On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Indictment Nos. 07-05-0877 (A-2756-08T1), 07-10-1768 (A-2757-08T1) and 07-10-1777 (A-2758-08T1).
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Baxter and Alvarez.
Safety National Casualty Corp. (Safety), a corporate surety authorized to underwrite bail bonds in the State of New Jersey, posted bonds securing the appearance in Middlesex County of two defendants in three unrelated criminal matters, Maurice Perry and Carlos Ramos. They then failed to appear as required. In each case, the court entered a judgment of forfeiture of the bail in accordance with Rule 3:26-6, and the relevant Administrative Directives known as the "Remittitur Guidelines."
In its appeals of the three bail forfeitures, Safety filed identical briefs. The matters were consolidated for purposes of oral argument and decision. On January 19, 2010, during oral argument, counsel for Middlesex County objected to consideration of the appeals due to Safety's failure in each case to comply with Rule 2:9-6(c).
Simultaneous with the filing of notice of appeal in respect of a bail forfeiture judgment by or on behalf of an insurer, the appellant shall deposit the full amount of the judgment with the Clerk of the Superior Court in cash or by certified, cashiers or bank check. The court for good cause shown may allow the posting of a supersedeas bond in lieu of the cash deposit. Good cause, however, shall not be satisfied by an application to extend the time to locate the defendant or to stay payment of a forfeited bond, entry of a judgment, or preclusion from the bail registry maintained by the Superior Court.
The Rule mirrors the requirement found in N.J.S.A. 17:31-12. Counsel for Safety represented that motions in compliance with the Rule had been filed by his office the year prior on January 19, 2009, that no follow-up had occurred, and that he was unaware whether the applications had been dismissed. No file stamped copies of the motions were included in the appendix.
Because we view compliance with the Rule to be a preliminary step to consideration of Safety's appeals, by letter dated January 22, 2010, we extended additional time, until February 10, in which proof could be filed with the Clerk of the Appellate Division establishing that the amounts of the judgments had been deposited with the court or that supersedeas bonds, in amounts fixed by the Law Division, had been posted.
We further advised that if such proofs were not forthcoming, the appeals would be dismissed, as good faith compliance with Rule 2:9-6(c) is integral to preserving "the integrity and function of the bail-bond system." See In re Preclusion of Brice, 366 N.J. Super. 519, 524 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 180 N.J. 354 (2004) (affirming the authority of the Supreme Court to adopt bail registry and removal rules in conformance with the statutory scheme).
No proof of compliance with Rule 2:9-6(c) has been forthcoming. Accordingly, the appeals are dismissed.
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