Homeless Man Struggles to Attend Court Hearings – Judge Doesn’t Care, Sets $20,000 Bail


By Alex Jimenez

DUBLIN, CA – A bench warrant was issued after an Oakland man failed to appear in Alameda County Superior Court last week, and even though his public defender cited financial issues and an administrative error the judge still imposed $10,000 bail for each of the two cases.

Robert Green is being charged with felony second degree burglary and unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle, an issue that appears to be repetitive. Additionally Green has failed to appear for court appearances which was the main topic discussed at the hearing.

Deputy Public Defender Joshi Valentine argued for Green to be released, stating, “It just seems that these cases are not something that should hold Green in custody.”

According to PD Valentine, Green had received a notice to appear in court and was under the impression that it was set for the afternoon when in fact he was supposed to show up in the morning in Dublin. Green contests he never received the second summons that would have had him show up in the afternoon.

However, Valentine said “Green explained to me that either way it’s kind of impossible for him to get to Dublin, he doesn’t have very much money or a way to get to Dublin…he lives in a homeless shelter in Oakland.” Dublin is roughly 26 miles from Oakland, a 30-minute drive and over an hour through public transportation.

“You know the issue I have with him is that he failed to appear after two notices and while he was out on warrant status he picked up another case and it was the same type of case,” said Judge Colin Bowen.

The charges related to taking or unlawful driving of a vehicle appear to stem from borrowing cars from other people and running errands. Green had also told his lawyer he would not be doing that again.

“He is not the kind of person to do this sort of thing nor has a significant criminal history,” said Valentine. Green does have two prior misdemeanor convictions, the latest being in 2014.

Additionally she explained that the first time Green was released out of custody, he did not have an attorney where he could have had assistance regarding court appearances and permissible conduct while out of custody.

Since court appearances are now to be held in Oakland and with Valentine having his contact info, she contested that court appearances would no longer be an issue.

Judge Bowen, however, refused to grant no bail release and set bail for two matters, $10,000 each because he was noticed to appear twice and because he continued to committee conduct of the same nature.

Green will return to court Tuesday.


About The Author

Alex Jimenez is a 4th year politcal science major at the University of Calfornia, Berkeley. He has future aspirations to attend law school and is from Pleasanton, Ca.

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