STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. CESAR MUNGIA AND U.S. SPECIALITY INSURANCE COMPANY/ STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. CHRISTIAN RODRIGUEZ AND AMERICAN RELIABLE INSURANCE COMPANY/ STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. ALEXIS MELENDEZ AND AMERICAN RELIABLE INSURANCE COMPANY
Defendants were released on bail and fled from the United States. The sureties located the defendants in foreign countries, but the State apparently did not seek extradition. We hold that if a defendant becomes a fugitive and flees to a foreign country, there is a presumption against remission. The surety must make every effort to assist in the re-apprehension of the defendant, including by locating the defendant in the foreign country. The failure to extradite a located defendant does not excuse the sureties from their contract with the State, and generally does not justify remission if the State has no ability to obtain extradition of the defendant. However, if the surety locates the defendant in a foreign country, and extradition is possible, but the State elects not to request that the federal government seek extradition, there is no absolute bar against remission. In that situation, the trial court should consider the general factors governing remission.