Substitute House Bill No. 6925
          Substitute House Bill No. 6925

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-287


AN ACT CONCERNING BOUNTY HUNTERS.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section 1. (NEW)  No person shall, as a surety
on a bond  in a criminal proceeding or an agent of
such surety, engage  in  the business of taking or
attempting to take  into  custody the principal on
the bond who has failed to appear in court and for
whom a rearrest  warrant  or  a  capias  has  been
issued pursuant to  section  54-65a of the general
statutes  unless such  person  is  licensed  as  a
professional bondsman under  chapter  533  of  the
general statutes, a  surety  bail bond agent under
chapter 700f of  the  general  statutes  or a bail
enforcement  agent  under   sections   2   to   5,
inclusive, of this act.
    Sec. 2. (NEW) Any person desiring to engage in
the business of  a  bail  enforcement  agent shall
apply to the  Commissioner  of Public Safety for a
license therefor. Such application shall set forth
under oath the  full  name, age, date and place of
birth, residence and  occupation of the applicant.
It shall also  set forth under oath a statement of
whether the applicant  has  been  charged  with or
convicted of crime,  and  such  other information,
including fingerprints and  photographs,  as  said
commissioner from time to time may require. Within
five years prior  to  the date of his application,
the applicant shall  have successfully completed a
course in the  criminal  justice system consisting
of not less than twenty hours of study approved by
the commissioner. No person who has been convicted
of a felony  or  a crime involving moral turpitude
shall  be  licensed  to  do  business  as  a  bail
enforcement agent in this state. No person engaged
in law enforcement  or  vested  with police powers
shall  be  licensed  to  do  business  as  a  bail
enforcement agent.
    Sec.  3. (NEW)  Upon  being  satisfied,  after
investigation, of the  good  character, competency
and  integrity  of  the  applicant  and  that  the
applicant  meets  the  licensing  requirements  of
section 2 of  this act, the Commissioner of Public
Safety may issue a license to such applicant to do
business  in this  state  as  a  bail  enforcement
agent. The fee  for  such  license  shall  be  one
hundred dollars. Each  such  license  shall be for
such  term  not   exceeding   one   year  as  said
commissioner determines.
    Sec. 4. (NEW)  Each  person licensed as a bail
enforcement agent under the provisions of sections
2 to 5,  inclusive,  of  this  act may apply for a
renewal of his  license  upon  renewal application
forms  provided  by  the  Commissioner  of  Public
Safety  and  requiring   the  disclosure  of  such
information  as  said   commissioner  requires  in
determining whether or not such agent's fitness to
continue in such  business  has  changed since the
issuance of any prior license. The fee for renewal
of a bail enforcement agent's license shall be one
hundred dollars.
    Sec. 5. (NEW)  Any  bail  enforcement  agent's
license  may  be   suspended  or  revoked  by  the
Commissioner  of Public  Safety,  provided  notice
shall have been  given  to  the licensee to appear
before the commissioner  to  show  cause  why  the
license should not be suspended or revoked, upon a
finding by the commissioner that: (1) The licensee
has violated any  of  the  terms  or provisions of
sections 1 to 10, inclusive, of this act or any of
the  regulations  adopted   hereunder;   (2)   the
licensee   has   practiced    fraud,   deceit   or
misrepresentation; (3) the  licensee  has  made  a
material  misstatement  in   the  application  for
issuance  or  renewal  of  his  license;  (4)  the
licensee   has   demonstrated    incompetence   or
untrustworthiness in the  conduct of his business;
(5) the licensee has been convicted of a felony or
other crime affecting  his  honesty,  integrity or
moral fitness. Any  party aggrieved by an order of
the commissioner under  this  section  may  appeal
therefrom in accordance  with  the  provisions  of
section  4-183 of  the  general  statutes,  except
venue for such  appeal  shall  be  in the judicial
district of Hartford-New Britain.
    Sec.  6.  (NEW)  The  Commissioner  of  Public
Safety shall furnish  to  all  courts  and  to all
organized police departments  in  the  state,  the
names  of all  persons  licensed  as  professional
bondsmen under chapter 533 of the general statutes
or bail enforcement agents under the provisions of
sections 2 to  5, inclusive, of this act and shall
forthwith notify such  courts  and all such police
departments of any  change  in any such bondsman's
or  agent's  status   or   of  the  suspension  or
revocation of the  license of any such bondsman or
agent to engage in such business.
    Sec. 7. (NEW) The Insurance Commissioner shall
furnish to all  courts and to all organized police
departments in the state, the names of all persons
licensed as surety  bail bond agents under chapter
700f of the  general  statutes and shall forthwith
notify such courts and all such police departments
of any change in any such agent's status or of the
suspension or revocation  of  the  license  of any
such agent to engage in such business.
    Sec. 8. (NEW) Prior to taking or attempting to
take into custody  the  principal  on  a  bond,  a
professional bondsman licensed  under  chapter 533
of the general  statutes, a surety bail bond agent
licensed  under  chapter   700f   of  the  general
statutes  or a  bail  enforcement  agent  licensed
under sections 2  to  5,  inclusive,  of  this act
shall notify the  police  department  or  resident
state trooper for,  or  state  police troop having
jurisdiction over, the  municipality  in which the
principal  is  believed  to  be  located  of  such
bondsman's or agent's intentions.
    Sec.  9.  (NEW)   No   professional   bondsman
licensed  under  chapter   533   of   the  general
statutes, surety bail  bond  agent  licensed under
chapter  700f of  the  general  statutes  or  bail
enforcement agent licensed  under sections 2 to 5,
inclusive,  of  this  act  shall  wear,  carry  or
display  any  uniform,   badge,  shield  or  other
insignia or emblems  that purport to indicate that
such bondsman or  agent is an employee, officer or
agent of the state or any political subdivision of
the state or of the federal government.
    Sec. 10. (NEW)  (a)  No  professional bondsman
licensed  under  chapter   533   of   the  general
statutes, surety bail  bond  agent  licensed under
chapter  700f of  the  general  statutes  or  bail
enforcement agent licensed  under sections 2 to 5,
inclusive, of this  act,  shall  carry  a  pistol,
revolver or other  firearm  while  engaging in the
business of a  professional  bondsman, surety bail
bond agent or  bail enforcement agent, as the case
may be, or  traveling or from such business unless
he obtains a  special permit from the Commissioner
of Public Safety in accordance with the provisions
of subsection (b)  of  this  section.  The  permit
required under this  section  shall be in addition
to the permit  requirement  imposed  under section
29-28 of the general statutes.
    (b)  The Commissioner  of  Public  Safety  may
grant to any  professional bondsman licensed under
chapter 533 of  the  general statutes, surety bail
bond agent licensed  under  chapter  700f  of  the
general  statutes  or   bail   enforcement   agent
licensed under sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this
act, a permit  to  carry  a  pistol or revolver or
other firearm while  engaging  in  the business of
professional bondsman, surety  bail  bond agent or
bail enforcement agent,  as  the  case  may be, or
while traveling to or from such business, provided
that such bondsman  or  agent  has  proven  to the
satisfaction  of  the  commissioner  that  he  has
successfully completed a  course,  approved by the
commissioner, of training in the safety and use of
firearms. The commissioner shall adopt regulations
in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of
the general statutes  concerning  the  approval of
schools,  institutions or  organizations  offering
such courses, requirements for instructors and the
required  number of  hours  and  content  of  such
courses.
    (c) Application for  such permit shall be made
on forms provided by the commissioner and shall be
accompanied  by  a  thirty-one  dollar  fee.  Such
permit shall expire  five  years after the date it
becomes  effective  and   may   be   renewed   for
additional five-year periods.
    Sec. 11. (NEW)  Any  person  who  violates any
provision of sections  1 to 10, inclusive, of this
act shall be  fined  not  more  than five thousand
dollars or imprisoned  not  more  than one year or
both.
    Sec.  12. (NEW)  The  Commissioner  of  Public
Safety shall adopt  regulations in accordance with
the  provisions  of  chapter  54  of  the  general
statutes to carry out the provisions of sections 2
to 5, inclusive, of this act.
    Sec.  13. (NEW)  Any  person  other  than  the
principal  on  the   bond  injured  in  person  or
property by the actions of an agent of a surety on
a bond in  a  criminal  proceeding  in  taking  or
attempting to take  into  custody the principal on
the bond, may  bring a civil action for damages in
the Superior Court  against  such  agent  and  the
court  may  award   such   injured  person  treble
damages,  together with  costs  and  a  reasonable
attorney's fee.
    Sec.  14.  Section   54-66a   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    Any  bail  bond   posted   in   any   criminal
proceeding in this  state  shall  be automatically
terminated and released  whenever  the  defendant:
(1) Is granted accelerated rehabilitation pursuant
to section 54-56e; (2) is granted admission to the
pretrial  alcohol  education  system  pursuant  to
section 54-56g; (3)  is  granted  admission to the
pretrial   family   violence   education   program
pursuant  to  section   46b-38c;  (4)  IS  GRANTED
ADMISSION TO THE  COMMUNITY  SERVICE LABOR PROGRAM
PURSUANT TO SECTION 53a-39c; (5) has the complaint
or information filed  against him dismissed; [(5)]
(6) is acquitted; or [(6)] (7) is sentenced by the
court.
    Sec. 15. Subsection  (c) of section 38a-660 of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (c) A person  shall  not in this state solicit
or negotiate in  respect  to execution or delivery
of an undertaking  of  bail or bail bond on behalf
of an insurer,  or  execute  or  deliver  such  an
undertaking of bail  or  bail bond on behalf of an
insurer  unless  licensed   as  provided  in  this
section. ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF
THIS SUBSECTION SHALL  BE  GUILTY  OF  A  CLASS  D
FELONY.

Approved June 26, 1997