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Bail Bond Info: New Bill for Florida Bail Agents & Agencies
An act relating to bail bond agencies and agents; creating s. 648.24, F.S.; declaring public policy; amending s. 648.25, F.S.; defining terms; amending s. 648.27, F.S.;prescribing licensure requirements for managing general agents; creating s. 648.285, F.S.; providing for temporary permits; amending s.648.29, F.S.; prescribing requirements for build-up accounts; amending ss. 648.30, 648.31, F.S.; eliminating references to runners;

12 amending s. 648.34, F.S.; revising

13 qualifications for bail bond agents; amending

14 s. 648.355, F.S.; revising qualifications for

15 temporary licenses; amending s. 648.36, F.S.;

16 requiring licensees to maintain certain

17 records; amending s. 648.381, F.S.; prescribing

18 additional education requirements for certain

19 persons seeking reexamination; amending ss.

20 648.382, 648.383, F.S.; eliminating references

21 to runners; requiring an affidavit regarding

22 premiums owed; amending s. 648.384, F.S.;

23 eliminating references to runners; amending s.

24 648.385, F.S.; removing obsolete provisions;

25 amending s. 648.386, F.S.; increasing certain

26 education requirements; creating s. 648.387,

27 F.S.; providing for the designation of primary

28 bail bond agents; amending s. 648.388, F.S.;

29 prescribing requirements for managing general

30 agents; amending ss. 648.39, 648.41, F.S.;

31 eliminating references to runners; amending s.

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1 648.44, F.S.; prohibiting certain forms of

2 solicitation and advertising; eliminating

3 references to runners; amending s. 648.441,

4 F.S.; eliminating references to runners and

5 establishing a fine for certain violations;

6 amending s. 648.442, F.S.; prescribing

7 requirements relating to collateral security;

8 prescribing requirements for the appointment of

9 certain bail bond appointees who were

10 previously appointed; amending s. 648.4425,

11 F.S.; requiring agents to provide a statement

12 of surrender; amending s. 648.45, F.S.;

13 prohibiting the filing of false reports and

14 other actions relating to reports; amending s.

15 648.52, F.S.; increasing an administrative

16 penalty; creating s. 648.525, F.S.; providing

17 for civil administrative proceedings against

18 licensees; amending s. 648.571, F.S.; providing

19 procedures for the return of collateral;

20 authorizing certain fees; providing a penalty;

21 amending ss. 624.501, 624.523, F.S.;

22 eliminating references to runners; repealing s.

23 648.37, F.S., relating to qualifications of

24 runners; providing severability; providing an

25 effective date.

26

27 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

28

29 Section 1. Section 648.24, Florida Statutes, is

30 created to read:

31

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1 648.24 Declaration of public policy.--It is the public

2 policy of this state and the intent of the Legislature that a

3 bond for which fees or premiums are charged must be executed

4 by a bail bond agent licensed pursuant to chapter 648 in

5 connection with the pretrial or appellate release of a

6 criminal defendant and shall be construed as a commitment by

7 and obligation upon the bail bond agent to ensure that the

8 defendant appears at all subsequent criminal proceedings.

9 Section 2. Section 648.25, Florida Statutes, is

10 amended to read:

11 648.25 Definitions.--As The following words when used

12 in this chapter, the term have the meanings respectively

13 ascribed to them in this section:

14 (1) "Bail bond agency" means:

15 (a) The building where a licensee maintains an office

16 and where all records required by ss. 648.34 and 648.36 are

17 maintained; or

18 (b) An entity that:

19 1. Charges a fee or premium to release an accused

20 defendant or detainee from jail; or

21 2. Engages in or employs others to engage in any

22 activity that may be performed only by a licensed and

23 appointed bail bond agent.

24 (2)(1) "Bail bond agent" means a limited surety agent

25 or a professional bail bond agent as hereafter defined.

26 (3)(2) "Department" means the Department of Insurance.

27 (4)(3) "Managing general agent" means any individual,

28 partnership, association, or corporation appointed or employed

29 by an insurer to supervise or manage the bail bond business

30 written in this state by limited surety agents appointed by

31 the insurer.

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1 (5)(4) "Insurer" means any domestic, foreign, or alien

2 surety company which has been authorized to transact surety

3 business in this state.

4 (5) "Agency" means any business location at which a

5 licensed and appointed bail bond agent engages in any activity

6 or employs individuals to engage in any activity which by law

7 may be performed only by a licensed and appointed bail bond

8 agent.

9 (6) "Limited surety agent" means any individual

10 appointed by an insurer by power of attorney to execute or

11 countersign bail bonds in connection with judicial proceedings

12 who receives or is promised money or other things of value

13 therefor.

14 (7) "Primary bail bond agent" means a licensed bail

15 bond agent who is responsible for the overall operation and

16 management of a bail bond agency location and whose

17 responsibilities include hiring and supervising all

18 individuals within that location. A bail bond agent may be

19 designated as primary bail bond agent for only one bail bond

20 agency location.

21 (8)(7) "Professional bail bond agent" means any person

22 who pledges United States currency, United States postal money

23 orders, or cashier's checks as security for a bail bond in

24 connection with a judicial proceeding and receives or is

25 promised therefor money or other things of value.

26 (8) "Runner" means a person employed by a bail bond

27 agent, insurer, or managing general agent for the purpose of

28 assisting the bail bond agent in presenting the defendant in

29 court when required or employed by the bail bond agent to

30 assist in the apprehension and surrender of the defendant to

31 the court or keeping the defendant under necessary

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1 surveillance. This does not affect the right of a bail bond

2 agent or insurer to hire counsel or to obtain the assistance

3 of law enforcement officers.

4 (9) "Temporary bail bond agent" means a person

5 employed by a bail bond agent or agency, insurer, or managing

6 general agent, and such licensee has shall have the same

7 authority as conferred and authorized by law upon a licensed

8 bail bond agent, including which shall include presenting

9 defendants in court;,apprehending, arresting, and

10 surrendering defendants to the proper authorities, while

11 accompanied by a supervising bail bond agent or an agent from

12 the same agency;and keeping defendants under necessary

13 surveillance.;However, a temporary licensee may not shall not

14 have the authority to execute or sign bonds, handle collateral

15 receipts, or deliver bonds to appropriate authorities. A

16 temporary licensee may not operate an agency or branch agency

17 separate from the location of the supervising bail bond agent,

18 managing general agent, or insurer by whom the licensee is

19 employed. This does not affect the right of a bail bond agent

20 or insurer to hire counsel or to obtain the assistance of law

21 enforcement officers.

22 Section 3. Subsection (8) of section 648.27, Florida

23 Statutes, is amended to read:

24 648.27 Licenses and appointments; general.--

25 (8) An application for a managing general agent's

26 license must be made by an insurer who proposes to employ or

27 appoint an individual, partnership, association, or

28 corporation as a managing general agent. Such application

29 shall contain the information required by s. 626.744, and the

30 applicant shall pay the same fee as a managing general agent

31 licensed pursuant to that section. An individual who is a

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1 managing general agent must also be licensed as a bail bond

2 agent. In the case of an entity, at least one owner, officer,

3 or director at each office location must be licensed as a bail

4 bond agent.

5 Section 4. Section 648.285, Florida Statutes, is

6 created to read:

7 648.285 Bond agency; ownership requirements.--

8 (1) A person may not own, control, or otherwise have a

9 pecuniary interest in a bailbond agency unless such individual

10 is a licensed and appointed bail bond agent. Any agency that

11 is not in compliance with this subsection shall be subject to

12 the issuance of an immediate final order of suspension of all

13 operations until the agency achieves compliance.

14 (2) If the owner of a bail bond agency dies or becomes

15 mentally incapacitated, a personal representative or legal

16 guardian may be issued a temporary permit to manage the

17 affairs of the bail bond agency. Such person must appoint or

18 maintain the appointment of a primary bail bond agent, as

19 provided in s. 648.387, and may not engage in any activities

20 as a licensed bail bond agent but must comply with s. 648.387

21 during the administration of the estate or guardianship. A

22 temporary permit is valid for a maximum of 24 months.

23 (3) Application for a temporary permit must be made by

24 the personal representative or legal guardian upon statements

25 and affidavits filed with the department on forms prescribed

26 and furnished by it. The applicant must meet the

27 qualifications for licensure as a bail bond agent, except for

28 the residency, examination, education, and experience

29 requirements.

30 Section 5. Section 648.29, Florida Statutes, is

31 amended to read:

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1 648.29 Build-up funds posted by bail bond agent.--

2 (1) All build-up funds pledged to indemnify an insurer

3 which are posted by a bail bond agent or agency or managing

4 general agent, either with the insurer or managing general

5 agent representing such insurer,must be held maintained in an

6 individual build-up trust account for the bail bond agent or

7 agency by the insurer or the managing general agent in a

8 FDIC-approved or FSLIC-approved bank or savings and loan

9 association in this state,jointly in the name of the bail

10 bond agent or agency and the insurer surety or managing

11 general agent or in trust for the bail bond agent or agency by

12 the insurer. Such account must remain surety or managing

13 general agent and is open to inspection and examination by the

14 department at all times. An accounting of all such funds shall

15 be maintained which designates the amounts collected on each

16 bond written.

17 (2) Build-up funds may not exceed 40 percent of the

18 premium as established by the agent's contract agreement with

19 the insurer or managing general agent. Build-up funds

20 received shall be immediately deposited to the build-up trust

21 account. Interest on such accounts shall accrue to the bail

22 bond agent.

23 (3) Build-up funds are maintained as a trust fund

24 created on behalf of a bail bond agent or agency, held by the

25 insurer in a fiduciary capacity to be used to indemnify the

26 insurer for losses and any other agreed-upon costs related to

27 a bail bond executed by the agent. The build-up funds are the

28 sole property of the agent or agency.Upon termination of the

29 bail bond agency or agent's contract and discharge of open

30 bond liabilities on the bonds written, build-up funds are due

31

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1 and payable to the bail bond agent or agency not later than 6

2 months after final discharge of the open bond liabilities.

3 (4) Each insurer authorized to write bail bonds in

4 this state and each managing general agent must furnish to the

5 department a certified copy of a statement listing each

6 build-up trust account and the balance therein by March 1 of

7 each year.

8 (5) Insurers must provide copies of build-up fund

9 account bank statements to their agents and agencies.

10 Section 6. Section 648.30, Florida Statutes, is

11 amended to read:

12 648.30 Licensure and appointment required.--

13 (1) A person may not act in the capacity of a bail

14 bond agent or,temporary bail bond agent, or runner or perform

15 any of the functions, duties, or powers prescribed for bail

16 bond agents or temporary bail bond agents runners under this

17 chapter unless that person is qualified, licensed, and

18 appointed as provided in this chapter.

19 (2) A No person may not shall represent himself or

20 herself to be a bail enforcement agent, bounty hunter, or

21 other similar title in this state.

22 (3) A No person, other than a certified law

23 enforcement officer, may not shall be authorized to apprehend,

24 detain, or arrest a principal on a bond, wherever issued,

25 unless that person is qualified, licensed, and appointed as

26 provided in this chapter or licensed as a bail bond agent or

27 bail bond enforcement agent, or holds an equivalent license by

28 the state where the bond was written.

29 (4) Any person who violates any provision of this

30 section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as

31 provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

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1 Section 7. Section 648.31, Florida Statutes, is

2 amended to read:

3 648.31 Appointment taxes and fees.--The department

4 shall collect in advance all appointment taxes and fees for

5 the issuance of any appointment to a bail bond agent or,

6 temporary bail bond agent, or runner,as provided in s.

7 624.501.

8 Section 8. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (2) of

9 section 648.34, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

10 648.34 Bail bond agents; qualifications.--

11 (2) To qualify as a bail bond agent, it must

12 affirmatively appear at the time of application and throughout

13 the period of licensure that the applicant has complied with

14 the provisions of s. 648.355 and has obtained a temporary

15 license pursuant to such section and:

16 (a) The applicant is a natural person who has reached

17 the age of 18 years and holds a high school diploma or its

18 equivalent.

19 (b) The applicant is a United States citizen or legal

20 alien and a bona fide resident of this state. An individual

21 who is a bona fide resident of this state shall be deemed to

22 meet the residence requirement of this paragraph,

23 notwithstanding the existence, at the time of application for

24 license, of a license in the applicant's name on the records

25 of another state as a resident licensee of such other state,

26 if the applicant furnishes a letter of clearance satisfactory

27 to the department that his or her resident licenses have been

28 canceled or changed to a nonresident basis and that he or she

29 is in good standing.

30 Section 9. Subsections (1), (3), (6), and (8) of

31 section 648.355, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

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1 648.355 Temporary limited license as limited surety

2 agent or professional bail bond agent; pending examination.--

3 (1) The department may, in its discretion, issue a

4 temporary license as a limited surety agent or professional

5 bail bond agent, subject to the following conditions:

6 (a) The applicant is a natural person at least 18

7 years of age and holds a high school diploma or its

8 equivalent.

9 (b) The applicant is a United States citizen or legal

10 alien and a bona fide resident of this state. An individual

11 who is a bona fide resident of this state shall be deemed to

12 meet the residence requirement of this paragraph,

13 notwithstanding the existence, at the time of application for

14 temporary license, of a license in the individual's name on

15 the records of another state as a resident licensee of such

16 other state, if the applicant furnishes a letter of clearance

17 satisfactory to the department that the individual's resident

18 licenses have been canceled or changed to a nonresident basis

19 and that the individual is in good standing.

20 (c) The applicant is a person of high character and

21 approved integrity and has never been convicted of or pleaded

22 guilty or no contest to a felony, a crime involving moral

23 turpitude, or a crime punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or

24 more under the law of any state, territory, or country,

25 whether or not a judgment or conviction is entered.

26 (d) Within 4 years prior to the date of application

27 for a temporary license, the applicant has successfully

28 completed a basic certification course in the criminal justice

29 system, consisting of not less than 120 80 hours of classroom

30 instruction with a passing grade of 80 percent or higher and

31

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1 has successfully completed a correspondence course for bail

2 bond agents approved by the department.

3 (e) The applicant must be employed at the time of

4 licensure application, and at all times throughout the

5 existence of the temporary license, by only one licensed and

6 appointed supervising bail bond agent, managing general agent,

7 or authorized insurer,who supervises the work of the

8 applicant and is responsible for the licensee's conduct in the

9 bail bond business. The applicant must be appointed by the

10 same insurers as the supervising bail bond agent. The

11 supervising bail bond agent shall certify monthly to the

12 department under oath, on a form prescribed by the department,

13 the names and hours worked each week of all temporary bail

14 bond agents. Filing a false certification is grounds for the

15 immediate suspension of the license and imposition of a $5,000

16 administrative fine.

17 (f) The application must be accompanied by an

18 affidavit verifying proposed a certificate of employment and a

19 report as to the applicant's integrity and moral character on

20 a form prescribed by the department and executed by the

21 proposed employer.

22 (g) The applicant must shall file with the department

23 statements by a least three reputable citizens who are

24 residents of the same counties in which the applicant proposes

25 to engage as a temporary licensee.

26 (h) The applicant's employer is responsible for the

27 bail bonding acts of any licensee under this section.

28 (3) The temporary license shall be effective for 18

29 months a period of 1 year, subject to earlier termination at

30 the request of the employer or if suspended or revoked by the

31 department.

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1 (6) After licensure as a temporary licensee for at

2 least 12 6 months, such licensee may file an application for

3 and become eligible for a regular bail bond agent's license

4 based on the licensee's experience in the bail bond business

5 and education pursuant to paragraph (1)(d) and, if otherwise

6 qualified, take the required bail bond agent's licensure

7 examination. The applicant and supervising bail bond agent

8 must each file an affidavit under oath, on a form prescribed

9 by the department, verifying the required employment of the

10 temporary agent before issuance of the license.

11 (8)(a) A Under the temporary license, the licensee has

12 shall have the same authority as conferred and authorized by

13 the laws of this state upon a licensed bail bond agent,

14 including which shall include presenting defendants in court;,

15 apprehending, arresting, and surrendering defendants to the

16 proper authorities;,and keeping defendants under necessary

17 surveillance.;However, a temporary licensee must be

18 accompanied by a supervising bail bond agent or an agent from

19 the same agency when apprehending, arresting, or surrendering

20 defendants to authorities.however,

21 (b) A temporary licensee may shall not have the

22 authority to execute or sign bonds, handle collateral

23 receipts, or deliver bonds to appropriate authorities, or. A

24 temporary licensee may not operate an agency or branch agency

25 separate from the location of the supervising bail bond agent,

26 managing general agent, or insurer by whom the licensee is

27 employed.

28 Section 10. Section 648.36, Florida Statutes, is

29 amended to read:

30 648.36 Bail bond agent's records.--Each licensee Every

31 bail bond agent must maintain in his or her office such

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1 records of bail bonds executed or countersigned by him or her

2 to enable the department public to obtain all necessary

3 information concerning such bail bonds for at least 3 years

4 after the liability of the surety has been terminated. Such

5 records shall be open to examination, inspection, and

6 photographic reproduction by the department or an authorized

7 representative of the insurer or managing general agent, or

8 agents of the department, at all times, and the department may

9 at any time require the licensee to furnish to it, in such

10 manner or form as it requires, any information concerning the

11 bail bond business of such licensee.

12 Section 11. Section 648.381, Florida Statutes, is

13 amended to read:

14 648.381 Reexamination.--Any applicant for licensure

15 who has taken an examination and failed to make a passing

16 grade, has failed to appear for the examination, or has failed

17 to take or complete the examination at the time and place

18 specified in the notice of the department may take additional

19 examinations upon the filing of an application for

20 reexamination, with applicable fees. The failure of an

21 applicant to pass an examination or the failure to appear for

22 the examination or to take or complete the examination does

23 not preclude the applicant from taking subsequent

24 examinations. A person who fails an examination three times

25 must retake the 120-hour course and obtain a grade of 80

26 percent or higher before sitting for the examination again.

27 Section 12. Section 648.382, Florida Statutes, is

28 amended to read:

29 648.382 Appointment of bail bond agents and,temporary

30 bail bond agents, and runners; effective date of

31 appointment.--

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1 (1) Each insurer appointing a bail bond agent and each

2 insurer, managing general agent, or bail bond agent appointing

3 a temporary bail bond agent or runner in this state must file

4 the appointment with the department and, at the same time, pay

5 the applicable appointment fees and taxes. A person appointed

6 under this section must hold a valid bail bond agent's or,

7 temporary bail bond agent's, or runner's license.

8 (2) Prior to any appointment, an appropriate officer

9 or official of the appointing insurer in the case of a bail

10 bond agent or an insurer, managing general agent, or bail bond

11 agent in the case of a temporary bail bond agent or runner,

12 must submit:

13 (a) A certified statement or affidavit to the

14 department stating what investigation has been made concerning

15 the proposed appointee and the proposed appointee's background

16 and the appointing person's opinion to the best of his or her

17 knowledge and belief as to the moral character, fitness, and

18 reputation of the proposed appointee;and

19 (b) An affidavit under oath on a form prescribed by

20 the department, signed by the proposed appointee, stating that

21 premiums are not owed to any insurer and that the appointee

22 will discharge all outstanding forfeitures and judgments on

23 bonds previously written. If the appointee does not satisfy or

24 discharge such forfeitures or judgments, the former insurer

25 shall file a notice, with supporting documents, with the

26 appointing insurer, the former agent, and the department,

27 stating under oath that the licensee has failed to timely

28 satisfy forfeitures and judgments on bonds written and that

29 the insurer has satisfied the forfeiture or judgment from its

30 own funds. Upon receipt of such notification and supporting

31 documents, the appointing insurer shall immediately cancel the

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1 licensee's appointment. The licensee may be reappointed only

2 upon certification by the former insurer that all forfeitures

3 and judgments on bonds written by the licensee have been

4 discharged. The appointing insurer or former agent may, within

5 10 days, file a petition with the department seeking relief

6 from this paragraph. Filing of the petition stays the duty of

7 the appointing insurer to cancel the appointment until the

8 department grants or denies the petition; and

9 (c) Any other information that the department

10 reasonably requires concerning the proposed appointee.

11 (3) Prior to any appointment of a bail bond agent, the

12 appointing insurer must certify to the department that the

13 insurer will be bound by the acts of the bail bond agent

14 acting within the scope of his or her appointment, and, in the

15 case of a temporary bail bond agent or runner, the appointing

16 insurer, managing general agent, or bail bond agent, as the

17 case may be, must certify to the department that he or she

18 will supervise the temporary bail bond agent's or runner's

19 activities.

20 (4) Each appointing insurer, managing general agent,

21 or bail bond agent must advise the department in writing

22 within 5 days after receiving notice or learning that an

23 appointee has been arrested for, pled guilty or nolo

24 contendere to, or been found guilty of,a felony or other

25 offense punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or more under the

26 law of any jurisdiction, whether judgment was entered or

27 withheld by the court.

28 (5) A list of current appointments must be submitted

29 to the department each month but in no case later than 45 days

30 after the date of appointment. All appointments are effective

31 as of the date indicated on the appointment form.

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1 Section 13. Section 648.383, Florida Statutes, is

2 amended to read:

3 648.383 Renewal, continuation, reinstatement, and

4 termination of appointment; bail bond agents and runners.--

5 (1) The appointment of a bail bond agent or runner

6 shall continue in force unless suspended, revoked, or

7 otherwise terminated, subject to a renewal request filed by

8 the appointing entity in the appointee's birth month and every

9 24 months thereafter. A renewal request must be filed with

10 the department along with payment of the renewal appointment

11 fee and taxes as prescribed in s. 624.501.

12 (2) Each appointing person must file with the

13 department the lists, statement, and information as to each

14 bail bond agent or runner whose appointment is being renewed,

15 accompanied by payment of the applicable renewal fees and

16 taxes as prescribed in s. 624.501, by a date established by

17 the department following the month during which the

18 appointment will expire.

19 (3) An appointment may be renewed by the department

20 without penalty if the information required under subsection

21 (2) is received by the department on or prior to the date

22 established by the department for renewal, and such

23 appointment is effective on the day the appointment was

24 scheduled to expire.

25 (4) If the information required under subsection (2)

26 is received by the department after the date established by

27 the department for renewal, the appointment may be renewed by

28 the department if an additional appointment, continuation, and

29 reinstatement fee accompanies the application as required

30 under s. 624.501.

31

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1 Section 14. Section 648.384, Florida Statutes, is

2 amended to read:

3 648.384 Effect of expiration of appointment; bail bond

4 agents and runners.--

5 (1) Upon the expiration of any person's appointment as

6 provided in s. 648.383, such person is without any authority

7 to engage or attempt to engage in any activity requiring such

8 appointment.

9 (2) If a bail bond agent fails to maintain an

10 appointment with an insurer or if a runner fails to maintain

11 an appointment with an insurer, managing general agent, or

12 bail bond agent during any 48-month period, the bail bond

13 agent or runner may not be granted a reappointment until he or

14 she qualifies as a first-time applicant.

15 Section 15. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section

16 648.385, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

17 648.385 Continuing education required; application;

18 exceptions; requirements; penalties.--

19 (2)(a) For compliance dates beginning in January 1997

20 and thereafter,Each person subject to the provisions of this

21 chapter must complete a minimum of 14 hours of continuing

22 education courses every 2 years in courses approved by the

23 department. Compliance with continuing education requirements

24 is a condition precedent to the issuance, continuation, or

25 renewal of any appointment subject to the provisions of this

26 chapter.

27 Section 16. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) and

28 paragraph (b) of subsection (4) of section 648.386, Florida

29 Statutes, are amended to read:

30 648.386 Qualifications for prelicensing and continuing

31 education schools and instructors.--

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1 (1) SCHOOLS AND CURRICULUM FOR PRELICENSING

2 SCHOOLS.--In order to be considered for approval and

3 certification as an approved limited surety agent and

4 professional bail bond agent prelicensing school, such entity

5 must:

6 (a)1. Offer a minimum of two 120-hour

7 classroom-instruction 80-hour classroom instruction basic

8 certification courses in the criminal justice system per

9 calendar year unless a reduced number of course offerings per

10 calendar year is warranted in accordance with rules

11 promulgated by the department; or

12 2. Offer a department-approved correspondence course

13 pursuant to department rules.

14 (4) INSTRUCTOR'S DUTIES AND QUALIFICATIONS.--

15 (b) In order to obtain department approval as a

16 supervising instructor, the following qualifications must be

17 met:

18 1. During the past 15 10 years, the person must have

19 had at least 10 5 years' experience as a manager or officer of

20 a managing general agent in this state as prescribed in s.

21 648.388;

22 2. During the past 15 10 years, the person must have

23 had at least 10 5 years' experience as a manager or officer of

24 an insurance company authorized to and actively engaged in

25 underwriting bail in this state, provided there is a showing

26 that the manager's or officer's experience is directly related

27 to the bail bond industry; or

28 3. The person has been a licensed bail bond agent in

29 this state for at least 10 years.

30 Section 17. Section 648.387, Florida Statutes, is

31 created to read:

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1 648.387 Primary bail bond agents; duties.--

2 (1) The owner or operator of a bail bond agency shall

3 designate a primary bail bond agent for each location, and

4 shall file with the department the name and license number of

5 the person and the address of the location on a form approved

6 by the department. The designation of the primary bail bond

7 agent may be changed if the department is notified

8 immediately. Failure to notify the department within 10

9 working days after such change is grounds for disciplinary

10 action pursuant to s. 648.45.

11 (2) The primary bail bond agent is responsible for the

12 overall operation and management of a bail bond agency

13 location, whose responsibilities may include, without

14 limitations, hiring and supervising of all individuals within

15 the location, whether they deal with the public in the

16 solicitation or negotiation of bail bond contracts or in the

17 collection or accounting of moneys. A person may be designated

18 as primary bail bond agent for only one location.

19 (3) The department may suspend or revoke the license

20 of the owner, operator, and primary bail bond agent if a bail

21 bond agency employs, contracts with, or uses the services of a

22 person who has had a license denied or whose license is

23 currently suspended or revoked. However, a person who has been

24 denied a license for failure to pass a required examination

25 may be employed to perform clerical or administrative

26 functions for which licensure is not required.

27 (4) An owner, operator, or primary agent may not

28 employ, contract with, or use the services of any person in a

29 bail bond agency who has been charged with, found guilty of,

30 or pled guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or a crime

31 punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of

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1 any jurisdiction, without regard to whether judgment was

2 entered or withheld by the court.

3 (5) A bail bond agency location may not conduct surety

4 business unless a primary bail bond agent is designated at all

5 times. The failure to designate a primary agent on a form

6 prescribed by the department, within 10 working days after an

7 agency's inception or a change of primary agent, is a

8 violation of this chapter, punishable as provided in s.

9 648.45.

10 Section 18. Section 648.388, Florida Statutes, is

11 amended to read:

12 648.388 Insurer must appoint managing general

13 agent.--Any insurer regularly engaged in the execution of bail

14 bonds in this state shall have a managing general agent in

15 this state to supervise its agents. Upon the appointment of a

16 managing general agent, the insurer shall file with the

17 department an affidavit under oath, executed by the appointee,

18 certifying that the appointee does not owe any unpaid premiums

19 to any insurer and does not have any unpaid judgments or

20 forfeitures in any state. A managing general agent shall

21 maintain an office in this state and maintain all records

22 relating to bonds issued in this state.

23 Section 19. Section 648.39, Florida Statutes, is

24 amended to read:

25 648.39 Termination of appointment of managing general

26 agents, bail bond agents, and temporary bail bond agents, and

27 runners.--

28 (1) An insurer who terminates the appointment of a

29 managing general agent, bail bond agent, or temporary bail

30 bond agent, or runner shall, within 10 days after such

31 termination, file written notice thereof with the department

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1 together with a statement that it has given or mailed notice

2 to the terminated agent managing general agent, bail bond

3 agent, temporary bail bond agent, or runner. Such notice filed

4 with the department must state the reasons, if any, for such

5 termination. Information so furnished the department is

6 confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).

7 (2) Each insurer shall, within 5 days after

8 terminating the appointment of any managing general agent,

9 bail bond agent, or temporary bail bond agent, or runner,give

10 written notice thereof to each clerk of the circuit court and

11 sheriff with whom such person is registered.

12 (3) An insurer that terminates the appointment of a

13 managing general agent, bail bond agent, or temporary bail

14 bond agent, or runner may authorize such person to continue to

15 attempt the arrest and surrender of a defendant for whom a

16 surety bond had been written by the bail bond agent prior to

17 termination and to seek discharge of forfeitures and judgments

18 as provided in chapter 903.

19 Section 20. Section 648.41, Florida Statutes, is

20 amended to read:

21 648.41 Termination of appointment of temporary bail

22 bond agents or runners.--A bail bond agent, insurer, or

23 managing general agent terminating the appointment of a

24 temporary bail bond agent or runner must, within 10 days, file

25 written notice thereof with the department, together with a

26 statement that notice has been given or mailed to the

27 temporary bail bond agent or runner. Such notice filed with

28 the department shall state the reasons, if any, for such

29 termination. Information so furnished the department is

30 confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).

31

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1 Section 21. Section 648.44, Florida Statutes, is

2 amended to read:

3 648.44 Prohibitions; penalty.--

4 (1) A bail bond agent or,temporary bail bond agent,

5 or runner may not:

6 (a) Suggest or advise the employment of, or name for

7 employment, any particular attorney to represent his or her

8 principal.

9 (b) Directly or indirectly solicit business in or on

10 the property or grounds of a jail, prison, or other place

11 where prisoners are confined or in or on the property or

12 grounds of any court. The term "solicitation" includes the

13 distribution of business cards, print advertising, or other

14 written or oral information directed to prisoners or potential

15 indemnitors, unless a request is initiated by the prisoner or

16 a potential indemnitor. Permissible print advertising in the

17 jail is strictly limited to a listing in a telephone directory

18 and the posting of the bail bond agent's or agency's name,

19 address, and telephone number in a designated location within

20 the jail.

21 (c) Initiate in-person or telephone solicitation after

22 9:00 p.m. or before 8:00 a.m., in the case of domestic

23 violence cases, at the residence of the detainee or the

24 detainee's family. Any solicitation not prohibited by this

25 chapter must comply with the telephone solicitation

26 requirements in ss. 501.059(2) and (4), 501.613, and

27 501.616(6).

28 (d)(c) Wear or display any identification other than

29 the department issued or approved license or approved

30 department identification, which includes a citation of the

31 licensee's arrest powers,in or on the property or grounds of

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1 a jail, prison, or other place where prisoners are confined or

2 in or on the property or grounds of any court.

3 (e)(d) Pay a fee or rebate or give or promise anything

4 of value to a jailer, police officer, peace officer, or

5 committing magistrate or any other person who has power to

6 arrest or to hold in custody or to any public official or

7 public employee in order to secure a settlement, compromise,

8 remission, or reduction of the amount of any bail bond or

9 estreatment thereof.

10 (f)(e) Pay a fee or rebate or give anything of value

11 to an attorney in a bail bond matter, except in defense of any

12 action on a bond.

13 (g)(f) Pay a fee or rebate or give or promise anything

14 of value to the principal or anyone in his or her behalf.

15 (h)(g) Participate in the capacity of an attorney at a

16 trial or hearing of one on whose bond he or she is surety.

17 (i)(h) Loiter in or about a jail, courthouse, or where

18 prisoners are confined.

19 (j)(i) Accept anything of value from a principal for

20 providing a bail bond except the premium and transfer fee

21 authorized by the department, except that the bail bond agent

22 may accept collateral security or other indemnity from the

23 principal or another person in accordance with the provisions

24 of s. 648.442, together with documentary stamp taxes, if

25 applicable. No fees, expenses, or charges of any kind shall be

26 permitted to be deducted from the collateral held or any

27 return premium due, except as authorized by this chapter or

28 rule of the department. A bail bond agent may, upon written

29 agreement with another party, receive a fee or compensation

30 for returning to custody an individual who has fled the

31 jurisdiction of the court or caused the forfeiture of a bond.

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1 (k)(j) Write more than one power of attorney per

2 charge on a bond, except in the case of a cosurety, unless the

3 power of attorney prohibits a cosurety.

4 (l)(k) Execute a bond in this state on his or her own

5 behalf.

6 (m)(l) Execute a bond in this state if a judgment has

7 been entered on a bond executed by the bail bond agent, which

8 has remained unpaid for 35 days, unless the full amount of the

9 judgment is deposited with the clerk in accordance with s.

10 903.27(5).

11 (n)(m) Make a statement or representation to a court,

12 unless such statement or representation is under oath. Such

13 statement or representation may not be false, misleading, or

14 deceptive.

15 (o) Attempt to collect, through threat or coercion,

16 amounts due for the payment of any indebtedness related to the

17 issuance of a bail bond in violation of s. 559.72.

18 (p) Conduct bail bond business with any person, other

19 than the defendant, on the grounds of the jail or courthouse

20 for the purpose of executing a bond.

21 (2) The following persons or classes shall not be bail

22 bond agents, temporary bail bond agents, runners,or employees

23 of a bail bond agent or a bail bond business and shall not

24 directly or indirectly receive any benefits from the execution

25 of any bail bond:

26 (a) Jailers or persons employed in any jail.

27 (b) Police officers or employees of any police

28 department or law enforcement agency.

29 (c) Committing magistrates, employees of a court, or

30 employees of the clerk of any court.

31

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1 (d) Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs or employees of any

2 sheriff's department.

3 (e) Attorneys.

4 (f) Persons having the power to arrest or persons who

5 have authority over or control of federal, state, county, or

6 municipal prisoners.

7 (3) A bail bond agent may not sign or countersign in

8 blank any bond, give a power of attorney to, or otherwise

9 authorize, anyone to countersign his or her name to bonds

10 unless the person so authorized is a licensed and appointed

11 bail bond agent directly employed by the bail bond agent

12 giving such power of attorney.

13 (4) A place of business, including a branch office,

14 may not be established, opened, or maintained unless it is

15 under the active full-time charge of a licensed and appointed

16 bail bond agent.

17 (5) Except as between licensed and appointed bail bond

18 agents, a bail bond agent may not divide with others, or share

19 in, any commissions payable on account of any bail bond.

20 (6)(a) No bail bond agency shall adverti


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