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H.B. 370 Enrolled





Chief Sponsor: Gregory H. Hughes

Senate Sponsor: Curtis S. Bramble

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies the Insurance Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure regarding
             10      bail surety and bail bond companies.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    amends the procedure for the court providing notice to the surety when a defendant
             14      who has posted bail fails to appear;
             15          .    provides that bail will be exonerated in specified cases, including when the
             16      defendant appears at the next court hearing and where the court has not scheduled
             17      any action in the case within 18 months after the most recent docket activity; and
             18          .    provides licensure qualifications, including training and hours of experience, for
             19      bail bond sureties and agencies.
             20      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             21          None
             22      Other Special Clauses:
             23          None
             24      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             25      AMENDS:
             26          77-20-7, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2006, Chapter 332
             27          77-20b-101, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2006, Chapter 332
             28      ENACTS:
             29          31A-35-401.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953

             31      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             32          Section 1. Section 31A-35-401.5 is enacted to read:
             33          31A-35-401.5. Additional licensure requirements for a bail bond surety company.
             34          (1) A person applying for licensure as a bail bond surety or agency for the first time
             35      shall, in addition to the requirements of Section 31A-35-401 , provide proof that at least one
             36      principal of the bail bond surety or agency will have a minimum of 2,000 hours of experience
             37      working as an employee of a bail bond surety company as a licensed bail bond agent.
             38          (2) The applicant shall provide proof of the experience claimed under Subsection (1),
             39      including providing:
             40          (a) the exact details of the character and nature of the experience on a form provided by
             41      the department;
             42          (b) a statement by each employer verifying the number of hours the applicant worked
             43      for the employer; and
             44          (c) (i) federal income reporting forms that account for the wages for hours claimed or
             45      documented approval of the claimed hours by the insurance commissioner; and
             46          (ii) the total of 2,000 hours may be proved in part by federal income reporting forms
             47      and in part by approval by the insurance commissioner.
             48          (3) The burden of proving the hours of experience as required in this section is upon
             49      the applicant.
             50          (4) An individual who is applying for licensure under this chapter for the first time
             51      shall have completed a training program of not less than four hours that is approved by the
             52      commissioner and includes:
             53          (a) definition of a bail bond, jail procedures regarding bail bonds, court procedures
             54      regarding bail bonds, liability of a bail bond, the taking of collateral, returning collateral, trust
             55      account separation of funds, fee structure, the 10 percent rule, agent liability, the prohibition on
             56      soliciting on county or state property, and the delivery of a bail bond;
             57          (b) state laws and administrative rules regarding the operation of a bail bond business;

             58          (c) the rights of an accused person; and
             59          (d) the ethical requirements of a bail bond business.
             60          (5) (a) On and after January 1, 2012, an applicant for renewal of a license under this
             61      chapter shall have completed during the prior year two hours of continuing education.
             62          (b) The insurance commissioner shall implement the continuing education requirement
             63      under this Subsection (5) pursuant to Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking
             64      Act.
             65          Section 2. Section 77-20-7 is amended to read:
             66           77-20-7. Duration of liability on undertaking -- Notices to sureties -- Exoneration
             67      if charges not filed.
             68          (1) (a) [The] Except as provided in Subsection (1)(b), the principal and the sureties on
             69      the written undertaking are liable on the undertaking during all proceedings and for all court
             70      appearances required of the defendant up to and including the surrender of the defendant [in
             71      execution of any sentence imposed] for sentencing, irrespective of any contrary provision in the
             72      undertaking. Any failure of the defendant to appear [up to and including execution of
             73      sentence] when required is a breach of the conditions of the undertaking or bail and subjects it
             74      to forfeiture [irrespective], regardless of whether or not notice of appearance was given to the
             75      sureties. Upon sentencing the bond shall be exonerated without motion.
             76          (b) If the sentence includes a commitment to a jail or prison, the bond shall be
             77      exonerated when the defendant appears at the appropriate jail or prison, unless the judge
             78      doesn't require the defendant to begin the commitment within seven days, in which case the
             79      bond is exonerated upon sentencing.
             80          [(b)] (c) For purposes of this section, an order of the court accepting a plea in abeyance
             81      agreement and holding that plea in abeyance pursuant to Title 77, Chapter 2a, Pleas in
             82      Abeyance, is considered to be the same as a sentencing upon a guilty plea.
             83          [(c)] (d) Any suspended or deferred sentencing is not the responsibility of the surety
             84      and the bond is exonerated without any motion, upon acceptance of the court and the defendant
             85      of a plea in abeyance, probation, fine payments, post sentencing reviews, or any other deferred

             86      sentencing reviews or any other deferred sentencing agreement.
             87          [(d)] (e) If a surety issues a bond after the [execution of sentence] sentencing, the
             88      surety is liable on the undertaking during all proceedings and for all court appearances required
             89      of the defendant up to and including [the next execution of] the defendant's appearance to
             90      commence serving the sentence imposed under Subsection [ 77-20-7 ](1).
             91          (2) If no information or indictment charging a person with an offense is filed in court
             92      within 120 days after the date of the bail undertaking or cash receipt, the court may relieve a
             93      person from conditions of release at the person's request, and the bond or undertaking is
             94      exonerated without further order of the court unless the prosecutor requests an extension of
             95      time before the end of the 120-day period by:
             96          (a) filing a notice for extension with the court; and
             97          (b) serving the notice for extension upon the sureties and the person or his attorney.
             98          (3) A court may extend bail and conditions of release for good cause.
             99          (4) Subsection (2) does not prohibit the filing of charges against a person at any time.
             100          (5) If the court does not set on a calendar any hearings on a case within 18 months of
             101      the last court docket activity on a case, the undertaking of bail is exonerated without motion.
             102          Section 3. Section 77-20b-101 is amended to read:
             103           77-20b-101. Entry of nonappearance -- Notice to surety -- Release of surety on
             104      failure of timely notice.
             105          (1) If a defendant who has posted bail fails to appear before the appropriate court
             106      [when] as required [and the court chooses to order forfeiture of the bail], the court shall within
             107      30 days of the failure to appear issue a bench warrant that includes the original case number.
             108      The court shall also direct that the surety be given notice of the nonappearance. The clerk of
             109      the court shall:
             110          (a) mail notice of nonappearance by certified mail, return receipt requested, within 30
             111      days to the address of the surety [or its agent as listed on the bond];
             112          (b) notify the surety [or its agent] as listed on the bond of the name, address, and
             113      telephone number[, and fax number] of the prosecutor;

             114          (c) deliver a copy of the notice sent under Subsection (1)(a) to the prosecutor's office at
             115      the same time notice is sent under Subsection (1)(a); and
             116          (d) ensure that the name, address, and telephone number of the surety or its agent as
             117      listed on the bond is stated on the bench warrant.
             118          (e) mail notice of the failure to appear to the bail agent if the surety is different than the
             119      producer's agent.
             120          (2) The prosecutor may mail notice of nonappearance by certified mail, return receipt
             121      requested, to the address of the surety [or its agent] as listed on the bond within 37 days after
             122      the date of the defendant's failure to appear.
             123          (3) If notice of nonappearance is not mailed to a surety [or its agent] as listed on the
             124      bond, other than the defendant, in accordance with Subsection (1) or (2), the surety [is] and its
             125      agent are relieved of further obligation under the bond if the surety's current name and address
             126      or the current name and address of the surety's agent are on the bail bond in the court's file.
             127          (4) (a) (i) If a defendant appears in court within seven days after a missed, scheduled
             128      court appearance, the court may reinstate the bond without further notice to the bond company.
             129          (ii) If the defendant, while in custody, appears on the case for which the bond was
             130      posted, the court may not reinstate the bond without the consent of the bond company.
             131          (b) If a defendant fails to appear within seven days after a scheduled court appearance,
             132      the court may not reinstate the bond without the consent of the surety.
             133          (c) If the defendant is arrested and booked into a county jail booking facility pursuant
             134      to a warrant for failure to appear on the original charges[, the surety may file a motion with the
             135      court to] and the court is notified of the arrest, or the court recalls the warrant due to the
             136      defendant's having paid the fine and prior to entry of judgment of forfeiture, the court shall
             137      exonerate the bond. [The surety shall deliver a copy of the motion to the prosecutor.]
             138          (d) Unless the court makes a finding of good cause why the bond should not be
             139      exonerated, it shall exonerate the bond if:
             140          (i) the surety has delivered the defendant to the county jail booking facility in the
             141      county where the original charge is pending;

             142          (ii) the defendant has been released on a bond secured from a subsequent surety for the
             143      original charge and the failure to appear;
             144          (iii) after an arrest, the defendant has escaped from jail or has been released on the
             145      defendant's own recognizance, pursuant to a pretrial release, under a court order regulating jail
             146      capacity, or by a sheriff's release under Section 17-22-5.5 ;
             147          (iv) the surety has transported or agreed to pay for the transportation of the defendant
             148      from a location outside of the county back to the county where the original charge is pending,
             149      and the payment is in an amount equal to government transportation expenses listed in Section
             150      76-3-201 ; or
             151          (v) the surety demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that:
             152          (A) at the time the surety issued the bond, it had made reasonable efforts to determine
             153      that the defendant was legally present in the United States;
             154          (B) a reasonable person would have concluded, based on the surety's determination,
             155      that the defendant was legally present in the United States; and
             156          (C) the surety has failed to bring the defendant before the court because the defendant
             157      is in federal custody or has been deported.
             158          (e) Under circumstances not otherwise provided for in this section, the court may
             159      exonerate the bond if it finds that the prosecutor has been given reasonable notice of a surety's
             160      motion and there is good cause for the bond to be exonerated.
             161          (f) If a surety's bond has been exonerated under this section and the surety remains
             162      liable for the cost of transportation of the defendant, the surety may take custody of the
             163      defendant for the purpose of transporting the defendant to the jurisdiction where the charge is
             164      pending.

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