DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CODE 1981 PART IV. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE AND PRISONERS. TITLE 23. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.CHAPTER 11. Professional Bondsmen.
MICHIE'S DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT RULES ANNOTATED SUPERIOR COURT RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE XI. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.Rule 116. Bonds and sureties.
Licensing Requirements for Agents.
*** The District of Columbia’s statutes do not appear to clearly outline the powers of professional bondsmen in regard to recovering bail. The statutes define a "bondsman" as anyone engaged in the bonding business, including agents. Therefore, some of the more pertinent qualifications – in regard to individuals and for licensing purposes – for sureities are given below, since both sureties and bondsmen appear to be able to carry out activities associated with the bonding business.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CODE 1981 PART IV. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE AND PRISONERS. TITLE 23. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE. CHAPTER 11. Professional Bondsmen.§ 23-1101 Definitions.
The term "bondsman" means any person or corporation engaged in the bonding business either as a principal or as an agent, clerk, or representative of another engaged in such business.
§ 23-1108 Qualifications of bondsmen; rules to be prescribed by courts; list of agents to be furnished; renewal of authority to act; detailed records to be kept; penalties and disqualifications.
Duty of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to provide, the qualifications of persons and corporations applying for authority to engage in the bonding business in criminal cases in the District of Columbia, and the terms and conditions upon which the business shall be carried on, and no person or corporation shall, either as principal, or as agent, or representative of another, engage in the bonding business in either court until he shall, by order of the court, be authorized to do so.
The courts shall take into consideration both the financial responsibility and the moral qualities of the person so applying, and no person shall be permitted to engage, either as principal or agent, in the bonding business, who has ever been convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, or who is not known to be a person of good moral character.
Every person qualifying to engage in the bonding business as principal is required to file with the court a list showing the name, age, and residence of each person employed by the bondsman as agent, clerk, or representative in the bonding business, and an affidavit from each of these persons stating that he will abide by the terms and provisions of this chapter.
- Each of the courts shall require the authority of each of those persons to be renewed from time to time at such periods as the court may by rule provide, and before the authority shall be renewed the court shall require from each of those persons an affidavit that since his previous qualification to engage in the bonding business he has abided by the provisions of this chapter, and any person swearing falsely in any of the affidavits shall be guilty of perjury.
Except by Court order no person shall be authorized to engage in the bonding business in criminal cases in this Court. No order of authorization shall be entered until such application and such supporting documents as are hereinafter required shall have been filed and the approval by this Court shall have been noted thereon.
Contents of application. Every individual proposing to engage in the bonding business in criminal cases in this Court shall file with the Court a written application which shall set forth the following information and statements under oath:
- (i) A detailed listing of real estate owned by the applicant in the District of Columbia, including: the address, lot, value, date of title, purchase price, the liber and folio of the land records; that the property is not encumbered; improvements; the nature and extent of a spouse's title or interest;
- (ii) The amount of the applicant's unsecured indebtedness and obligations;
- (iii) Whether the applicant is, or has been, in default in the payment of forfeited bail bond or recognizance in any court in the District of Columbia, the amount of bail bond or recognizance on any default recited, the date of forfeiture, the court, title and number of the cause in which such forfeiture was declared;
- (iv) Whether the applicant has ever been arrested, charged or convicted of any offense;
- (v) Proof of applicant's good moral character, attested by the statements of at least 2 residents of the District of Columbia not related to the applicant, and who shall so certify;
- (vi) A declaration by the applicant that the applicant will in all respects abide by the terms and provisions of these Rules and Chapter 11 of Title 23 of the D.C. Code;
- (vii) A listing of the name, age and residence of each and every person authorized to represent the applicant as agent, clerk or representative in the bonding business, accompanied by an affidavit from each person listed, declaring that the person will in all respects abide by the terms and provisions of these Rules and Chapter 11 of said Title 23;
- (viii) Each person holding a power of attorney from an authorized individual surety shall file a duplicate original copy thereof with the Clerk of this Court;
- (ix) The application shall also recite a declaration to which the applicant shall fully agree and subscribe in which he or she commits not to sell, convey, or mortgage any listed real estate without obtaining leave of the court.
Applications shall be filed on or before the 10th day of January of each 2nd year thereafter, or oftener if required by the Court, by each individual surety desiring to continue in said business, which application must receive the approval of the Court before the surety shall be entitled to continue to appear as surety on bonds or recognizances in this Court.
With each application for renewal there shall also be filed an affidavit to the effect that since the surety's previous qualifications the surety has in all respects abided by the terms and provisions of these Rules and Chapter 11 of said Title 23, together with a certificate of the Clerk of this Court wherein it is stated that the Clerk has examined the records of the applicant and found them to be in good order as to form.
The original application of every individual proposing to engage in the bonding business, and every application for renewal of authority to continue herein, shall state the aggregate amount of bonds or recognizance in any court of the District of Columbia upon which such person is surety.
(For further information on authorization of sureites, see the entire section listed above).
h) Forfeiture of bail.
(1) Declaration. If there is a breach of condition of a bond, the Court shall declare a forfeiture of the bail.
Rule 116. Bonds and sureties.
The Court may direct that a forfeiture be set aside, upon such conditions as the Court may impose, if it appears that justice does not require the enforcement of the forfeiture.
No forfeiture may be set aside in the case of a defendant who has failed to appear except upon the approval of the judge who originally imposed the forfeiture.
- Analysis factors in weighing set aside. -- In exercising its discretion in deciding whether to set aside a bond forfeiture, the trial court is to weigh a number of factors, including, but not limited to: the willfulness of the defendant's breach of bond conditions, the participation of the bondsman in rearresting the defendant, and the prejudice suffered by the government by the breach of the bond conditions.
- Effect of surety's failure to fulfill duties. -- A surety which has failed to carry out its responsibilities has little, if any, basis for requesting the exercise of the court's discretion in its favor.
It shall be unlawful for any bondsman, either directly or indirectly, to give, donate, lend, contribute, or to promise to give, donate, lend, or contribute any money, property, entertainment, or other thing of value whatsoever to any attorney at law, police officer, deputy United States marshal, jailer, probation officer, clerk, or other attache of a criminal court, or public official of any character, for procuring or assisting in procuring any person to employ the bondsman to execute as surety any bond for compensation in any criminal case in the District of Columbia.
It shall be unlawful for any attorney at law, police officer, deputy United States marshal, jailer, probation officer, clerk, bailiff, or other attache of a criminal court, or public official of any character, to accept or receive from a bondsman any money, property, entertainment, or other thing of value whatsoever for procuring or assisting in procuring a person to employ a bondsman to execute as surety any bond for compensation in a criminal case in the District of Columbia.
§ 23-1104 Attorneys procuring employment through official or bondsman for a consideration prohibited.
§ 23-1105 Receiving other than regular fee for bonding prohibited; bondsmen prohibited from endeavoring to secure dismissal or settlement.
§ 23-1107 Bondsmen prohibited from entering place of detention unless requested by prisoner; record of visit to be kept.
§ 23-1109 Giving advance information of proposed raid.
Indiana Lumbermen’s Mut. Ins. Co. v. U.S.
640 A.2d 1036
Apr 25, 1994
Allegheny Mut. Cas. Co. v. U.S.
622 A.2d 1099
Jan 29, 1993
American Bankers Ins. Co. v. U.S.
596 A.2d 598
Sep 13, 1991
United States v. Nell
515 F.2d 1351
D.C. Cir. 1975
Akins v. United States
679 A.2d 1017
App. D.C., (1996).
At this time, there appear to be no specific regulations for "Bounty Hunters" in the District of Columbia statutes.