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Louisiana bail laws
 
  1. Applicable Statutes.
  1. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTESTITLE 22. INSURANCE CHAPTER 1. INSURANCE CODE PART XXXIV. BAIL ENFORCEMENT AGENTS

  2. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES TITLE 15. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ANCILLARIES CODE TITLE VIII. BAIL

  3. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE TITLE VIII. BAIL Arts. 344 – 345.

  4. Licensing Requirements for Agents.
  1. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES TITLE 22. INSURANCE CHAPTER 1. INSURANCE CODE PART XXXIV. BAIL ENFORCEMENT AGENTS § 1514. Regulation of bail enforcement agents
  • The commissioner of insurance is hereby authorized to adopt such regulations, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, as are necessary to effectuate the requirements of this Part to regulate bail enforcement agents.

  • The regulations adopted by the commissioner shall include provisions governing:

(1)  Prelicensing and continuing education requirements for bail enforcement agents.

(2)  Bail enforcement activities in this state by nonresident individuals.

(3)  The notification of local law enforcement agencies.

(4)  In-state bail enforcement procedures.


(5)  Penalties for the violation of the regulation.

  1. § 1514.2. Licensing and fees
     
  • Except as provided by the regulations authorized in this Part, bail enforcement agents shall be subject to the same licensing and fee requirements as bail bond insurance agents.
  1. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES TITLE 22. INSURANCE CHAPTER 1. INSURANCE CODE PART XXV-A. PRELICENSE AND CONTINUING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS § 1191. Registered insurance agent and bail agent prelicensing program
  • Each registered bail agent prelicensing program shall provide instruction by a qualified instructor in a structured setting with a minimum of eight hours of supervised instruction, including instruction in applicable underwriting principles, state laws and regulations, and ethical practices.
     
  1. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES TITLE 22. INSURANCE CHAPTER 1. INSURANCE CODE PART XXV-A. PRELICENSE AND CONTINUING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS § 1193. Continuing education requirements
  • The continuing education requirements for renewal of license under R.S. 22:1113(E)(4) are set forth in this Section. The continuing education requirement shall be fulfilled by satisfactory completion of the required hours of instruction in continuing education programs approved by the commissioner.
     
  • For bail agents and solicitors the continuing education requirement for renewal of license shall be twelve hours of approved bail underwriting instruction.
     
  1. LA R.S. 22:1113

S 1113. Requirements; general license; penalties; validity of contracts (The section below provides additional details on licensing of insurance agents for bail bond work and the most relevant sections for purposes of the bail business are given).
 

  • An insurance agent may receive qualification for a license in one or more of the following lines:

     

  • Bail bonds.
  • A partnership or corporation may be licensed as an insurance agent, insurance broker, or surplus lines broker. Every partner, officer, director, stockholder, and employee of the corporation or partnership personally engaged in this state in soliciting or negotiating policies of insurance shall be registered with the Department of Insurance under such entity's license, and each such member, partner, officer, director, stockholder, or employee shall also qualify as an individual licensee for any line of insurance the entity is licensed to transact. Any partnership or corporate licensee failing to comply with this requirement shall be subject to a fine of one hundred dollars per occurrence. This Subsection shall not apply to any management association, partnership, or corporation whose operations do not entail the solicitation of insurance from the public. An application for a license shall be accompanied by:

  • If a corporation, a current letter of good standing from the secretary of state's office, verification by the secretary of the corporation that the directors and officers were duly appointed or elected in accordance with the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the corporation, and an attestation by the president of the corporation disclosing the identity and percentage of ownership of the individual stockholders.

  • If a partnership, a current letter of registration from the secretary of state's office, verification by the appropriate partner that the partners listed on the application are duly named as partners in accordance with the partnership agreement, and a statement under oath verifying the percentage of interest and control of each partner in the partnership.
  1. Notice of Forfeiture
  1. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE TITLE VIII. BAIL Art. 344.  Right to notice of time and place of defendant's required appearance
  • When a bail bond fixes the initial appearance date, no additional notice is required to be given to the defendant or the personal surety or the commercial surety or the agent or bondsman who posted the bond for the commercial surety, if the defendant appears as ordered. If a defendant fails to appear when a bail bond fixes the initial appearance date, no additional preforfeiture notice for that date is required to be given to the defendant or the personal surety or the commercial surety or the agent or bondsman who posted the bond for the commercial surety. The bond shall be forfeited forthwith as per R.S. 15:85 (see subsection B and section #4 below).

  • When a bail bond does not fix the appearance date, and the presence is required of a person who has been released on bail, the defendant and his personal surety or the commercial surety or the agent or bondsman who posted the bond for the commercial surety, shall be given written notice of the time, date, and place the principal is required to appear.

  • The notice may be delivered to the defendant and the personal surety or the commercial surety or the agent or bondsman who posted the bond for the commercial surety by an officer designated by the court, at least two days prior to the day set for the appearance; or this notice may be mailed by United States first class mail to the defendant and his personal surety or the commercial surety or the agent or bondsman who posted the bond for the commercial surety, at least three days prior to the day set for the appearance. The notice shall be mailed to the defendant and his personal surety or the commercial surety or the agent or bondsman who posted the bond for the commercial surety to the address designated pursuant to Article 322.

  • If the defendant appears as ordered and the proceeding is continued to a specific date, the defendant and the personal surety or the commercial surety or the agent or bondsman who posted the bond for the commercial surety need not be given notice of the new appearance date. If the defendant fails to appear as ordered, or the proceeding is not continued to a specific date, the personal surety or the agent or bondsman who posted the bond for the commercial surety shall be given notice of the new appearance date.

  • Failure to give notice, as required by this Paragraph, relieves the surety from liability on a judgment of bond forfeiture for the defendant's nonappearance on that particular date.

  1. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES TITLE 15. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ANCILLARIES CODE TITLE VIII. BAIL § 85. Forfeiture; procedure; notice; enforcement; and collection
  • Notice of judgment. After entering the fact of the signing of the judgment of bond forfeiture in the court minutes, the clerk of court shall promptly mail notice of the signing of the judgment of bond forfeiture. The notice of the signing of the judgment shall be mailed by United States certified mail with return receipt to all the following:


(i) The defendant at the address designated pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 322.


(ii) The personal sureties at the addresses designated pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 322.

(iii) The agent or bondsman who posted the bond for the commercial sureties at the address designated pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 322.


(iv) The commercial sureties at the addresses designated pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 322. Notice to the commercial sureties shall include the power of attorney number used to execute the bond.

  • After mailing the notice of the signing of the judgment of bond forfeiture, the clerk of court shall execute an affidavit of the mailing and place the affidavit and the return receipts in the record.

  • Failure to mail proper notice of the signing of the judgment within sixty days after the defendant's failure to appear shall release the sureties of any and all obligations under the bond.
     

  1. Allotted Time between Forfeiture Declaration and Payment Due Date.
  1. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES TITLE 15. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ANCILLARIES CODE TITLE VIII. BAIL § 85. Forfeiture; procedure; notice; enforcement; and collection
  • All bonds taken to secure the appearance of any person before any court executed in the state of Louisiana shall be forfeited and collected as follows:

  • Failure to appear and answer. If at the time fixed for appearance the defendant fails to appear and answer when called, the judge, on motion of the prosecuting attorney, upon hearing of proper evidence including: the bail contract; the power of attorney if any; and the notice to the defendant and the surety as required by Article 344 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (see section #3 above), shall immediately and forthwith issue a warrant for the arrest of the person failing to appear and order a judgment decreeing the forfeiture of the bond and against the defendant and his sureties in solido for the full amount of the bond.

  • Signing of the judgment of bond forfeiture. Following the defendant's failure to appear, the court shall sign a written judgment of bond forfeiture.

  • Appeals.


(a) The defendant and his sureties shall have the right to an appeal that suspends the effect or the execution of the judgment of bond forfeiture. The security to be furnished for this suspensive appeal shall be equal to the bail obligation.


(b) The defendant and his sureties shall have the right to a devolutive appeal of the judgment of bond forfeiture.


(c) All appeals shall be to the appellate court having general civil appellate jurisdiction over the court issuing the judgment of bond forfeiture.

  • Enforcement and collection of judgment. No judgment of bond forfeiture rendered on or after August 15, 1997, shall be enforced or collected until ten days after the expiration of six months after the mailing of proper notice of the signing of the judgment of bond forfeiture. The timely filing of a suspensive appeal shall suspend the enforcement or collection of the judgment of the bond forfeiture. In addition, the court may provide by court rule for the filing of an offset claim against the principal with the secretary of the Department of Revenue, in accordance with R.S. 47:299.1 through 299.20. If after six months and ten days from the mailing of proper notice of the signing of the judgment, a judgment of bond forfeiture against a commercial surety company has not been suspensively appealed nor satisfied or proceedings challenging the bond forfeiture have not been timely filed, the prosecuting attorney may either file a rule to show cause with the commissioner of insurance in accordance with R.S. 22:658.1 or collect the judgment in the same manner as a civil judgment.

  • Collection by insurance commissioner. Within thirty days of the filing of a rule to show cause by the prosecuting attorney with the commissioner of insurance, the commissioner of insurance shall notify the insurance company, the surety or Lloyd's association, in writing, at the address of the home office of that organization by certified mail, setting a time, place, and date of the commissioner's hearing, which shall not be more than sixty days from the date of receipt of notice from the prosecuting attorney. If after the hearing, the insurance commissioner finds that there is no just cause or legal reason for the surety's nonpayment, the commissioner shall take any action deemed necessary for collection of the amount owed, including suspension of the surety from doing business in the state of Louisiana.

  1. Forfeiture Defenses.
  1. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE TITLE VIII. BAIL Art. 345. Surrender of defendant
  • A surety may surrender the defendant or the defendant may surrender himself, in open court or to the officer charged with his detention, at any time prior to forfeiture or within the time allowed by law for setting aside a judgment of forfeiture of the bail bond. For the purpose of surrendering the defendant, the surety may arrest him. Upon surrender of the defendant, the officer shall detain the defendant in his custody as upon the original commitment and shall acknowledge the surrender by a certificate signed by him and delivered to the surety. Thereafter, the surety shall be fully and finally discharged and relieved of any and all obligation under the bond.
  • If the defendant is incarcerated by the officer originally charged with his detention at any time prior to forfeiture or within the time allowed by law for setting aside a judgment for forfeiture of the bail bond, the surety may apply for and receive from the officer charged with the detention of the defendant a letter verifying that the defendant is incarcerated, but only after the surety verifies to the satisfaction of the officer charged with the detention of the defendant as to the identity of the defendant. Thereafter, the surety shall be fully and finally discharged and relieved of any and all obligation under the bond.
     
  • When a surety receives either a certificate of surrender provided for in Paragraph A or a letter of verification as provided for in Paragraph B, the surety shall pay a fee of twenty-five dollars to the officer charged with the defendant's detention for recalling the capias, accepting the surrender or verifying the incarceration, processing the paperwork, and giving the surety a certificate of surrender or a letter of verification of incarceration releasing him from his obligation under the defendant's bond.
     
  • If during the six-month period allowed for the surrender of the defendant, the defendant is found to be incarcerated in another parish of the state of Louisiana or a foreign jurisdiction, the judgment of bond forfeiture is deemed satisfied if all of the following conditions are met:


(1) The defendant or his sureties file a motion in summary proceeding within the six-month period.


(2) The defendant's sureties produce to the court adequate proof of defendant's incarceration, or the officer originally charged with defendant's detention verifies the defendant's incarceration.


(3) The defendant's sureties pay the officer originally charged with the defendant's detention, the reasonable cost of returning the defendant to the officer originally charged with the defendant's detention prior to the defendant's return.

  • At any time prior to forfeiture or within the time allowed by law for setting aside a judgment for forfeiture of the bail bond, the surety may present to the court a certificate of death naming the defendant as the deceased party. The certificate shall be under seal of the authority confirming the defendant's death. Thereafter, the surety shall be fully and finally discharged and relieved of any and all obligation under the bond.
     
  • When the defendant has been surrendered in conformity with this Article or a letter of verification of incarceration has been issued to the surety as provided for in Paragraph B of this Article, the court shall, upon presentation of the certificate of surrender or the letter of verification of incarceration, order that the surety be exonerated from liability on his bail undertaking and shall order any judgment of forfeiture set aside.

  • During the six-month period provided for surrendering the defendant, the surety may request from the officer originally charged with a felony defendant's detention that the felony defendant's name be placed into the National Crime Information Center registry. Upon such a request, the surety shall pay to the officer originally charged with the felony defendant's detention a fee of twenty-five dollars for processing such placement. If, after the request by the surety and payment of the twenty-five dollar fee, the defendant's name is removed from the National Crime Information Center registry without cause during the six-month period provided for surrendering the defendant, the surety shall be relieved of all obligations under the bond.

  1. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES TITLE 15. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ANCILLARIES CODE TITLE VIII. BAIL § 85. Forfeiture; procedure; notice; enforcement; and collection
  • Summary proceedings. The defendant and his sureties shall be entitled to bring defenses and actions in nullity by use of summary proceedings in the criminal matter before the trial court which issued the judgment of bond forfeiture within sixty days from mailing the notice of the signing of the judgment of bond forfeiture. Any summary proceeding brought by the defendant or his sureties within the sixty-day period shall be determined by the court within one hundred and eighty days of mailing the notice of the signing of the judgment of bond forfeiture. The defendant and his sureties shall be entitled to bring defenses pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 345 and R.S. 15:87 by use of summary proceedings in the criminal matter before the trial court which issued the judgment of bond forfeiture within six months from mailing the notice of the signing of the judgment of bond forfeiture.
  • Nullity actions. Nullity actions pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 2001 et seq. not filed within the sixty days provided for filing summary proceedings shall be brought by the use of ordinary civil proceedings.

  • Satisfaction of judgment of bond forfeiture. Any judgment forfeiting the appearance bond rendered according to this Section shall at any time, within six months, after mailing of the notice of the signing of the judgment of bond forfeiture, be fully satisfied and set aside upon the surrender or the appearance of the defendant. The appearance of the defendant shall operate as a satisfaction of the judgment and the surrender shall operate as a satisfaction of the judgment and shall fully and finally relieve the surety of any and all obligations under the bond. Any judgment forfeiting the appearance bond rendered according to this Section shall at any time, within ten days after the expiration of the six-month period provided to surrender the defendant, be fully satisfied by the payment of the amount of the bail obligation without incurring any interest, costs, or fees.

  1. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES TITLE 15. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ANCILLARIES CODE TITLE VIII. BAIL § 82. Guaranteed arrest bond certificates as cash bail; forfeiture; sureties
  • Any guaranteed arrest bond certificate so posted as a bail bond in any court in this state shall be subject to the forfeiture and collection provisions of law applicable to a bail bond, except that any judgment forfeiting a guaranteed arrest bond certificate rendered under said forfeiture and collection provisions shall, at any time within thirty days after rendition, be set aside upon the surrender, or the appearance and trial and conviction or acquittal of the defendant, or upon a continuance granted upon motion of the district attorney after such appearance.
  1. Remission.
  • (No specific provisions exist in the LA statutes at this time in regard to "remission").
  1. Bail Agent’s Arrest Authority.
  1. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES TITLE 22. INSURANCE CHAPTER 1. INSURANCE CODE PART XXXIV. BAIL ENFORCEMENT AGENTS  § 1514.1. Definitions
     
  • "Bail enforcement" means the apprehension or surrender of a person who is released on bail or who has failed to appear at any stage of the proceedings to answer the charge before the court in which he may be prosecuted.

  • "Bail enforcement agent" means a person who engages in bail enforcement.
     

  1. Other Noteworthy Provisions.
  1. LOUISIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES TITLE 15. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ANCILLARIES CODE TITLE VIII. BAIL § 85. Forfeiture; procedure; notice; enforcement; and collection
  • Failure to satisfy judgment of bond forfeiture. If a judgment of bond forfeiture rendered after June 22, 1993, against a commercial surety company has not been satisfied within two hundred ten days from mailing the notice of the signing of the judgment of bond forfeiture, nor has a suspensive appeal or other proceeding challenging the bond forfeiture been timely filed, the prosecuting attorney may file with the appropriate court a rule to show cause why that commercial surety company should not be prohibited from executing criminal bail bonds before the court issuing the judgment of bond forfeiture. The appropriate court is the court where the bond is posted, whether in a district court or a court other than a district court composed of more than one judge. If the appropriate court is not a district court, it shall sit en banc on such a rule to show cause. If the bond is posted in a court other than a district court and composed of only one judgeship position, then the rule shall be filed in the appropriate district court.
     
  • At the rule to show cause, the court may consider only issues which would interrupt the enforceability of the judgment. Should the court find:


(i) A judgment of bond forfeiture has been rendered after June 22, 1993, against the commercial surety;


(ii) Proper notice pursuant to this Section has been mailed;


(iii) No suspensive appeal has been taken;


(iv) The defendant has neither been surrendered nor appeared within six months of mailing of the notice of the signing of the judgment of bond forfeiture;


(v) Two hundred ten days have passed since the mailing of proper notice of the signing of the judgment of bond forfeiture; and


(vi) The judgment of bond forfeiture has not been satisfied by payment,
then the court may issue an order enjoining the commercial surety company from posting criminal bail bonds before the court issuing the judgment of bond forfeiture if the judgment is not satisfied within the ten days.

  • The burden of proof at the hearing shall be upon the commercial surety by a preponderance of evidence and shall be limited to documents contained in the official court record where the judgment was rendered. The surety company may use evidence not contained in the record to show that it did not receive post- forfeiture notice or the post-forfeiture notice required pursuant to this Section was not properly mailed.
  1. Noteworthy State Appellate Decisions.
  1. State v. Cloter

2000-0119 (La. 6/30/00), 762 So.2d 1079 La.
Jun 30, 2000

  • Defendant sought to set aside judgment of bond forfeiture. The District Court set aside judgment, and state appealed. The Supreme Court held that defendant's arrest did not operate as satisfaction of otherwise properly noticed judgment of bond forfeiture.
    Vacated; judgment of bond forfeiture reinstated; remanded.
     
  1. State v. International Fidelity Ins. Co.

32-837 (La.App. 2 Cir. 3/1/00), 32-838 (La.App. 2 Cir. 3/1/00), 756 So.2d 565
La.App. 2 Cir.
Mar 01, 2000

  • Surety filed motion to be released from its bond obligations. The Fourth Judicial District Court, Parish of Ouachita, No. 98T0296, Benjamin Jones, J., ordered release of surety upon its payment of $112 for transporting principal to jail. State appealed. The Court of Appeal, Brown, J., held that surety was not entitled to release from $4,000 judgment of bond forfeiture.
    Reversed and rendered.
     
  1. Stephens v. Bail Enforcement of Louisiana

96 0809 (La.App. 1 Cir. 2/14/97), 690 So.2d 124
La.App. 1 Cir.
Feb 14, 1997

  • Plaintiff brought suit for damages against bail bond company, bounty hunters, and lender which had financed purchase of plaintiff's truck, arising out of incident in which plaintiff was allegedly beaten when he was seized by bounty hunters and transported to another state to satisfy bonds posted in criminal case. The Twenty-First Judicial District Court, Parish of Livingston, No. 61,207, Edward B. Dufreche, J., entered judgment for plaintiff. Lender suspensively appealed. The Court of Appeal, Carter, J., held that: (1) lender could not be held liable, under theory of respondeat superior, for tortious acts of bail bondsmen and bounty hunters, and (2) evidence did not support imposition of liability upon lender as civil coconspirator.
    Reversed.
  1. Bounty Hunter Provisions.
  • License required.  All recovery agents must be licensed by DOI.  Out of state recovery personnel must contract with a bail agent licensed in Lousiana.  Recovery personnel required to wear apparel identifying bail bond company during apprehension or surrender in a private residence.  For apprehension in a private residence, notification of local law enforcement required.  (LAC title 37, Part XIII, Ch. 49, Reg 65, Sec. 4901 et seq.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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