SB 1247 - This act modifies provisions relating to bail bond and surety recovery agents.
SECTION 374.706; SECTIONS 374.700-374.789
Section 374.706, RSMo, establishes a "Professional Bail Bonds Board" to license, supervise, discipline, and educate all general bail bond agents, bail bond agents, and surety recovery agents in this state. The board shall consist of nine members, including four general bail bond agents, two bail bond agent, one law enforcement officer, one circuit court clerk, and one public member. All oversight of bail bond and surety recovery agents currently handled by the director of the department of insurance is transferred to the board.
There shall be a ten dollar fee, paid by the defendant, on any bond written by a licensed agent in this state. Five dollars of such fee shall be deposited into the newly created "Professional Bail Bonds Board Fund", in order to pay the expenses incurred by the board to fulfill its duties. Such expenses may include employing staff. The Professional Bail Bonds Board shall administer the fund. Two dollars and fifty cents of the fee shall be deposited into the "Legal Defense and Defender Fund", which is used to help fund the public defender system, and the other two dollars and fifty cents shall be used by the county for the administration of the local circuit court. The bond fee shall not be used when determining a person's eligibility for public defender services.
Under this section, the board is required to notify general bail bond agents who are listed as having a forfeited bond. Such attempt to notify general bail bond agents by the board must be made by fax or e-mail within 48 hours of the forfeiture being listed with the department.
The board shall include the photograph provided by a person during the application process on his or her agent license.
This section requires a person to provide the name, address, and telephone number of each employer for which he or she works or operates under as an independent contractor to the board upon receiving a bail bond agent or general bail bond agent license. The information must be updated before the person writes bond as a new employee or independent contractor.
Currently, the director of the Department of Insurance, after the filing of a complaint, may suspend or revoke the license of a general bail bond agent or bail bond agent or enter into an agreement for a monetary penalty with such agent, if the administrative hearing commission finds that the agent has committed a felony within the past fifteen years and prior to the issuance of his or her license. Under this act, the board may take such actions for such felony regardless of whether it was prior to the issuance of a license.
The provision allowing the director, in addition to seeking other remedies, to seek a cease and desist order or injunction against a person acting as an agent without the proper license has been repealed.
Any bail bond agent or general bail bond agent who has his or her license revoked by the board must return such license to the board.
A bail bond agent shall be qualified to write bail in a circuit or municipal court if the general bail bond agent who employs the agent or who directs the agent as an independent contractor is licensed and qualified to write bail as provided by supreme court rule. A bail bond agent writing bail on behalf of a general bail bond agent must provide the legal name of such general bail bond agent.
A licensed bail bond agent shall have six months from the date of the order and judgement of forfeiture to return the defendant to custody of said court and in doing so, the court shall vacate the forfeiture and exonerate the bond.
This section requires any licensed bail bond or general bail bond agent to notify the board within 10 days of pleading guilty to or being found guilty of a felony.
SUSAN HENDERSON MOORE