I am having a fit with a local bond company. We have no Bail Bond Board. The Company just recently defaulted on several judgments. I am working on executions, but I believe that there will not be much left to get. The real problem is that a "new company", ex-inlaw of old company's owner has started "new company". "new's" agents are the same for the old company. Same address and phone number. How do I shut down this sham. I have the "new company" limited on the amount of each individual bond it can make. But they are going crazy writing small bonds.(writing bonds without even talking to the defendant first) Based on my past experience with the whole crew, I will have numerous forfeitures in a few months. Several of the "new company" agents were the signature on the forfeited bonds now in default. Can I stop them? Any Suggestions
Since it is the Sheriff who determines who may or may not write a bond in your county, it is unlikely that you can do much without the cooperation of the Sheriff. You might visit about the prudence of accepting bonds from someone who may be unable to meet the financial requirements of art. 17.12, 17.13, and 17.14. If your bondsman has defaults or unpaid judgments, the Sheriff should not be taking bonds anyway. See art. 17.11 sec. 2. Good luck.
You really should look into forming a bail bond board. We have been very successful in limiting bad companies through the board. Contact Jane Starnes (512-943-1234) for info.
When we have had such problems with attorney bonds in the past, we educated the sheriff and got pretty good cooperation. In addition, if there is genuine fraud going on, it is appropriate for a grand jury to take a look into it.
I agree with the previous replies, but am also intrigued by the agent's signature on the bonds. I'm thinking off the top of my head here, being too lazy to cross the office and get my Code of Criminal Procedure, but as I recall, unless the bonding company is a corporation, the owner him or herself should be required to sign the bond personally, and not the agent. This is true even if the agent has a power of attorney. This might give you an extra tool, but check me out first.
Do you have any insight on an agent being authorized to sign the bond? Where do you suggest that I look?
Do not. I repeat, Do not let an agent sign a bond unless the licensee is a corporation. It is a worthless bond.
The licensee must personally sign a bond. We have disciplined a licensee (by a suspension of the license) for allowing someone other than the licensee to sign the bond.
See the annotations to article 17.08, Code of Criminal Procedure, in particular Tietz v. State, 744 SW2d 353 (1988). I also cite AG opinion WW-889 (1960. Good luck!
Here might be another reason to form a Bail Bond Board: the AG has just opined that ...
"In a county with a bail bond board, an individual who acts as a bail bond surety or an individual who acts as an agent for a corporate surety may operate under an assumed name, but may not use more than one assumed name."
See AG Op. GA-0135
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