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The Court in City of Yakima v. Mollett, 115 Wn. App. 604, 609-10, 63 P.3d 177 (2003 was asked to determine whether CrR 3.2 allows for cash only bail.

After failing to appear the court ordered that Mr. Mollet’s bail be set $10,100.00 cash only.  This means that Mr. Mollet had to post $10,100.00 in cash and the amount was not bondable.  Mr. Mollet alleged that cash only bail violated the Washington Constitution, and CrRLJ 3.2.  Mr. Mollet appealed to the Yakima Superior Court and the court ruled against him.  Mr. Mollet then appealed to the Court of Appeals.

CrR 3.2 states that defendants of noncapital cases will be presumed to be released on their personal recognizance unless the court determines: there that such recognizance will not guarantee the defendants appearance, or there is a showing of a likely danger that the defendant will commit a violent crime, or will seek to intimidate witnesses, or otherwise unlawfully interfere with the administration of justice.

The Washington State Constitution Article 1 Section 20 states:  All persons charged with crime shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when the proof is evident, or the presumption great. Bail may be denied for offenses punishable by the possibility of life in prison upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence of a propensity for violence that creates a substantial likelihood of danger to the community or any persons, subject to such limitations as shall be determined by the legislature.

Mr. Mollet appeared before the Municipal court of Yakima after failing to appear.  He was held on a $10,100.00 cash only bail.  When he appeared before the court, he requested that the bail be made bondable.  The court declined to make the bail bondable. The cash bail was posted and the matter was appealed.  The Yakima Superior Court dismissed the appeal as moot.  The Yakima Superior Court found the case moot because the defendant posted the cash bail.

The City also argued CrRLJ 3.2(a)(5) authorizes `cash only’ bail. Mr. Mollett contends otherwise, partly relying on State ex rel. Jones v. Hendon, 66 Ohio St.3d 115609 N.E.2d 541 (1993).

The City also relief upon two Washington Court of Appeals decisions. State v. Paul, 95 Wn. App. 775976 P.2d 1272(1999); In re Marriage of Bralley, 70 Wn. App. 646855 P.2d 1174 (1993). Both cases involve cash bail and they both contain informative discussions of the differences between a surety and bail. See Paul, 95 Wn. App. at 777-78; Bralley, 70 Wn. App. at 652-54. Neither case broaches the ultimate issue under consideration here, the trial court’s authority to order `cash only’ bail. Accordingly, neither Paul nor Bralley support the City’s position on this issue.The court found that `cash only’ bail is not authorized under CrRLJ 3.2(a). Because the court found that ‘cash only bail’ was not authorized under CrRLJ 3.2(a) the court did not need to reach the constitutional argument.