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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 31692
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I have an issue with a former landlord that has been going

Customer Question

I have an issue with a former landlord that has been going on for quite some time. I have moved to California from Colorado and after I got here I was served with a court date. I could not make it back to Colorado by that time so I missed court. A judgement was entered and a warrant issued with a $7,500 bond. I filed bankruptcy after that and then I filed a "Motion to Vacate Warrant." The magistrate denied it stating that the bankruptcy was filed after the judgement was entered and that bankruptcy is not a reason to fail to appear. The clerk said that my only option was to turn myself in and pay the $7,500 bond or talk to an attorney. I cannot turn myself in. I live in California, I have an infant who is still nursing, and I don't have anywhere near $7,500. What can I do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Roger replied 7 years ago.

This sounds like a bench warrant was issued. A bench warrant is only good and enforceable within the borders of the state in which it was issued. From a practical standpoint, so long as you never returned to Colorado, they could not do anything to you. However, a bench warrant NEVER expires. Thus, if you go skiing and stop at a road block, get pulled over, etc., you'll be arrested for the outstanding warrant.


The warrant was issued for contempt for not showing up. It is likely that you could settle this whole thing for much less than $7500.


My suggestion is to contact a criminal defense attorney in the county where the court that issued the warrant is located and have him/her review your file and help you resolve this issue. It is very likely that you can appear, pay a much smaller fine and be back on your way to California.