Submitted on Briefs: February 13, 2019
FROM: District Court of the Fourteenth Judicial District, In
and For the County of Musselshell, Cause Nos. DC 16-09 and DV
17-036 Honorable Randal I. Spaulding, Presiding Judge
Appellant: Nathan J. Hoines, Zachary D. Kitchin, Hoines Law
Office, P.C., Great Falls, Montana
Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, C. Mark
Fowler, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana
R Peterson, Musselshell County Attorney, Roundup, Montana
McGrath Chief Justice.
Pursuant to Section I, Paragraph 3(c), Montana Supreme Court
Internal Operating Rules, this case is decided by memorandum
opinion and shall not be cited and does not serve as
precedent. Its case title, cause number, and disposition
shall be included in this Court's quarterly list of
noncitable cases published in the Pacific Reporter and
ASAP Bail Bonds (ASAP) appeals from an order of the
Fourteenth Judicial District Court, Musselshell County,
denying its request to discharge a judgment of forfeiture. We
On July 15, 2016, the District Court issued an arrest warrant
for Chalon Kinholt (Kinholt) for violation of his bail
conditions and set bail at $15, 000. On August 8, 2016, Kinholt
failed to appear at a final pretrial hearing, which the Court
had ordered him to personally attend. Consequently, the
District Court issued an additional arrest warrant for
failure to appear at the hearing and for failing to maintain
contact with his attorney. Bail was set at $25, 000 to ensure
Kinholt's appearance and compliance with the Court's
conditions of release on bail. On December 22, 2016, Kinholt
posted a surety bond in the amount of $40, 000 and was
released from custody. The bond was issued by ASAP and
underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company (USFIC).
A second final pretrial hearing was scheduled for April 24,
2017. Despite an order requiring Kinholt to personally
attend, Kinholt failed to appear. On June 7, 2017, the State
filed a petition requesting the District Court to forfeit the
$40, 000 surety bond. That same day, the District Court
entered its Order and Notice of Forfeiture declaring the $40,
000 bond posted by Kinholt and his sureties forfeited for
Kinholt's failure to appear at the April 24, 2017 final
pretrial hearing. The order and notice were mailed to
Kinholt, ASAP, and USFIC on June 7, 2017.
On September 7, 2017, ninety-two days after the petition to
forfeit was filed and after the District Court received no
response from either ASAP or USFIC, the State moved for a
default judgment and mailed the motion to ASAP and USFIC.
Neither ASAP nor USFIC responded to the State's motion.
On October 4, 2017, the District Court entered a Judgment of
Forfeiture in favor of the State and against ASAP and USFIC
for $40, 000, noting, "no basis for discharge has been
provided by [Kinholt], his bondsman, or his surety. The time
for discharge of the forfeiture previously declared by this
Court has lapsed without satisfactory cause for discharge
having been presented by [Kinholt] and/or his sureties."
On October 6, 2017, the State filed a Notice of Entry of
Judgment and served a copy of the judgment on ASAP and USFIC.
On October 26, 2017, ASAP filed an objection to the entry of
judgment and forfeiture and requested a hearing. Briefing was
submitted and on December 14, 2017, the District Court denied
ASAP's objection and request for a hearing. This appeal
This Court reviews a trial court's decision to forfeit
bond for an abuse of discretion. State v. Seybert,
229 Mont. 183, 184, 745 P.2d 687, 688 (1987).
On appeal, ASAP argues the District Court incorrectly applied
the law and miscalculated the ninety-day window ...