Yolo County Judge Refuses to File Bail Bond Motion Requested by Defense 

By Julie McCaffrey

WOODLAND, CA – In a bail bond motion in Yolo County Superior Court this past week, the judge and the defense had a back-and-forth after the judge refused to file a motion requested by the defense, who maintained the judge must do it, according to section 1305 of the California Penal Code.

The judge disagreed and did not file the motion as the defense suggested.

The defense asked the court that, since the accused appeared in court voluntarily and within the allotted time period, the court vacate the forfeiture and exonerate the bond, in accordance to section 1305.

According to CA Penal Code section 1305 (c), “the court shall, on its own motion at the time the defendant first appears in court on the case in which the forfeiture was entered, direct the order of forfeiture to be vacated and the bond exonerated.”

Deputy Public Defender Jonathan Opet noted the judge’s noncompliance with section 1305 and insisted the court create the motion as stated in PC § 1305.

According to Opet, the motion should have been filed by the judge in September, when the defendant appeared in court, but it was not.

What followed was a back-and-forth between Judge Sonia Cortes and Public Defender Opet, disagreeing on where the motion should have originated from. The defense argued the motion must originate with the judge, but the judge disagreed, stating the court had no proof of the motion, and the defense must notify the county first.

Judge Cortes decided to not file the motion requested by the defense, and instead advised the defense to make their request in writing. The matter was set to be ruled on before March 8.

About The Author

Julie is a third year at UC Davis majoring in Communications and Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. She hopes to advocate for women's reproductive rights and make the justice system fairer for sexual assault survivors.

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