Bill Summary for H 171 (2023-2024)
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AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO LAWS RELATING TO BAIL BONDSMEN, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE.Intro. by Setzer, Humphrey.
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Amends Article 71 of GS Chapter 58 by enacting new GS 58-71-2, setting forth a statement of purpose and expressly abrogating any part of the common law that conflicts with Article 71.
Amends GS 58-71-30 (allowing a surety to arrest a defendant for purposes of surrendering the defendant before forfeiture of the undertaking or to request a judicial official to order that arrest) by adding new provisions as follows. Bars sureties on a bail bond or undertaking from another state or jurisdiction from arresting the defendant in this State for purposes of surrender, but permits those sureties to use any surety bondsman, professional bondsman, or runner to effect the arrest or surrender of the defendant so long as the surety provides that person with a certified copy of the undertaking.
Amends GS 58-71-1 as follows. Deletes defined term first-year licensee (any person licensed as a bail bondsman or runner and who has that license for a period of less than 12 months). Sets forth new defined terms direct supervision and provisional licensee (any person licensed as a bail bondsman or runner for less than a period of 24 months). Amends the definition of supervising bail bondsman to be any person licensed as a professional bondsman or surety bondsman that meets the requirements of new GS 58-71-43, and employs or contracts with a provisional license.
Amends GS 58-71-41 (governing limitations on first-year licensees) by deleting the reference to "first-year licensees" and replacing that term with the new term "provisional licensee." Makes conforming changes. Requires a provisional licensee to work from the same office as their supervising bail bondsman. Specifies that the supervising bail bondsman is responsible for a provisional licensee’s acts. Increases the time that a first-year bail bondsman can not serve as supervising bail bondsman from two years to five years. Deletes language stating that inactive or unlicensed bail bondsmen or runners for no more than three years, who had been previously licensed with the Commissioner of Insurance (Commissioner) for at least 18 months, would not be deemed a new licensee.
Enacts new GS 58-71-43 setting forth the following requirements for supervising bail bondsmen: (1) submission of an application with $200 fee; (2) five years of uninterrupted experience as a licensed bail bondsman; (3) have not violated an order of the Commissioner or had adverse administrative action taken against the applicant’s license pursuant to GS 58-71-80 (disciplinary procedures); (4) complete a supervising bail bondsman training course offered by the Commissioner and pass a written examination provided by the Commissioner. Requires payment of annual $200 fee by May 31, with failure to pay resulting in revocation of the bondsman’s status as a supervising bail bondsman. Sets forth a monthly reporting requirement to the Commissioner of each supervised provisional licensee.
Amends GS 58-71-80 to allow for disciplinary action based on the commission of certain crimes, including any felony. (Currently, just conviction and no reference to commission of specified crimes or of a felony.) Makes conforming changes to refer to provisional licensee.
Effective October 1, 2023, and applies to bail bondsmen licenses issued or renewed on or after that date.
Amends GS 58-71-71 (governing continuing education requirements for runners or bail bondsmen) to change the due date for completing continuing education from June 30 to May 31. Makes a conforming change. Amends GS 58-71-75 (licensure renewal) to set an established license renewal due date of May 31 of each even-numbered year (currently, tied to the licensee’s current license expiration date). Effective July 1, 2024, and applies to bail bondsmen licenses issued or renewed on or after that date.