the defendant's initial flight, a judge ordered the $1 million bond forfeited earlier this month. But an attorney for the bail companies will seek to secure a "reduced bond amount," the paper reported. They plan to appeal the bond amount and the article offered a rare window into the process by which bail firms wriggle out of bonds:
Since then, flawed paperwork and other court delays caused the subsequent bond forfeiture tied to Guerrero’s criminal case to go uncollected and led to the state, who discovered the flawed paperwork just last month despite having held the case for three years, to ask Salinas Flores at the last hearing to restart the process all over again.
Guerra believes ultimately his clients, and Corpus, will be exonerated from the bond.
“While the state has obtained a new judgment NISI today, we are still aggressively fighting the initial bond forfeiture case and any future requests by the state,” Guerra said. “Our position is still that the state should not collect on either the initial judgment NISI or the new judgment NISI they obtained today.”
Judgment Nisi is a judgment that is not final or absolute. A judgment nisi is an intermediate judgment which will become final unless a party appeals or formally requests the court to set it aside.
Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorney Isaac Sulemana after the hearing said the next hearing will officially begin the forfeiture portion of the underlying criminal case.
“We’re going to be filing the written documents of the judgment NISI at which point we will begin the discovery process and the judge will set it for an actual forfeiture setting,” Sulemana said.
Salinas Flores did not set a date for the next hearing but it is expected to be held in the next 30 days.These companies were happy to take money/security up front to issue the bond. But when asked to pay up, there's a phalanx of attorneys ready to challenge the debt. And often they win.