We left you last month with our brave heroine winning the shootout in the 7th District Court (see Order in the Court). The attorney in the black hat and ivory handled briefcase demanded $5,000 from the heroine to cover the evil mortgage company’s legal fees in the event that her case is lost at trial. But since she was poor, the judge (its not clear whether or not he is a hanging judge) came to the rescue and ordered that the amount be covered by a surety bond in which our girl would only have to pay approximately 10%. She was left hanging on the cliff of anxiety for 30 days until the attorney in the white hat found a bonding agent, a humble man wearing a green shade and sleeve garters from a local insurance company. He assisted in the application process to determine whether the heroine was in possession of enough assets to be approved by the bonding company or whether she would need a co-signer (oh, where, oh, where would she find one of those!) The application was submitted and after a very short breath-holding time, she was informed that she was not only approved, but that the bonding company was only requesting a $100 premium, not the $500 premium that her attorney had indicated. Victory! The bond was issued and signed and she took it home to await further instructions from her hero in the white hat.
One would think that this would be the happy ending to the story, but… no! When I returned home there was a message on the answering machine from the guy at the insurance company. I called his office, but he wasn’t at his desk. There was a knock at the door as I hung up the phone. It was him! It turns out that he issued the wrong kind of bond (I had wondered about his hesitancy to issue a bond – I thought it was because of my financial situation). Instead of the Replevins Bond that I held in my hand, he felt it MIGHT need to be an Injunction Bond. He wasn’t sure as this was a first time experience for his company (and my attorney and the court in the county in which I reside). He snatched the first bond out of my hand and returned to his office to research the issue at hand. At the very end of the day, he called to say he had resubmitted my original application to see if I could be approved for an Injunction Bond. At the end of the NEXT day, Wednesday, he called to say that he had not received approval yet. The deadline to have it posted at the courthouse was Thursday. Oh, agony, oh, stress. Thursday morning, the nice insurance man calls with good and bad news. The new bond application had been approved and they were still only asking for $100. However, the bond company, based in South Dakota, mailed the bond.
Part three of this serial adventure brings us to a very panicked phone call to my attorney to ask if he would be able to extend the deadline or if he will be visiting me in jail. Gasp! He quickly called the judge who told him to call the opposing attorney and get permission from THEM and was finally granted an additional 7 days extension. On Monday morning, the insurance man called to say he received the bond and I just needed to come in and sign it. Being reliant on transportation, I was unable to pick it up until afternoon, then called my attorney to find out what to do with it. The person answering his phone did not know and explained that NObody knew as this was a new situation. She called back later in the day to say that I just needed to take it to the courthouse and post it in the civil department, NOT the bonds department with the warning to be sure to get a receipt to fax to my attorney so he can get a copy immediately to the opposing attorney. If anything else needed to be done, they would find out after that.
Tuesday (the new deadline is Thursday), finds us in the courthouse in the afternoon when I could get a ride. Following is a loose transcript of events:
There was no civil department window. At the bonds window:
Me: “Hello, I need to post this civil bond.”
Clerk: “Okay, let me look up the warrant. What’s the name?”
Me: “Christine Rodriguez, but there is no warrant, it’s not that kind of bond. It’s a civil bond for foreclosure.”
Clerk: “Oh, you’ll need to take it to the Court Records window. That’s where they post the civil bonds.”
Me: “Thank you.” I step five steps over to the right to the Court Records and stand in line for 20 minutes. Finally, it’s my turn:
Me: “Hello, I need to post this bond.”
Clerk: “Oh, you’ll need to take it over to the bonds window.”
Me: “No, they just sent me over here. It’s a civil bond for foreclosure.”
Clerk: “Oh, well let me find the warrant.”
Me: “There is no warrant. It’s not that kind of bond. It’s for foreclosure.”
Clerk: “Oh, there’s a warrant. There’s always a warrant for a bond.”
Me: “No, this is different. It’s not that kind of bond. This is a new kind of bond and it doesn’t require a warrant.”
Clerk: “There has to be a warrant. We can’t post a bond without one.”
Me: “There is no warrant.”
Clerk: “Let me ask someone else.”
To cut to the chase, the bond was passed to three other clerks. Finally, one clerk in the BONDS department took it and said for the fifth time, “This is a different kind of bond. We’ve never had one like this. Let me check to see if the bonding company is even legitimate.” She took the bond to the back of the room behind a cubicle for about 20 minutes while I sweated it out in front of the protective glass. Finally, she returns and declares, “Okay, it’s been posted. You’re all set.”
Me: “My attorney said to be sure to get a receipt.”
Clerk: “There is no receipt.”
Me: “My attorney said we absolutely had to have a receipt.”
Clerk: “There is no receipt because no cash was exchanged.”
Me: “Can I get a printout from the computer showing it’s been posted?”
Clerk: “No, we don’t do that. What do you need it for?”
Me: “My attorney said we needed it for his records and to send proof to the opposing attorney that the bond was posted.”
Clerk: “There is no receipt or print out. Tell your attorney he can look in the repository and see that it has been posted.”
I called my attorney when I returned home to tell him that I could not get a receipt. The person answering the phone said that was weird. My county does things differently than everywhere else she said. I told her I wasn’t surprised considering how this event has unfolded thus far. She said she would let the attorney know and hoped it would be okay since the deadline is Thursday. I hope so, too.