State ex rel. Sylvester v. Neal

Article I, Section 9 of the Ohio Constitution provides that “[a]ll persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties.” Under Crim.R. 46(A)(2), however, a court may require a defendant to post ten percent of the bail amount in cash. Relators in these consolidated cases were bail bond agents and companies seeking writs of mandamus to compel the clerk and judges of county courts to accept surety bonds in all cases where bail is set by the court. Relator Woody Fox Bail Bonds also requested damages. The Supreme Court granted the requested writs of mandamus but denied damages, holding (1) Crim.R. 46(A)(2) is unconstitutional insofar as it permits a court to require a bond secured by a ten percent cash deposit as the only option, to the exclusion of a surety bond, because it denies the constitutional rights of defendants to be “bailable by sufficient sureties”; and (2) the clerk of courts and judges have political-subdivision immunity. View "State ex rel. Sylvester v. Neal" on Justia Law