State v. Cash, 031720 NCCA, COA19-460

Docket Nº:COA19-460
Opinion Judge:COLLINS, JUDGE
Party Name:STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, v. DERRICK CASH, Defendant, and 1st ATLANTIC SURETY COMPANY, Surety.
Attorney:Hill Law, PLLC, by M. Brad Hill, and Ragsdale Liggett PLLC, by Mary M. Webb and Amie C. Sivon, for Surety-Appellant. Tharrington Smith, L.L.P., by Stephen G. Rawson and Colin Shive, for Appellee Granville County Board of Education.
Judge Panel:Judges TYSON and YOUNG concur.
Case Date:March 17, 2020
Court:Court of Appeals of North Carolina
 
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STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA,

v.

DERRICK CASH, Defendant,

and

1st ATLANTIC SURETY COMPANY, Surety.

No. COA19-460

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

March 17, 2020

Heard in the Court of Appeals 13 November 2019.

Appeal by Surety from order entered 11 March 2019 by Judge James Hardin in Granville County No. 18 CRS 050849 Superior Court.

Hill Law, PLLC, by M. Brad Hill, and Ragsdale Liggett PLLC, by Mary M. Webb and Amie C. Sivon, for Surety-Appellant.

Tharrington Smith, L.L.P., by Stephen G. Rawson and Colin Shive, for Appellee Granville County Board of Education.

COLLINS, JUDGE

1st Atlantic Surety Company ("Surety") appeals from the trial court's order (1) denying its motion to set aside a bond forfeiture and (2) granting the Granville County Board of Education's (the "Board") motion for sanctions. Surety contends that the trial court erred by (1) concluding that an unauthorized party had signed the motion to set aside the bond forfeiture and (2) granting the Board's motion for sanctions based upon that ruling. Because we conclude that signing and filing a motion to set aside a bond forfeiture pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-544.5 constitutes the practice of law within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 84-5, we affirm the trial court's denial of Surety's motion to set aside the bond forfeiture. However, we reverse the trial court's order imposing a sanction against Surety.

I. Background

Defendant Derrick Cash was arrested and charged with conspiracy to sell or deliver cocaine in early 2018. On 4 June 2018, Defendant was released from custody after Surety-through bail agent Mary E. Faines-posted a bond securing Defendant's release, pending disposition of his criminal charges in Granville County Superior Court.

On 29 August 2018, Defendant failed to appear in court as scheduled, and the trial court issued an order for Defendant's arrest for his failure to appear. On 31 August 2018, the trial court issued a bond forfeiture notice and the clerk of superior court mailed it to Surety.

On 28 January 2019, Surety moved to set aside the bond forfeiture (the "Motion") pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-544.5(b)(4), which states that a forfeiture "shall be set aside" if "[t]he defendant has been served with an Order for Arrest for the Failure to Appear on the criminal charge in the case in question as evidenced by a copy of an official court record, including an electronic record." N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-544.5(b)(4) (2019). The Motion appended a certificate signed by an Oxford Police Department officer indicating that he served Defendant with the arrest order on 12 September 2018. The Motion was signed on Surety's behalf by Derrick Harrington as a "corporate officer" of Surety.

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