Judge Asks Bail Agent Why Bail Company Did Not Work on Case Earlier, after One Year Extension

By Luke Kyaw and Delilah Hammons

WOODLAND, CA – In Yolo County Superior Court Department 1 this week, surety bail agent John Rorabaugh argued the bail company need more time to ensure the court appearance of defendant Pablo Martinez, and bail would not be forfeited.

Martinez has been charged with possessing a firearm, receiving stolen property, and resisting a police officer back on Aug. 4 of 2020.

Two days after his arrest, he had his first arraignment where he was present in court. However, he failed to show up for his next hearing shortly after on Sept. 17, which subsequently led the prevailing judge to order a warrant for his arrest.

The warrant was then issued two weeks later and the bail bond was forfeited. A similar instance happened again in November when he failed to appear in court and the warrant had remained outstanding to this date.

In response to the motion to toll time, Deputy District Attorney Megan Callaway objected and cited the affidavit that showed that opposing counsel “only began searching for the defendant in August [of this year, which is] approximately two months.”

She then also said there already has been an earlier motion to extend time filed and granted for this particular case.

Bail agent Rorabaugh—bail agents can appear in court even if they are not lawyers—refuted DDA Callaway’s claim right away, asserting that the investigation has been ongoing “the entire time.”

He noted how even before the filing of the first motion, a special agent had been hired to track down Martinez, who was in Mexico at the time.

He also stated that the bail agent in the case has received several leads regarding the defendant’s whereabouts and is currently following up on those tracks.

However, he admitted that it has been a difficult case, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made the investigation meet “constant impediments.”

He then argued that he’s just asking for more time for the bail agent to attempt to perform and get the defendant to come to court “in a reasonable amount of time.”

In response, Presiding Judge David Reed questioned Rorabaugh on why the motion the latter had filed did not mention nor discuss anything they did between September of last year and August of this year, essentially bringing up DDA Callaway’s earlier point.

Judge Reed then stated that “it looks like [they] did nothing for 11 months” and asked Rorabaugh if he wants to supplement his declaration so that everyone has an idea of what efforts have been made to locate the defendant.

Rorabaugh replied that he just received some new information this morning and will provide that to the court, to which Judge Reed curtly asked if he can “at least [know] what [they’ve] done” during the time period from the first motion till now.

Judge Reed then stated that there needs to be greater accounting of what efforts have been made since the last motion and gave Rorabaugh two weeks to file a follow-up supplementary declaration.

The case was then scheduled to meet in the same court on Dec. 2.

About The Author

Luke Kyaw is an incoming third-year at UCLA majoring in Public Affairs. He immigrated from Myanmar in 2015 and currently resides in San Gabriel, California.

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