Posts Tagged “bail bondsman”

In State v. Two Jinn, Inc., 2010 WL 1980404 (Idaho App. May 19, 2010) the defendant was released on bond.  When he failed to appear for sentencing, the bond was forfeited.  The surety argued that its bond was discharged, or in the alternative that the forfeiture should have been remitted, because the defendant had been deported.  The Court rejected both arguments and affirmed judgment for the amount of the bond.  The condition of the bond was the defendant’s appearance.  If he failed to appear, the surety’s obligation was to pay.  Surrendering the defendant during the 180 day appearance period was an opportunity to gain relief from the forfeiture, not the condition of the bond.  There was nothing in the bond about the surety’s returning the defendant and so no basis to say that the surety’s performance became impossible upon the defendant’s deportation.  The surety also did not show that the factors to be considered in deciding to remit all or part of a forfeiture entitled it to relief.  The court thought that the procedure in the case was faulty and reviewed only the record made before the Magistrate, not the more extensive record created upon the surety’s appeal to the district court, but ultimately rejected the surety’s contention on its merits rather than for lack of proof that the defendant had been deported.

In People v. Lexington National Insurance Corp., 2010 WL 1951135 (Cal.App. May 17, 2010) the defendant was in custody on another charge when he failed to appear.  After receiving notice of the forfeiture, the bail agent located the defendant in jail, notified the court and the jail officials requesting that a hold be placed on the defendant, but did not make a definitive record of the request.  No hold was in fact placed on the defendant and the appearance period had expired by the time he appeared in court on the charges for which the bond had been given.  The trial court denied the surety’s motion to vacate summary judgment.  The Court of Appeal thought that the surety should have moved to toll and/or extend the appearance period while the defendant remained incarcerated and made a formal, documented request that a hold be placed on the defendant.  The Court assumed on the record before it that the trial court did not credit the agent’s affidavit and found that no hold was ever requested.  It did not decide whether an informal telephone call or fax, if proven, could constitute a sufficient request for a hold.  [Not published].

In Burgess v. State, 2010 WL 1946782 (Tex.App. – Ft. Worth May 13, 2010) the surety argued that $68 of court costs for the clerk’s service of the citation by registered mail should not have been included in the judgment of forfeiture.  The Court thought this was an impermissible collateral attack on the court’s setting of its fee schedule.  Since there was no allegation that setting the fees was a void act, it could only be challenged in a separate proceeding.

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From Witchita KS:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A bail bondsman attempting to take a man into custody for warrants, was shot in the thigh with his own gun when it accidentally discharged during the pursuit.

The incident happened outside of a Quik Trip at 4730 East Central Thursday, according to a 911 dispatch supervisor.

The incident happened at around 9:15 p.m. The suspect escaped.

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Fred Adkerson has been in the bail bonding business for 42 years. (Mike Nederbrock/KTUU-DT) Fred Adkerson has been in the bail bonding business for 42 years. (Mike Nederbrock/KTUU-DT)
Adkerson says his job is important, because for many, being able to get out of jail can keep them and their families on their feet. (Mike Nederbrock/KTUU-DT) Adkerson says his job is important, because for many, being able to get out of jail can keep them and their families on their feet. (Mike Nederbrock/KTUU-DT)
Adkerson says he has seen an increase in serious crimes since he began in the business. (Mike Nederbrock/KTUU-DT) Adkerson says he has seen an increase in serious crimes since he began in the business. (Mike Nederbrock/KTUU-DT)
He also says he's seen an increase in women needing to get bailed out of jail. (Mike Nederbrock/KTUU-DT) He also says he’s seen an increase in women needing to get bailed out of jail. (Mike Nederbrock/KTUU-DT)

by Christine Kim
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Fred Adkerson’s job requires him to be on his feet seven days a week, 24 hours a day. He spends his holidays in court.

His small staff is responsible for a group of clients looking for a second chance.

A bail bondsman, Adkerson has seen numerous changes in Alaska’s court system over several decades.

“I’ve been in this, like I say, 42 years,” he says.

Some old papers show how long Adkerson has been in the business; names dating back to the 1970s of people who never paid him the fees.

“If you run across any of these guys, tell them I’ll give you a finder’s fee,” he said.

Adkerson started in the bail bonding business when Alaska was left with none and eventually started his own business.

“(I) have been doing that ever since about 1969 and I’ve been writing bonds ever since. We write about 70 percent of all the bonds in the state,” he said.

His job: Helping clients bond out of jail — about 400 to 500 a month.

It’s not an easy task. Adkerson works around the clock. In fact, he’s spent the last 42 Christmases, New Years and Thanksgiving days visiting the Anchorage jail.

“They say every night is a Saturday night in the bail bond business. You never know what’s going to happen,” he said.

Each client pays 10 percent of the set bail plus collateral for his services.

That makes Adkerson responsible for the defendant to show up in court. If not, he’ll have to come up with the whole set bail amount.

“We do not make a dime out of bonds that are forfeited. We don’t want them forfeited; we want people to show up. Our bond fees come from the 10 percent that they pay,” he said.

Work for Adkerson means walking through courtroom doors day after day. Inside, you can always find him sitting in the corner by the door.

He jots down notes, and sometimes keeps track of any future clients.

“Most of these guys, when they go back to the court, they’ll call one of the bonding companies, we usually get quite a few calls, and they’ll make arrangements to contact their family and friends to see to it that they can be released on bond,” he said.

After working for four decades, Adkerson’s seen plenty of changes: More females trying to bail out, more gang-related cases and a different monetary bond.

“The amount of the bonds have increased because… way back then there weren’t as many heinous crimes. A guy for armed robbery, they’d probably set bail at $3,000. Now they’ll set a bail at $20,000,” he said.

Behind the bench, Judge Phillip Volland has also seen some changes over the years. He says he’s seen an increase in performance bonds and a decrease in third-party custodian bonds.

Case characteristics haven’t changed much, but about one-third consist of serious felonies.

“They’ve gotten considerably more in number. When I started on the criminal bench there were just three judges doing criminal cases in Anchorage; now there are five,” Volland said.

Adkerson says his job can help people.

“A lot of these guys are working. They have to get out and support their families. Some of these guys have five or six kids, and by being in jail, who’s going to pay the bills and when they do get out, their job’s  gone,” he said.

Adkerson says that can open the door for people to walk through for a second chance in life.

He says the United States is the only nation in the world that has bail bonding, and that Alaska is the only state that allows a third-party custodian bail.

Currently in the Legislature, Senate Bill 252 would revise the current state bail statutes.

It asks for stricter third-party custodian standards and will not give release conditions to defendants who are convicted of a sexual felony or a Class B or C felony if they had one in the last 10 years.

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Ask most bail agents about their business these days and you’ll find out some sobering news. They are facing laying off hard working people, many of them family members, as they scramble to cut costs during the great recession. They are unable to pay their bills. They face eviction, foreclosure and possibly bankruptcy. Many long time agents (this one included) have never seen anything like this before. The drop-off in business is staggering. Two publications in California have just run stories about this. The Times Herald and the Imperial Valley Press both tell similar stories.
It boils down to this: Our clients have been hit the hardest by this economic downturn. With their homes underwater, many are unable to collateralize or pay for a bond. I read recently that the unemployment rate for the bottom ten percent of taxpayers is an astonishing 30%.
In Los Angeles County, crime is way down. This blows holes in many social theories linking economic hardship to crime. These are indeed strange times we are living through.

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48 year old ex-teen heartthrob Leif Garrett was arrested in Los Angeles. Find out details and what happened next.

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A Bail Agent answers two burning questions: “What is your favorite Bail Bonds movie?” and “What is the most realistic Bail Bonds movie?”

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Martin Luther King Jr’s struggle against racism was aided by the bail agents willing to help out those incarcerated by the powers that be.

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In State v. Fontenot, 2010 WL 99045 (La.App. January 13, 2010) the defendant failed to appear and the court entered a written judgment forfeiting the bond. A few days later, the defendant surrendered. When he subsequently failed to appear, another written judgment was entered. The surety did not appeal, but some six months later it moved to set aside the forfeiture arguing that the bond should have been discharged when the defendant surrendered after the first forfeiture. The State opposed the surety’s motion on the ground that it was not filed within 60 days of entry of the judgment. The court denied the surety’s motion from the bench but did not enter a written order. The surety appealed, and the Court dismissed the appeal as not from an appealable judgment. The written forfeiture judgment was appealable, but the surety’s time within which to appeal from it had expired. An appeal from denial of the surety’s motion for relief from the forfeiture could be timely, but there was no written judgment denying the motion. The Court dismissed the appeal.

In People v. Bankers Insurance Co., 2010 WL 120691 (Cal.App. January 14, 2010) a $17,500 bond was posted before a complaint was filed. The bond provided for appearance “to answer any charge in any accusatory pleading based upon the acts supporting the complaint . . .” When the complaint was filed, the charges would have required bail of $115,000 under the bail schedule, but there was no evidence the charges involved facts separate from those underlying the original charges. The surety argued the jail’s understating of the bond amount prevented it from properly evaluating its risk and increased the risk of its bond. The Court looked to the plain terms of the bond and found that they guaranteed appearance to answer any charges from the same operative facts. The Court found that the complaint did not increase the surety’s risk and was within the scope of the bond. The Court affirmed judgment against the surety. [Published.]

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Missouri is finally going to try and pull their Bail Industry out of the gutter:

A report issued Thursday by a 15-member study committee recommends barring felons from getting bail bond licenses. The report also recommends larger fines for violations, and requiring that applicants have high school diplomas.

How can you have a person with public fiduciary responsibilities that is a felon without a high school diploma? Bail Bondsmen have a bad reputation, and states such as Missouri help perpetuate this reputation by licensing people of this sort. It’s about time that they actually looked at these issues. We’ll see if they actually act on these recommendations…

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wow... nice going Charlie

wow... nice going Charlie

Spending his Christmas holiday behind bars, Charlie Sheen has now been released from jail after being locked up for alleged domestic violence against his wife, Brooke Mueller.

The “Two and a Half Men”actor posted $8,500 bond at 7PM on Friday (December 25), being released a half hour later after having been booked into the Pitkin County Jail at 11:20AM for second-degree assault, menacing and criminal mischief.

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