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Established 1925

Incorporated 1929


 

PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-287

Substitute House Bill No. 6925
File No.: 287
Date Approved by Governor:
AN ACT CONCERNING BOUNTY HUNTERS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) No person shall, as a surety on a bond in a criminal proceeding or an agent of such surety, engage in the business of taking or attempting to take into custody the principal on the bond who has failed to appear in court and for whom a rearrest warrant or a capias has been issued pursuant to section 54-65a of the general statutes unless such person is licensed as a professional bondsman under chapter 533 of the general statutes, a surety bail bond agent under chapter 700f of the general statutes or a bail enforcement agent under sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act.

Sec. 2. (NEW) Any person desiring to engage in the business of a bail enforcement agent shall apply to the Commissioner of Public Safety for a license therefor. Such application shall set forth under oath the full name, age, date and place of birth, residence and occupation of the applicant. It shall also set forth under oath a statement of whether the applicant has been charged with or convicted of crime, and such other information, including fingerprints and photographs, as said commissioner from time to time may require. Within five years prior to the date of his application, the applicant shall have successfully completed a course in the criminal justice system consisting of not less than twenty hours of study approved by the commissioner. No person who has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude shall be licensed to do business as a bail enforcement agent in this state. No person engaged in law enforcement or vested with police powers shall be licensed to do business as a bail enforcement agent.

Sec. 3. (NEW) Upon being satisfied, after investigation, of the good character, competency and integrity of the applicant and that the applicant meets the licensing requirements of section 2 of this act, the Commissioner of Public Safety may issue a license to such applicant to do business in this state as a bail enforcement agent. The fee for such license shall be one hundred dollars. Each such license shall be for such term not exceeding one year as said commissioner determines. 

Sec. 4. (NEW) Each person licensed as a bail enforcement agent under the provisions of sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act may apply for a renewal of his license upon renewal application forms provided by the Commissioner of Public Safety and requiring the disclosure of such information as said commissioner requires in determining whether or not such agent's fitness to continue in such business has changed since the issuance of any prior license. The fee for renewal of a bail enforcement agent's license shall be one hundred dollars.

Sec. 5. (NEW) Any bail enforcement agent's license may be suspended or revoked by the Commissioner of Public Safety, provided notice shall have been given to the licensee to appear before the commissioner to show cause why the license should not be suspended or revoked, upon a finding by the commissioner that: (1) The licensee has violated any of the terms or provisions of sections 1 to 10, inclusive, of this act or any of the regulations adopted hereunder; (2) the licensee has practiced fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; (3) the licensee has made a material misstatement in the application for issuance or renewal of his license; (4) the licensee has demonstrated incompetence or untrustworthiness in the conduct of his business; (5) the licensee has been convicted of a felony or other crime affecting his honesty, integrity or moral fitness. Any party aggrieved by an order of the commissioner under this section may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183 of the general statutes, except venue for such appeal shall be in the judicial district of Hartford-New Britain. 

Sec. 6. (NEW) The Commissioner of Public Safety shall furnish to all courts and to all organized police departments in the state, the names of all persons licensed as professional bondsmen under chapter 533 of the general statutes or bail enforcement agents under the provisions of sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act and shall forthwith notify such courts and all such police departments of any change in any such bondsman's or agent's status or of the suspension or revocation of the license of any such bondsman or agent to engage in such business. 

Sec. 7. (NEW) The Insurance Commissioner shall furnish to all courts and to all organized police departments in the state, the names of all persons licensed as surety bail bond agents under chapter 700f of the general statutes and shall forthwith notify such courts and all such police departments of any change in any such agent's status or of the suspension or revocation of the license of any such agent to engage in such business.

Sec. 8. (NEW) Prior to taking or attempting to take into custody the principal on a bond, a professional bondsman licensed under chapter 533 of the general statutes, a surety bail bond agent licensed under chapter 700f of the general statutes or a bail enforcement agent licensed under sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act shall notify the police department or resident state trooper for, or state police troop having jurisdiction over, the municipality in which the principal is believed to be located of such bondsman's or agent's intentions.

Sec. 9. (NEW) No professional bondsman licensed under chapter 533 of the general statutes, surety bail bond agent licensed under chapter 700f of the general statutes or bail enforcement agent licensed under sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act shall wear, carry or display any uniform, badge, shield or other insignia or emblems that purport to indicate that such bondsman or agent is an employee, officer or agent of the state or any political subdivision of the state or of the federal government.

Sec. 10. (NEW) (a) No professional bondsman licensed under chapter 533 of the general statutes, surety bail bond agent licensed under chapter 700f of the general statutes or bail enforcement agent licensed under sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act, shall carry a pistol, revolver or other firearm while engaging in the business of a professional bondsman, surety bail bond agent or bail enforcement agent, as the case may be, or traveling or from such business unless he obtains a special permit from the Commissioner of Public Safety in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section. The permit required under this section shall be in addition to the permit requirement imposed under section 29-28 of the general statutes. 

(b) The Commissioner of Public Safety may grant to any professional bondsman licensed under chapter 533 of the general statutes, surety bail bond agent licensed under chapter 700f of the general statutes or bail enforcement agent licensed under sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act, a permit to carry a pistol or revolver or other firearm while engaging in the business of professional bondsman, surety bail bond agent or bail enforcement agent, as the case may be, or while traveling to or from such business, provided that such bondsman or agent has proven to the satisfaction of the commissioner that he has successfully completed a course, approved by the commissioner, of training in the safety and use of firearms. The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes concerning the approval of schools, institutions or organizations offering such courses, requirements for instructors and the required number of hours and content of such courses.

(c) Application for such permit shall be made on forms provided by the commissioner and shall be accompanied by a thirty-one dollar fee. Such permit shall expire five years after the date it becomes effective and may be renewed for additional five-year periods. 

Sec. 11. (NEW) Any person who violates any provision of sections 1 to 10, inclusive, of this act shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both.

Sec. 12. (NEW) The Commissioner of Public Safety shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes to carry out the provisions of sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act.

Sec. 13. (NEW) Any person other than the principal on the bond injured in person or property by the actions of an agent of a surety on a bond in a criminal proceeding in taking or attempting to take into custody the principal on the bond, may bring a civil action for damages in the Superior Court against such agent and the court may award such injured person treble damages, together with costs and a reasonable attorney's fee.

Sec. 14. Section 54-66a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: Any bail bond posted in any criminal proceeding in this state shall be automatically terminated and released whenever the defendant: (1) Is granted accelerated rehabilitation pursuant to section 54-56e; (2) is granted admission to the pretrial alcohol education system pursuant to section 54-56g; (3) is granted admission to the pretrial family violence education program pursuant to section 46b-38c; (4) IS GRANTED ADMISSION TO THE COMMUNITY SERVICE LABOR PROGRAM PURSUANT TO SECTION 53a-39c; (5) has the complaint or information filed against him dismissed; [(5)] (6) is acquitted; or [(6)] (7) is sentenced by the court.

Sec. 15. Subsection (c) of section 38a-660 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: (c) A person shall not in this state solicit or negotiate in respect to execution or delivery of an undertaking of bail or bail bond on behalf of an insurer, or execute or deliver such an undertaking of bail or bail bond on behalf of an insurer unless licensed as provided in this section.

ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE
GUILTY OF A CLASS D FELONY.