CCRP 331     

Art. 331. Discharge of bail obligation

            A.(1) Upon conviction in any case, the bail undertaking shall cease and the surety shall be relieved of all obligations under the bail undertaking.

            (2) In all cases, if necessary to assure the presence of the defendant at all future stages of the proceedings, the court may in its discretion, in accordance with Article 312 require the defendant to post another bail undertaking or other acceptable security, or may release the defendant on bail without surety as provided for in Article 325. The court may continue the existing bail undertaking with the written approval of the surety on the bail undertaking. Such approval must be obtained from the surety after conviction.

            (3) Repealed by Acts 2017, No. 205, §2.

            B. When the district attorney dismisses an indictment or information and institutes a subsequent indictment or information for the same offense or for a lesser offense based on the same facts, the court shall reinstate any bail discharged when the district attorney dismissed the initial indictment or information if the surety consents to the reinstatement expressly and in writing. Orleans Parish district judges with criminal jurisdiction sitting en banc may adopt rules effectuating telephonic communication and verification of bail undertakings and releases.

            C.(1) A surety may surrender the defendant at any time. For the purpose of surrendering the defendant, the surety may arrest him. The surety shall pay a fee of twenty-five dollars to the officer charged with the defendant's detention for accepting the surrender, processing the paperwork, and giving the surety a certificate of surrender. Upon the surrender of the defendant, the officer shall retain a copy and forward a copy of the certificate of surrender to the clerk of court and the prosecuting attorney.

            (2) Upon surrender of the defendant at any time prior to the expiration of one hundred eighty days after the notice of warrant for arrest was sent, the surety shall be fully and finally discharged and relieved of all obligations under the bail undertaking by operation of law, without the need to file a motion or other pleading.

            D. A surety may constructively surrender the defendant only within one hundred eighty days of when the notice of warrant for arrest was sent. After the constructive surrender of the defendant, the surety shall be fully and finally discharged and relieved of all obligations under the bail undertaking by operation of law, without the need to file a motion or other pleading.

            E. At any time prior to the defendant's failure to appear or within one hundred eighty days after the notice of warrant for arrest is sent, the surety may file with the clerk of court and present to the court a certificate of death naming the defendant as the deceased party. The certificate shall be under seal of the authority confirming the defendant's death. Upon proof that the surety is unable to obtain a certificate of death, the surety or the court may invoke a contradictory hearing in order to establish proof of death by clear and convincing evidence. If the court determines that the defendant is deceased thereafter, the surety shall be fully and finally discharged and relieved of any and all obligations under the bail undertaking.

            F.(1) Forty-five days after the defendant's failure to appear and while there is still an active arrest warrant in the proceeding for which the bond was posted, the surety or bail bond producer who posted the bond may file with the clerk of court where the charges are pending an affidavit requesting the defendant be remanded and surrendered upon his appearance before the court. The clerk of court shall forward a copy of the affidavit to the court before which the charges are pending. The affidavit must meet all the requirements set forth in R.S. 22:1585 and be filed before the court where the charges are pending. A copy of the affidavit must be provided to the prosecuting attorney.

            (2) Upon the appearance of the defendant within one hundred eighty days of when the notice of warrant for arrest was sent, the court shall grant the relief requested and remand the defendant to the custody of the officer originally charged with the defendant's detention. Upon remand and payment by the surety of the twenty-five dollar fee to the officer charged with the defendant's detention, the court shall relieve the surety of all obligations under the bail undertaking.

            G. Any time after the defendant's failure to appear and the issuance of the warrant of arrest, the surety may request that the officer originally charged with the detention of a defendant place the name of the defendant into the National Crime Information Center registry. The officer shall determine if the placement of the name is authorized by the rules governing the National Crime Information Center registry within thirty days of the request. If not authorized, the officer shall provide notice to the surety of the reason for nonplacement. If placement is authorized, the surety shall pay to that officer a fee of twenty-five dollars for processing the placement. If authorized and after payment of the twenty-five-dollar fee, the name of the defendant is removed from the National Crime Information Center registry without cause during the period provided for surrendering the defendant, the period for filing a rule to show cause under Article 335 shall be suspended until the name of the defendant is placed back in the registry.

            H. In the case of any fee required under the provisions of this Article, the officer charged with the defendant's detention shall provide the surety with a receipt indicating the amount of the fee collected, the name of the defendant, the purpose of the fee collected, the name of the person from whom the fee was collected, information sufficient to identify any applicable bail undertaking, and the date and time the defendant was surrendered.

            I. In all cases and by operation of law, during the period of time declared by the governor to be a statewide public health emergency due to COVID-19, the time period for the appearance or surrender of a defendant is interrupted. The surety's opportunity to resolve a failure to appear by surrendering, constructively surrendering, or otherwise satisfying the bail obligation is automatically extended for one hundred eighty days following the declared end of the state of emergency or from the date of proper notice of a failure to appear to the defendant, surety agent and surety, whichever is later, without need for the filing of any motion. Additionally, a surety may file a motion in the criminal court of records seeking additional time to surrender a defendant citing specific circumstances related to COVID-19 and pertaining to the defendant in the criminal matter.

            J. In cases which were continued by the court during the time period declared by the governor to be a statewide public health emergency due to COVID-19, it is required that notice of any new date be provided to the defendant or his duly appointed agent and his personal surety or the commercial surety or the agent or bondsman who posted the bail undertaking for the commercial surety in accordance with Article 330(D).

            K. The court shall order the bail obligation canceled when there is no further liability thereon.

            Acts 1993, No. 834, §1, eff. June 22, 1993; Acts 2016, No. 613, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2017; Acts 2017, No. 205, §§1, 2; Acts 2020, No. 267, §1.