On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Indictment Nos. 00-02-00127 and 04-06-00965.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Payne and Messano.
We consider in one opinion these two appeals which were argued back-to-back and involve the same parties and common issues of law. In each case, Safety National Casualty Corporation (Safety) posted bail bonds for the respective defendants and contends that the motion judge erred in denying remission of the full bond amounts, or, alternatively, erred as to the amount of partial remissions she did order. Safety also contends the judge failed to fully articulate the weighing process employed in determining the amount of the remissions.
We recite separately the facts and procedural history of each case as gleaned from the motion record.
State v. Nicholas Harvey (A-000784-06)
On August 8, 2005, after defendant Nicholas Harvey (Harvey) failed to appear in court for sentencing, the judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest, set a new bail for his release, and forfeited Safety's $20,000 bail bond. Notice of bail forfeiture was received by Safety on August 18, 2005, but it submitted no written objections to the court. On October 27, 2005, default judgment was entered against defendant and Safety and in favor of the State and Middlesex County pursuant to R. 3:26-6(c).
During the months of November and December 2005, Safety's agents made various efforts to locate Harvey, all of which proved unsuccessful. These efforts included contacting the Jamesburg Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), interviewing defendant's relatives, and conducting surveillance of the defendant's last known address. Safety's recovery agent, Antonio Fazzolani, also spoke with a contact in North Dakota after receiving a tip from the MCPO on December 12, 2005, that defendant was in that state.
On January 26, 2006, the MCPO, utilizing the NCIC database, learned of Harvey's arrest by North Dakota's Grand Forks Police Department and lodged a detainer. On February 6, 2006, Transcor, an entity contracted by the State to conduct the extradition, transported defendant to New Jersey. Shortly thereafter, Safety verified that defendant was in custody at the Middlesex County Jail.
On March 10, 2006, Safety moved to stay the entry and execution of the judgment, to vacate the forfeiture, and to discharge the bond. On September 7, 2006, the judge heard arguments on the motion and issued an order dated September 19, ...