I. Applicable Statutes
A. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE 20. INSURANCE CHAPTER 2. TRANSACTION OF INSURANCE BUSINESS ARTICLES 1-3.
B. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE III. RIGHTS OF PARTIES RULE 7, 7.1 – 7.6.
C. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE 13. CRIMINAL CODE CHAPTER 38. MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES 7, 12.
II. Licensing Requirements for Agents
A. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE III. RIGHTS OF PARTIES RULE 7. RELEASE Rule 7.1. Definitions "Professional Bondsman" and gives requirements for such.
Professional Bondsman:. Any person who is surety simultaneously on more than four appearance bonds is a "professional bondsman." No person may be a professional bondsman unless the person annually certifies in writing under oath to the clerk of the Superior Court that he or she:
1. Is a resident of this state;
2. Has sufficient financial net worth to satisfy reasonable obligations as a surety;
3. Agrees to assume an affirmative duty to the court to remain in regular contact with any defendant released pursuant to an appearance bond on which the person is a surety;
4. Has not been convicted of a felony;
5. Has no judgments arising out of surety undertakings outstanding against him or her;
6. Has not, within a period of two years, violated any provisions of these rules or any court order.
7. The capacity to act as a professional bondsman may be revoked or withheld by the clerk or the court, for violation of any provision of this rule.
B. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE 20. INSURANCE CHAPTER 2. TRANSACTION OF INSURANCE BUSINESS ARTICLE 3. AGENTS, BROKERS, SOLICITORS AND ADJUSTERS § 20-323.Sets for prohibitions for Bail Recovery Agents and establishes criminal records checks for such.
1. No person who has been convicted in any jurisdiction of theft or of any felony or any conviction involving carrying or the illegal use or possession of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument may act as a bail recovery agent.
2. A person shall submit a full set of fingerprints to the department before acting as a bail recovery agent, and submit a new set of fingerprints on or before September 1 of every third year after initial licensure to permit the director to obtain a state and federal criminal records check pursuant to § 41- 1750 and P.L. 92-544. The fingerprint processing fee shall be an amount exceeding the cost to the department charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for processing. The Department of Public Safety is authorized to exchange this fingerprint data with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The criminal investigation section of the Department of Public Safety shall provide such criminal history record information to the director pursuant to § 41-1750.
3. Any person who acts as a bail recovery agent on behalf of any bail bond agent, and any person who conducts any action relating to a bail recovery or apprehension must be identified by the bail bond agent in the report filed with the director pursuant to § 13-3885, subsections C and D.
4. A bail bond agent may not employ any bail recovery agent who does not comply with the requirements of this section and who has not been identified by the bail bond agent in the report filed with the director pursuant to § 13- 3885, subsection C. A bail bond agent who is not licensed in this state shall contract with a bail bond agent in this state to retain the services of a bail recovery agent in this state.
C. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE 20. INSURANCE CHAPTER 19. CONTINUING EDUCATION--BAIL BOND AGENTS ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS § 20-3002.Sets forth the continuing education requirements for bail bond agents.
1. Each bail bond licensee shall biennially complete for each license period a minimum of twenty credit hours of approved bail bond insurance continuing education courses offered by an approved provider in addition to any other continuing education required by this title. As a condition of license renewal, each bail bond licensee shall complete the required credit hours applicable to each license that has been in existence for at least one year.
2. After the bail bond licensee completes an approved continuing education course, the approved provider shall furnish the bail bond licensee with a certificate of compliance. The bail bond licensee shall attach the signed certificate of compliance to the application for renewal of the license. The director shall not renew the bail bond licensee's license unless the executed certificates attached to the application demonstrate that the bail bond licensee completed the credit hours prescribed in subsection.
3. Pursuant to subsection B, the form approved by the director shall require at least the following information:
a. The bail bond licensee's name, address, social security number and license number issued by the department.
b. The name of the approved provider.
c. The subjects and titles of the approved continuing education courses that the bail bond licensee completed.
d. The dates that the bail bond licensee completed the approved continuing education courses.
III. Notice of Forfeiture
A. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE III. RIGHTS OF PARTIES RULE 7. RELEASE Rule 7.6.
c. Sets for the Forfeiture Procedure and notice requirements.
1. If a person has violated a condition of an appearance bond , it shall issue a bench warrant for the person's arrest and send a copy of the minute entry evidencing the issuance of such bench warrant to the surety within ten days after the issuance of the warrant.
2. The court shall set a hearing within a reasonable time not to exceed 120 days requiring the parties and any surety to show cause why the bond should not be forfeited.
3. The court shall provide notice of the hearing to the parties and any surety by mailing copies of the minute entry to the addresses previously provided by the parties to the court.
4. If at the hearing, the violation is not explained or excused, the court may enter an appropriate judgment forfeiting all or part of the bond.
5. Post-Forfeiture Notice. After entering an order of forfeiture, the court shall forward: (a) a copy of the forfeiture minute entry to the defendant, the defendant's attorney, and the surety; and (b) a copy of a signed forfeiture minute entry to the county attorney for collection.
IV. Allotted Time between Forfeiture Declaration and Payment Due Date.
See the forfeiture procedure outlined above for time allotted between forfeiture declaration and payment due date – the first two steps (the time period appears to be a "reasonable time" from receiving notice of forfeiture, as determined by the court, not to exceed 120 days).
V. Forfeiture Defenses
A. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE 13. CRIMINAL CODE CHAPTER 38. MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLE 12. BAIL § 13-3974.Establishes that a surety may be relieved from liability on an appearance bond if the surety surrenders the defendant into the custody of the sheriff of the county in which the prosecution is pending and the sheriff reports the surrender to the court.
B. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE III. RIGHTS OF PARTIES RULE 7. RELEASE Rule 7.6. Transfer and Disposition of Bond.
Sets provisions for exoneration of a bail bond.
1. If at any time before violation the court finds there is no further need for an appearance bond, it shall exonerate the appearance bond and order the return of any security deposited.
2. If the surety, surrenders the defendant to the sheriff of the county in which the prosecution is pending, or delivers an affidavit to the sheriff stating that the defendant is incarcerated in this or another jurisdiction, and the sheriff reports the surrender or status to the court, the court may exonerate the bond.
3. In all other instances, the decision whether or not to exonerate a bond shall be within the sound discretion of the court.
ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE 13. CRIMINAL CODE CHAPTER 39. FORFEITURE § 13-4309. Uncontested forfeiture.
Provides that in an application for remission, an owner or interest holder in property may elect to file either:
A. A claim with the court within thirty days after the notice or a petition for remission or,
B. Mitigation of forfeiture with the attorney for the state within thirty days after the notice and not after a complaint has been filed, but may not file both.
C. The claim or petition shall comply with the requirements for claims in § 13-4311, subsections E and F.
§ 13-4311, subsections E and F establish:
E. The claim shall be signed by the claimant under penalty of perjury and shall set forth all of the following:
1. The caption of the proceeding as set forth on the notice of pending forfeiture or complaint and the name of the claimant.
2. The address at which the claimant will accept future mailings from the court or attorney for the state.
3. The nature and extent of the claimant's interest in the property.
4. The date, the identity of the transferor and the circumstances of the claimant's acquisition of the interest in the property.
5. The specific provisions of this chapter relied on in asserting that the property is not subject to forfeiture.
6. All facts supporting each such assertion.
7. Any additional facts supporting the claimant's claim.
8. The precise relief sought
F. Copies of the claim shall be mailed to the seizing agency and to the attorney for the state.
VII. Bail Agent’s Arrest Authority
ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE 13. CRIMINAL CODE CHAPTER 38. MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLE 7. ARREST § 13-3885. Establishes rules for: arrest of principal by surety; prohibited conduct; violation; classification; and definitions.
A. In surrendering a defendant, a surety may arrest the defendant before forfeiture of the bond or, by written authority attached to a certified copy of the undertaking, may empower a bail recovery agent or a bail bond agent as defined in § 20- 282.01 to arrest the defendant.
B. A bail recovery agent or a bail bond agent shall not do any of the following:
1. Enter an occupied residential structure without the consent of the occupants who are present at the time of the entry.
2. Conduct a bail recovery arrest or apprehension without written authorization from a bail bond agent licensed in Arizona.
3. Wear, carry or display any uniform, badge, shield or other insignia or emblem that implies that the bail recovery agent is an employee, officer or agent of this state, a political subdivision of this state or the federal government. A bail recovery agent may display identification that indicates the agent's status as a bail recovery agent only.
4. Authorize or allow any third party bail recovery agent to undertake an apprehension or arrest if the bail recovery agent has been convicted in any jurisdiction of theft or of any felony or any crime involving carrying or the illegal use or possession of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
5. Violations of this section may constitute a class 5 felony depending upon subsections violated.
VIII. Other Noteworthy Provisions
A. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE 13. CRIMINAL CODECHAPTER 38. MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLE 7. ARREST § 13-3885.
1. Subsection C and D, set forth provisions for the employment, by a surety company, of an independent contractor as a bail recovery agent.
2. Subsection E sets forth provisions for retaining the services of a bail recovery agent not licensed in Arizona.
3. Subsection G sets forth definitions for a "Bail recovery agent."
B. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED, TITLE 13. CRIMINAL CODE CHAPTER 38. MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLE 12. BAIL§ 13-3969. Bail bond agent lists; prohibition; rotation; acceptance of bonds.
Gives regulations for providing persons with lists and names of authorized bail bond sureties.
C. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE 20. INSURANCE CHAPTER 2. TRANSACTION OF INSURANCE BUSINESS ARTICLE 3. AGENTS, BROKERS, SOLICITORS AND ADJUSTERS § 20-321.
Provides guidelines on prohibited business practices for bail bond agents. No bail bond agent may:
1. Suggest or advise the name of any particular attorney to represent his principal.
2. Solicit business in or around any place where prisoners are confined or in or around any court.
3. Receive or collect for an attorney any monies or other items of value for an attorney's fee, costs or any other purpose on behalf of an arrestee, unless a receipt is given.
4. Enter into an arrangement of any kind with any person to inform or notify any bail bond agent directly or indirectly of any of the following:
a. The existence of a criminal complaint.
b. The fact of an arrest.
c. The fact that an arrest of any person is pending or contemplated.
d. Any information pertaining to matters described in this paragraph or to the persons involved.
5. Participate in the capacity of an attorney at a trial or hearing of a person on whose bond the bail bond agent is the surety.
6. Accept anything of value from a principal except the premium and expenses, except that the bail bond agent may accept collateral security or other indemnity from the principal or on behalf of the principal which the bail bond agent shall return on final termination of liability on the bond unless the collateral has been forfeited because the defendant did not appear in court. This collateral security or other indemnity required by the bail bond agent must be reasonable in relation to the amount of the bond.
7. Give, authorize, sign or countersign in blank any power of attorney to bonds unless the person so authorized is a licensed bail bond agent directly employed by the bail bond agent giving the power of attorney.
8. Advertise as or hold out to be a surety company.
D. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED RULES OF CRIMINALPROCEDURE III. RIGHTS OF PARTIES RULE 7. RELEASE Rule 7.1.
Gives important definitions of relevant terms, including definition of "surety."
E. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE 20. INSURANCE CHAPTER 2. TRANSACTION OF INSURANCE BUSINESS ARTICLE 3. AGENTS, BROKERS, SOLICITORS AND ADJUSTERS § 20-319.
Provides governing procedures for maintenance of records, keeping receipts, and places of business for Bail Bond Agents.
F. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE 20. INSURANCE CHAPTER 19. CONTINUING EDUCATION--BAIL BOND AGENTS ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS § 20-3003. Sets forth important provisions on record keeping requirements for bail bond licensees.
G. ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE 20. INSURANCE CHAPTER 19. CONTINUING EDUCATION--BAIL BOND AGENTS ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS § 20-3005.
Establishes a committee for approving standards for and reviewing continuing education for bail bond agents.
IX. Noteworthy State Appellate Decisions
A. STATE of Arizona v. EMPIRE AMERICAN BAIL BONDS, INC.
No. 1 CA-CV 97-0426
Court of Appeals of Arizona, Division 1, Department E
Feb. 24, 1998
Empire American Bail Bonds, Inc. ("Empire") appeals from the trial court's order denying its request for a new form of judgment. The issue presented by this appeal is whether the state must give notice to the surety of the filing of a proposed form of judgment forfeiting the bail bond. The court holds that Rule 58(a), Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, requires such notice. The trial court erred in signing the judgment without first requiring proof of such notice. The court, therefore, vacates the trial court’s order denying Empire’s request for a new form of judgment and remands the case for further proceedings.
B. STATE of Arizona, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. L.Z. (Jack) JACKSON, dba A-Jax Bond Company, Real Party in Interest-Appellant.
No. 1 CA-CV 94-0302
Court of Appeals of Arizona,
Division 1, Department D.
Dec. 19, 1995.
After a defendant who had been released pursuant to bail bond failed to appear at arraignment, the surety on bond filed a motion to exonerate bond, and the state filed a motion for forfeiture in response. After setting hearing over 90 days after defendant's failure to appear, the Superior Court, Mohave County, , Steven F. Conn, J., ordered bond forfeited, and the surety appealed.
The Court of Appeals, Lankford, J., held that:
(1) statute governing bond forfeitures (which requires a hearing to be held more than 90 days before and less than 180 days after failure to appear) conflicts with, and is superseded by, rules of criminal procedure requiring hearing to be held within ten days, but
(2) failure to hold hearing within ten days did not require dismissal of forfeiture as surety was not prejudiced and had opportunity to contest forfeiture. The Superior Courts decision that the bond be forfeited was affirmed.
C. Other Relevant Case law:
1. United Bonding Ins. Co. v. City Court of City of Tucson (App. 1967) 6 Ariz.App. 462, 433 P.2d 642. Surrender of defendant before breach of undertaking would exonerate surety on bail bond.
2. State ex rel. Corbin v. Superior Court In and For Maricopa County (App. 1965) 2 Ariz.App. 257, 407 P.2d 938. To constitute sufficient basis for exoneration of bond or to justify suspension of forfeiture until after defendant's release by other authorities surrender of defendant by surety must be before breach of undertaking and must be actual surrender and not mere offer.
3. United Bonding Ins. Co. v. City Court of City of Tucson (App. 1967) 6 Ariz.App. 462, 433 P.2d 642. Termination of prosecution before forfeiture of bail bond terminates surety's liability on bond.
4. Surety's surrender of defendant after forfeiture of bail bond would not necessarily have entitled surety to remission of forfeiture. United Bonding Ins. Co. v. City Court of City of Tucson (App. 1967) 6 Ariz.App. 462, 433 P.2d 642.
X. Bounty Hunter Provisions
Bounty Hunters are termed "Professional Bondsmen," "Bail Bond Agents" and "Bail Recovery Agents" in Arizona’s statutes. Rules governing such are primarily given above under #2 – Licensing Requirements for Agents.