☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 544

< > Effective - 28 Aug 1939 bottom

  544.640.  Recognizance forfeited, when. — If, without sufficient cause or excuse, the defendant fails to appear for trial or judgment, or upon any other occasion when his presence in court may be lawfully required, according to the condition of his recognizance, the court must direct the fact to be entered upon its minutes, and thereupon the recognizance is forfeited, and the same shall be proceeded upon by scire facias to final judgment and execution thereon, although the defendant may be afterward arrested on the original charge, unless remitted by the court for cause shown.


(RSMo 1939 § 3973)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3584; 1919 § 3927; 1909 § 5134

(1954) Words "unless remitted by the court for cause shown" relate to the whole of § 544.640 and trial court, while the matter is pending before it, may for cause remit the penalty before final judgment but such remission must be based on proof of extraordinary and unusual circumstances. State v. Salisbury, 364 Mo. 1039, 271 S.W.2d  522.

(1961) Where defendant failed to appear on misdemeanor charge at time fixed in his bond, the bond could be forfeited, notwithstanding his attorney appeared and the information in the case was dismissed as being insufficient. State v. Norton (Mo.), 347 S.W.2d 849.

(1973) Incarceration of defendant in another state is not circumstance which will discharge his surety as a matter of law.  State v. Jones (Mo.), 491 S.W.2d 241.

(1974) Only grounds for discharge of a surety on a bail bond are failure to appear because of (1) an act of God, (2) an act of law, (3) an act of an obligee. State owes no duty to have party returned under agreement on detainers in order to avoid forfeiture of bond. State v. Patterson (A.), 508 S.W.2d 304.

(1974) Held that release of surety on bond is mandatory where defendant is produced in open court after forfeiture of bond but before a judgment on the forfeiture. Proper venue for action on the bond is in court of county where action commenced, not in county to which action was transferred on change of venue. State v. Street (A.), 510 S.W.2d 225.

(1974) Held that court is not required to have either accused or his bondsman called prior to forfeiture of bail. State v. Henderson (A.), 512 S.W.2d 218.

(1980) After the police had obtained custody of defendant and a bail bond forfeiture proceeding is subsequently held, the court is not required to release surety from liability. State v. Armstrong (A.), 605 S.W.2d 526.

---- end of effective  28 Aug 1939 ----

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