1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representatives Rogers, Mitchell
House Bill 1022
AN ACT TO CREATE NEW CODE SECTION 83-39-2, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN BAIL AGENTS SHALL BE CONSIDERED DESIGNATED AGENTS/OFFICERS OF THE COURTS OF MISSISSIPPI FOR BAIL PURPOSES; TO AMEND SECTION 83-39-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF A BAIL ENFORCEMENT AGENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following section shall be codified as Section 83-39-2, Mississippi Code of 1972:
83-39-2. Any individual serving as a professional bail agent, a soliciting bail agent, a bail enforcement agent, a limited surety agent or a personal surety agent as defined in Section 83-39-1 shall be considered a designated agent/officer of the courts of Mississippi for bail purposes.
SECTION 2. Section 83-39-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-39-1. The following terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Department" means the Department of Insurance.
(b) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Insurance.
(c) "Insurer" means any domestic or foreign insurance corporation or association engaged in the business of insurance or suretyship which has qualified to transact surety or casualty business in this state.
(d) "Professional bail agent" means any individual who shall furnish bail, acting as a licensed personal surety agent or as a licensed limited surety agent representing an insurer as defined by this chapter. The above definition shall not include, and this chapter does not apply to, any individual who acts as personal surety in instances where there is no compensation charged or received for such service.
(e) "Soliciting bail agent" means any person who, as an agent or employee of a professional bail agent, or as an independent contractor, for compensation or otherwise, shall solicit, advertise or actively seek bail bond business for or in behalf of a professional bail agent.
(f) "Bail enforcement agent" means a person who, as an agent or employee of a professional bail agent or as an independent contractor for compensation or otherwise, assists the professional bail agent in presenting the defendant in court when required, or who assists in the apprehension and surrender of the defendant to the court or who keeps the defendant under necessary surveillance. Nothing herein shall affect the right of professional bail agents to have counsel or to ask assistance of law enforcement officers.
(g) "Limited surety agent" means any individual who is appointed by an insurer by power of attorney to execute or countersign bail bonds in connection with judicial proceedings, and who is duly licensed by the commissioner to represent such insurer for the restricted lines of bail, fidelity and surety, after successfully completing a limited examination by the department for the restricted lines of business.
(h) "Personal surety agent" means any individual who, having posted the necessary qualification bond with the commissioner as required by Section 83-39-7, and duly licensed by the commissioner, may execute and sign bail bonds in connection with judicial proceedings. All new personal surety agents licensed after July 1, 1994, shall complete successfully a limited examination by the department for the restricted lines of business.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.