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State v. Jeglum

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3

May 21, 2019

STATE OF WASHINGTON, Appellant,
v.
EDWARD L. JEGLUM, Respondent.

          LAWRENCE-BERREY, C.J.

         Edward Jeglum violated a condition of his cash bail by failing to appear at multiple court hearings. The State requested forfeiture of the cash bail. The trial court reserved ruling on the request. Eventually, Mr. Jeglum pleaded guilty and was sentenced. More than one year later, the trial court denied the State's request. In denying the State's request, the trial court construed existing law as preventing forfeiture of cash bail once an accused reappears in court.

         The question before us is whether the trial court abused its discretion by misconstruing existing law. We conclude it did. We hold that if an accused has violated a condition of cash bail, a trial court has discretion to forfeit cash bail even after the accused reappears in court and even after entry of the judgment and sentence.

         We reverse and remand this matter to the trial court for it to exercise its discretion to determine whether to forfeit Mr. Jeglum's cash bail and, if so, the appropriate amount.

         FACTS

         On February 10, 2015, the State charged Edward Jeglum with felony stalking and two misdemeanor counts of violation of a no-contact order. The trial court set bail at $100, 000. Mr. Jeglum posted $100, 000 cash bail and was warned that failure to appear in court would result in the immediate forfeiture of the bail money.

         On August 31, the trial court signed an order modifying Mr. Jeglum's release conditions to allow him to travel to Arizona in November to attend scheduled medical appointments. The order provided that further requests for out-of-state travel would require prior court approval.

         On November 30, Mr. Jeglum appeared in court and the court reset his trial readiness hearing to January 20, 2016, and his trial date to February 9, 2016. Mr. Jeglum failed to appear for his January readiness hearing.

         On February 17, 2016, the trial court held a hearing to discuss Mr. Jeglum's absence. At the hearing, defense counsel submitted a letter ostensibly signed by a nurse practitioner and a physician stating that Mr. Jeglum was currently residing in a licensed assisted living home and that travel was not recommended. Defense counsel told the court he had been in contact with the doctor, and the doctor was Mr. Jeglum's primary care physician.

         Later, when the State called the telephone number on the letter, the State learned that the number was for a storage unit company. The State requested a warrant and bail forfeiture. The trial court reserved ruling on the State's requests and scheduled a hearing for March 3, for Mr. Jeglum to provide more specific information. The trial court ordered that Mr. Jeglum's doctor be available by telephone to testify at the hearing.

         Mr. Jeglum sent a facsimile to the court an hour before the March hearing. Mr. Jeglum confirmed his knowledge of the hearing, but asserted that the doctor who had earlier signed the letter was not his doctor, the doctor had never spoken to him or examined him, and he did not consent to releasing any patient healthcare information. The facsimile made it clear that Mr. Jeglum had committed a fraud on the court.

         The trial court granted the State's request for a warrant, but again reserved ruling on the State's request for bail forfeiture. A bail bondsman for Mr. Jeglum's other pending felony matters flew to Arizona, took Mr. Jeglum into custody, and surrendered him to the Chelan County jail.

         On March 14, the State once again requested bail forfeiture. The trial court reserved ruling on the State's request, but substantially increased bail.

         Mr. Jeglum soon after pleaded guilty and the parties recommended one month in jail. The trial court refused to accept the recommendation and sentenced Mr. Jeglum to nine months in jail. The court explained, "Frankly, Mr. Jeglum, I feel like you have made a mockery of the legal system. You have dragged out these legal proceedings beyond a point that I would have thought would have been possible." Report of Proceedings (3/3/16, 3/14/16, 3/22/16, 1/18/18) (RP) at 57. Once again the court reserved ruling on the State's bail forfeiture request. It ...


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