I. Applicable Statutes
A. BALDWIN'S OHIO REVISED CODE ANNOTATED TITLE XXIX. CRIMES—PROCEDURE CHAPTER 2937. PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION; BAIL
B. BALDWIN'S OHIO REVISED CODE ANNOTATED WEST'S OHIO RULES OF COURT LOCAL RULES OF PRACTICE OF THE FRANKLIN COUNTY COMMON PLEAS COURT, GENERAL DIVISION CRIMINAL RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE RULE 67 BAIL FORFEITURE.
Ohio House Bill No. 730, Ohio 123rd General Assembly -- 1999-00 Regular Session Introduced Version Date June 7, 2000 Code relative to the regulation of surety bail bond agents and the apprehension or arrest of a principal on bond. (If it does not pass in OH's 2000 session, it will be reintroduced in 2001).
II. Licensing Requirements for Agents
Ohio’s statutes currently do not regulate the licensing of bail agents nor do they explicitly give agents arrest authority, though such may be implied, however, and is also provided for by case law (see section #7). Legislation is currently pending (H730), which provides lengthy and detailed regulation of "surety bail bond agents" and also explicitly grants such arrest authority. Due to the size of this legislation, only a reference to the bill itself and a few short provisions are given below. In addition, the closest statute to licensing requirement in the current statutes is also given.
A. 1999 Ohio House Bill No. 730, Ohio 123rd General Assembly -- 1999-00 Regular Session
1. Sec. 3905.84. No person shall act in the capacity of a surety bail bond agent, or perform any of the functions, duties, or powers prescribed for surety bail bond agents under sections 3905.83 to 3905.95 of the revised code, unless that person is qualified, licensed, and appointed as provided in those sections.
2. Sec. 3905.85. (a) an applicant for a license as a surety bail bond agent shall submit an application for the license in a manner prescribed by the superintendent of insurance. The application shall be accompanied by a one hundred fifty dollar fee and a statement that gives the applicant's name, age, residence, present occupation, occupation for the five years next preceding the date of the application, and such other information as the superintendent may require.
3. the applicant shall also request a criminal records check conducted by the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation in accordance with section 109.572 of the revised code, and direct that the bureau's written response to that request be transmitted to the superintendent of insurance, or to the superintendent's designee, as specified on the form prescribed pursuant to that section. If the superintendent of insurance or the superintendent's designee fails to receive the bureau's response to the applicant's request for a criminal records check, the superintendent may refuse to issue a license under this section. the applicant shall pay any fee required by the bureau for conducting the criminal records check.
4. an applicant for a license shall submit to an examination as to the qualifications set forth in division (b) of this section.
5. (b) the superintendent of insurance shall issue to an applicant a license that states in substance that the person is authorized to do the business of a surety bail bond agent, if the superintendent is satisfied that all of the following apply:
a. if the applicant is a natural person, the applicant is eighteen years of age or older.
b. the applicant is a person of high character and integrity.
c. the applicant has successfully completed the educational requirements set forth in section 3905.48 of the revised code.
B. BALDWIN'S OHIO REVISED CODE ANNOTATED RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CRIM R 46 BAIL
(J) Justification of sureties Every surety, except a corporate surety licensed as provided by law, shall justify by affidavit, and may be required to describe in the affidavit, the property that the surety proposes as security and the encumbrances on it, the number and amount of other bonds and undertakings for bail entered into by the surety and remaining undischarged, and all of the surety's other liabilities. The surety shall provide other evidence of financial responsibility as the court or clerk may require. No bail bond shall be approved unless the surety or sureties appear, in the opinion of the court or clerk, to be financially responsible in at least the amount of the bond. No licensed attorney at law shall be a surety.
III. Notice of Forfeiture
A. BALDWIN'S OHIO REVISED CODE ANNOTATED TITLE XXIX. CRIMES—PROCEDURE CHAPTER 2937. PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION; BAIL BAIL 2937.35 FORFEIT OF BAIL
Upon the failure of the accused or witness to appear in accordance with its terms the bail may in open court be adjudged forfeit, in whole or in part by the court or magistrate before whom he is to appear. But such court or magistrate may, in its discretion, continue the cause to a later date certain, giving notice of such date to him and the bail depositor or sureties, and adjudge the bail forfeit upon failure to appear at such later date.
B. BAIL 2937.36 FORFEITURE PROCEEDINGS
Upon declaration of forfeiture, the magistrate or clerk of the court adjudging forfeiture shall proceed as follows:
As to recognizances he shall notify accused and each surety by ordinary mail at the address shown by them in their affidavits of qualification or on the record of the case, of the default of the accused and the adjudication of forfeiture and require each of them to show cause on or before a date certain to be stated in the notice, and which shall be not less than twenty nor more than thirty days from date of mailing notice, why judgment should not be entered against each of them for the penalty stated in the recognizance. If good cause by production of the body of the accused or otherwise is not shown, the court or magistrate shall thereupon enter judgment against the sureties or either of them, so notified, in such amount, not exceeding the penalty of the bond, as has been set in the adjudication of forfeiture, and shall award execution therefor as in civil cases. The proceeds of sale shall be received by the clerk or magistrate and distributed as on forfeiture of cash bail.
IV. Allotted Time between Forfeiture Declaration and Payment Due Date
BALDWIN'S OHIO REVISED CODE ANNOTATED WEST'S OHIO RULES OF COURT LOCAL RULES OF PRACTICE OF THE FRANKLIN COUNTY COMMON PLEAS COURT, GENERAL DIVISION CRIMINAL RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE-RULE 67 BAIL FORFEITURE
A. Failure to Appear. Should the defendant fail to appear at the time scheduled for arraignment, pre-trial, pre-trial hearing, trial, sentencing, post-sentencing hearing and/or probation or community control hearing, the clerk shall prepare a bail forfeiture and capias for the defendant and mail them by regular mail to the defendant's last known address, with a copy to the surety or other person(s) responsible on the bond. The Court shall notify the surety or other persons to produce the body of the defendant or to show cause why judgment should not be rendered in the amount of the bond. The date set for the show cause hearing shall be not less than twenty (20) nor more than thirty (30) days after the date of mailing the notice. The show cause hearing on a failure to appear at arraignment shall be set before the Duty Judge who was scheduled to preside over the arraignment.
B. Forfeiture of Bail; Hearing; Remittance Procedures. (2) In the case of surety bonds, if good cause is not shown at the forfeiture hearing judgment shall be rendered against the surety for the face amount of the bond. Twenty percent (20%) of the amount is to be paid within fifteen (15) days from the date of judgment. If such twenty percent (20%) is not paid within fifteen (15) days of judgment, then execution shall be levied against the surety for one hundred percent (100%) of the amount of the bond.
V. Forfeiture Defenses
A. BALDWIN'S OHIO REVISED CODE ANNOTATED, WEST'S OHIO RULES OF COURT, LOCAL RULES OF PRACTICE OF THE FRANKLIN COUNTY COMMON PLEAS COURT, GENERAL DIVISION CRIMINAL RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE-RULE 67 BAIL FORFEITURE
B. Forfeiture of Bail; Hearing; Remittance Procedures.
1. If the defendant is returned to the custody of the Court within three hundred sixty five (365) days from the date of judgment, the Court may, upon application and applying the factors set forth in (C)(7) herein, remit all or any part of the amount paid by the surety or other persons responsible on the bond.
2. If after the expiration of three hundred sixty five (365) days and payment of the above, the defendant is returned to the custody of the Court, the surety or parties responsible on the bond may, upon Application, have returned up to ninety percent (90%) of the bond paid.
3. Factors the Court shall consider in mitigating the forfeited bond are as follows:
a. The circumstances surrounding the subsequent reappearance of the defendant, including the timing and whether reappearance was voluntary;
b. The reasons for the defendant's failure to appear;
c. The inconvenience, expense, delay and any other prejudice to the Court and/or prosecution;
d. Whether the surety was instrumental in securing the appearance of the defendant;
e. The costs and inconvenience incurred by the County and Court in gaining custody of the accused and again preparing for trial.
f. Any circumstances that the Court determines should mitigate the obligation owed to the Court;
4. If the defendant is arrested in another jurisdiction before the hearing date which lead to the forfeiture and continues to be incarcerated outside of Franklin County, judgment shall not be rendered if the surety and/or other persons responsible on the bond agrees in writing to pay for the defendant's return to the custody of this Court.
5. If the defendant is arrested in another jurisdiction after the hearing date which lead to the forfeiture, the surety or other person responsible on the bond may seek a remittitur as provided in this rule.
A. BALDWIN'S OHIO REVISED CODE ANNOTATED TITLE XXIX. CRIMES—PROCEDURE CHAPTER 2937. PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION; BAIL BAIL 2937.39 REMISSION OF PENALTY
After judgment has been rendered against surety or after securities sold or cash bail applied, the court or magistrate, on the appearance, surrender, or re-arrest of the accused on the charge, may remit all or such portion of the penalty as it deems just and in the case of previous application and transfer of cash or proceeds, the magistrate or clerk may deduct an amount equal to the amount so transferred from subsequent payments to the agencies receiving such proceeds of forfeiture until the amount is recouped for the benefit of the person or persons entitled thereto under order or remission.
B. BALDWIN'S OHIO REVISED CODE ANNOTATED WEST'S OHIO RULES OF COURT, CUYAHOGA COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS RULES OF THE GENERAL DIVISION RULE 34 BAIL AND RECOGNIZANCE
When the defendant has been returned to this jurisdiction, or where it has been ascertained that he is being detained in another penal institution outside of this jurisdiction, and the Court partially grants the motion, the following sums shall be deducted from the money to be remitted:
(1) All Court costs.
(2) All costs of extradition sustained by the County or State.
(3) Ten percent (10%) of the total bond where the order is made within one year of the date of the bond forfeiture.
(4) Where the order is made one year or more subsequent to the date of the bond forfeiture, such sum, if any, in excess of ten percent (10%) of the bond as the judge deems appropriate.
(5) If good cause by production of the body of the accused or full payment of the reduced judgment is not made within thirty (30) days, the face amount of the bond or the full judgment will be reinstated.
VII. Bail Agent’s Arrest Authority
A. BALDWIN'S OHIO REVISED CODE ANNOTATED TITLE XXIX. CRIMES—PROCEDURE CHAPTER 2935. ARREST, CITATION, AND DISPOSITION ALTERNATIVES
1. NOTES OF DECISIONS AND OPINIONS Bounty hunters
2. Members of an association incorporated under GC 10200 (RC 1731.01) et seq. for the purpose of apprehending and convicting any person or persons accused of either felony or misdemeanor may make arrests anywhere within the state, subject to the limitations prescribed in GC 10203 (RC 1731.03) and GC 10204 (RC 1731.04). (Annotation from former RC 1731.03.) Fouts v. State (Ohio 1925) 113 Ohio St. 450, 149 N.E. 551, 3 Ohio Law Abs. 691, 23 Ohio Law Rep. 592.
B. Ohio House Bill No. 730, Ohio 123rd General Assembly -- 1999-00 Regular Session relative to the regulation of surety bail bond agents and the apprehension or arrest of a principal on bond.
C. No person, other than a law enforcement officer, shall be authorized to apprehend, detain, or arrest a principal on bond, wherever issued, unless that person meets all of the following criteria:
The person is any of the following:
1. qualified, licensed, and appointed as a surety bail bond agent under sections 3905.83 to 3905.95 of the revised code;
2. licensed as a surety bail bond agent by the state where the bond was written;
VIII. Other Noteworthy Provisions
BALDWIN'S OHIO REVISED CODE ANNOTATED TITLE XXIX. CRIMES—PROCEDURE CHAPTER 2937. PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION; BAIL-BAIL 2937.38 MINORITY NO DEFENSE IN FORFEITURE PROCEEDINGS
In any matter in which a minor is admitted to bail pursuant to Chapter 2937. of the Revised Code, the minority of the accused shall not be available as a defense to judgment against principal or surety, or against the sale of securities or transfer of cash bail, upon forfeiture.
IX. Noteworthy State Appellate Decisions
A. State v. Johnson
2000 WL 1618
Ohio Appellate Court
December 13, 1999
1. Third-Party Appellant Allegheny Mutual Casualty Company ("Allegheny") appeals the decision of the Richland County Court of Common Pleas that denied its motion for remission of a previously forfeited bond.
2. [T]he public has an interest in insuring that bail bond companies devote sufficient time and resources to the posting of bail bonds for persons accused of committing serious crimes. Holding bail bond companies harmless when an accused person fails to appear for a preliminary hearing would encourage bail bond companies to post bonds without considering whether an accused person intends to fully fulfill his or her bond obligations. Accordingly, appellant's sole assignment of error is overruled. The judgment of the Court of Common Pleas, Richland County, Ohio, is hereby affirmed.
B. In re American Bonding Company
21 OBR 408
CP, Belmont 1985
A foreign corporation may act as a corporate bail bondsman without being licensed as an insurer by the department of insurance.
C. State v Kole
2000 WL 840503
Ohio Appellate Court
Ninth District (Lorain)
June 28, 2000
Pursuant to the bail contract, bail bondsmen have broad authority to use reasonable and necessary force against fugitives including a forced entry into the home of the fugitive; however, this broad authority does not extend to infringing upon third parties who are not parties to the bail contract.
X. Bounty Hunter Provisions
At this time, there are no specific regulations for "Bounty Hunters" in the Ohio statutes, but H730 referred to above (7.C.) provides provision on fugitive recovery.