In 2010, our client was in love with a man, age 55, who lived up in Rancho Palos Verdes. They went to dinners together and Disneyland a few times. However, the man’s elderly mother, in her 80’s, did not like our client at all. She claimed our client came to their house at all hours of the day and night and often would drive back and forth on the public street in front of the house until her son returned home from work.
The mom, perhaps acting out of jealousy that another woman would monopolize her son’s attention (away from her), called the Lomita Sheriffs to complain about our client, age 35, claiming she was stalking her son. The Lomita Sheriffs suggested that the elderly woman and her son get a civil restraining order to stop such conduct, which they obtained and served to our client, but it did not stop our client. It was a five-year order. Our client was then arrested for violating Penal Code § 273.6(a), violation of a court-ordered family law civil restraining order.
The client was taken to the Lomita Sheriff’s station, booked and released with a signed promise to appear in the Torrance Superior Court about six weeks later. The client also had to post a bail bond as collateral in case she broke her promise to appear in court.
The client hired Greg Hill & Associates. Greg met with the client and listened to the client explain the facts of the case, her concerns with losing her job at a local bank due to a conviction and going to jail.
The evidence against our client was strong, as there were multiple photographs of our client parked outside and driving back and forth in front of the man’s house after the civil protective order had been served to our client. There was also a video.
Greg was able to resolve the case with no jail, but the client was placed on three years of informal probation, was ordered to attend 52 anger management classes and perform 200 hours of community service. She was also served with a criminal protective order to stay away from the alleged victim and his house in Rancho Palos Verdes.
About two months later, our client was arrested again for violating the criminal protective order as well as the still-standing civil protective order. Our client was again taken to the Lomita Sheriff’s station and booked and released. The District Attorney’s office filed a second case for violation of Penal Code § 273.6(a), this time alleging three counts of this violation.
She again asked Greg Hill & Associates to represent her, which Greg agreed to do. However, after two court appearances, Greg lost contact with the client and the client stopped paying Greg according to the agreement she signed. Greg therefore asked to withdraw as counsel of record and the judge ordered this, ordering the client to come to court at a future hearing date.
The client did not come to court as the judge ordered and so the judge issued a bench warrant for her arrest and set bail at $40,000.
Greg notified the client of the bench warrant and the associated bail amount. In response, the client did nothing for nine years.
The client then called up Greg Hill & Associates and explained that she needed to have the bench warrant recalled because she was trying to get a job and the potential employers told her they could not hire her until she had the bench warrant “taken care of.”
When Greg received the call, he went to court to get the docket on the two cases to ensure he knew what the court knew about the case status. The judge that had issued the bench warrant had since passed away, so the case would be assigned to a different judge in Torrance Superior Court.
Since the bench warrant was issued on a case involving violation of a protective order, Greg anticipated the judge would want to re-issue the protective order and the client would need to be present to be served it. So the client came to court with Greg. While Greg did not believe the judge would remand our client on the $40,000 bench warrant, that was nonetheless possible because the violations were significant and numerous.
The judge in Torrance was quite kind to our client, who appeared before him with Greg. The District Attorney called the protected party of the order, who said he still wanted the order in place. The judge did not remand our client, but asked our client to admit her violation of probation on the first case, which she did. He then terminated probation on the first case and removed any further community service and deemed all fines in that case paid. Our client had completed the 52 anger management classes.
On the new case, he sentenced her to two days in custody with credit for the two days she had served. He waived all fines and fees and made it a no probation sentence.
Our client was extremely relieved and happy to have this chapter in her life closed and the bench warrant recalled so she could get a job now.
For more information about bench warrant recall issues, please click on the following articles: