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Sponsors: Rep. G.M. Smith
Document Path: l:\council\bills\swb\5835cm04.doc
Introduced in the House on February 18, 2004
Currently residing in the House Committee on Judiciary
Summary: Regulation of bail bondsmen and runners
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2/18/2004 House Introduced and read first time HJ-55 2/18/2004 House Referred to Committee on Judiciary HJ-55 4/20/2004 House Committee report: Favorable with amendment Judiciary HJ-3 4/22/2004 House Debate adjourned until Tuesday, April 27, 2004 HJ-41 4/27/2004 House Requests for debate-Rep(s). Moody-Lawrence, Hayes, Scott, JE Smith, Govan, Lloyd, and Hosey HJ-15 4/28/2004 House Recommitted to Committee on Judiciary HJ-134
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VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
April 20, 2004
S. Printed 4/20/04--H.
Read the first time February 18, 2004.
To whom was referred a Bill (H. 4785) to amend Section 38-53-170, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to acts that a bondsman or runner may not perform, so as to, etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend that the same do pass with amendment:
Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking Section 3, page 3 and inserting:
/SECTION 3. Section 38-53-80 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 38-53-80. (A)
No A person may not act in the capacity of a professional bondsman, surety bondsman, or runner or perform any of the functions, duties, or powers prescribed for professional or surety bondsmen or runners under the provisions of this chapter unless that person is qualified, except for an accommodation bondsman, licensed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. No A license may not be issued to a professional bondsman, surety bondsman, or runner except as provided in this chapter.
(B) The applicant shall apply for a license or renewal of a license on forms prepared and supplied by the director or his designee. The director or his designee may ask the applicant any questions, written or otherwise, relating to his qualifications, residence, prospective place of business, and any other inquiries which, in the opinion of the director or his designee, are necessary in order to protect the public and ascertain the qualifications of the applicant. The director or his designee shall request that the State Law Enforcement Division conduct any reasonable investigation relative to the determination of the applicant's fitness to be licensed or to continue to be licensed.
(C) The failure of the applicant to secure approval of the director or his designee does not preclude him from applying as many times as he desires, but no application may be considered by the director or his designee within one year subsequent to the date upon which the director or his designee denied the applicant's last application.
(D) The department must issue to every licensed surety bondsman and runner an identification card which they must possess when they perform their duties.
(E) The department may Set and charge a fee for the cost of production and issuance of the required identification cards as prescribed by bulletin."
SECTION 4. Sections 1 and 2 of this act take effect upon approval by the Governor. Section 4 of this act takes effect on July 1, 2005./
Renumber sections to conform.
Amend title to conform.
JAMES H. HARRISON for Committee.
TO AMEND SECTION 38-53-170, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO ACTS THAT A BONDSMAN OR RUNNER MAY NOT PERFORM, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A BONDSMAN OR RUNNER MAY NOT RETRIEVE A BONDS LIST FROM A JAIL OR RETRIEVE ANY NAMES AND FAMILY RECORDS FROM ANY JAIL RECORDS; TO AMEND SECTION 38-53-340, RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING CERTAIN PROVISIONS THAT REGULATE THE ACTIVITIES OF BAIL BONDSMEN AND RUNNERS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THESE PROVISIONS HAS COMMITTED A CRIME OF MORAL TURPITUDE, TO RECLASSIFY A VIOLATION FROM A MISDEMEANOR TO A FELONY, AND TO INCREASE THE PENALTY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 38-53-170 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
No A bondsman or runner may not:
(a)(1) pay a fee or rebate or give or promise anything of value, directly or indirectly, to a jailer, law enforcement officer, committing magistrate, or any other person who has power to arrest or hold in custody, or to any public official or public employee in order to secure a settlement, compromise, remission, or reduction of the amount of any bail bond or the forfeiture of the bail bond, including the payment to the law enforcement officers, directly or indirectly, for the arrest or apprehension of a principal or principals who have caused a forfeiture;
(b)(2) pay a fee or rebate or give anything of value to an attorney in bail bond matters, except in defense of any action on a bond;
(c)(3) pay a fee or rebate or give or promise anything of value to the principal or anyone in his behalf;
(d)(4) participate in the capacity of an attorney at a trial or hearing of one on whose bond he is surety, nor suggest or advise the employment of or name for employment any particular attorney to represent the principal;
(e)(5) accept anything of value from a principal except the premium, which may not exceed fifteen percent of the face amount of the bond, with a minimum fee of twenty-five dollars. However, the bondsman is permitted to accept collateral security or other indemnity from the principal which must be returned upon final termination of liability on the bond. The bondsman shall identify who is paying the premium and shall represent that the collateral security or other indemnity has not been obtained from any person who has a greater interest in the principal's disappearance than appearance for trial. The collateral security or other indemnity required by the bondsman must be reasonable in relation to the amount of the bond;
(f)(6) solicit business in any of the courts or on the premises of any of the courts of this State, in the office of any magistrate, or in or about any place where prisoners are confined, retrieve a bonds list from a jail, or retrieve any names and family addresses from any jail records. Law enforcement officers and jailers shall report any violations of this provision to the court. Any action taken pursuant to this provision resulting in a conviction, guilty plea, or plea of nolo contendere pursuant to Section 38-53-340 must be reported to the director or his designee by the court within thirty days; or
(g)(7) advise or assist the principal for the purpose of forfeiting bond."
SECTION 2. Section 38-53-340 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 38-53-340. A person violating any of the provisions of this chapter has committed a crime of moral turpitude, is guilty of a
misdemeanor felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or and imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both one year."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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