1998 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representatives Fredericks, Banks, Green (72nd), Watson
House Bill 724
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 83-39-27, 99-5-11 AND 99-5-25, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR A HEARING BEFORE BOND CAN BE REVOKED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 83-39-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-39-27. It is unlawful for a licensee to engage in any of the following activities:
(a) Specify, suggest or advise the employment of any particular attorney to represent his principal.
(b) Pay a fee or rebate or give or promise to give anything of value to a jailer, policeman, peace officer, clerk, deputy clerk, any other employee of any court, district attorney or any of his employees or any person who has power to arrest or to hold any person in custody.
(c) Pay a fee or rebate or give anything of value to an attorney in bail bond matters, except in defense of any act on a bond, or as counsel to represent such bail agent, his agent or employees.
(d) Pay a fee or rebate or give or promise to give anything of value to the person on whose bond he is surety.
(e) Accept anything of value from a person on whose bond he is surety, or from others on behalf of such person, except the fee or premium on the bond, but the bail agent may accept collateral security or other indemnity.
(f) Coerce, suggest, aid and abet, offer promise of favor or threaten any person on whose bond he is surety or offers to become surety, to induce that person to commit any crime.
(g) Secure any bond with real property located outside this state.
(h) Revoke any bond without a hearing for the person for which such bond is posted within seventy-two (72) hours of revocation.
SECTION 2. Section 99-5-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-5-11. All justices of the peace and all other conservators of the peace are authorized, whenever a person is brought before them charged with any offense not capital for which bail is allowed by law, to take the recognizance or bond of such person, with sufficient sureties, in such penalty as the justice or conservator of the peace may require, for his appearance before such justice or conservator for an examination of his case at some future day. And if the person thus recognized or thus giving bond, fail to appear at the appointed time, it shall be the duty of the justice or conservator to return the recognizance or bond, with his certificate of default, to the court having jurisdiction of the case, and a recovery may be had therein by scire facias, as in other cases of forfeiture. The justice or other conservator shall also issue an alias warrant for the defaulter. If a bond is to be revoked, the person giving bond shall be entitled to a hearing within seventy-two (72) hours of revocation.
SECTION 3. Section 99-5-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-5-25. (1) If a defendant, prosecutor, or witness in any criminal case, proceeding, or matter, fails to appear for any proceeding as ordered by the court, then the court shall order the bail forfeited and a bench warrant issued at the time of nonappearance. The purpose of bail is to guarantee appearance and bail shall not be forfeited for any other reason. Upon declaration of such forfeiture the court shall issue a judgment nisi. The clerk of the court shall notify the surety of the forfeiture by writ of scire facias within five (5) working days of such order of judgment nisi either by personal service or by certified mail. The judgment nisi shall be returnable for ninety (90) days from the date of issuance. If during such period the defendant appears before the court or is arrested and surrendered, then the judgement nisi shall be set aside. If the surety fails to produce the defendant and does not provide to the court reasonable mitigating circumstances upon such showing, then the forfeiture shall be made final. Reasonable mitigating circumstances shall be that the defendant is incarcerated in another jurisdiction, that the defendant is hospitalized under a doctor's care, that the defendant is in a recognized drug rehabilitation program, that the defendant has been placed in a witness protection program and it shall be the duty of any such agency placing such defendant into a witness protection program to notify the court and the court to notify the surety, or any other reason justifiable to the court.
(2) If a final judgment is entered against a surety licensed by the Department of Insurance and has not been set aside after ninety (90) days, or later if such time is extended by the court issuing the judgment nisi, then the court shall order the department to revoke the authority of such surety to write bail bonds. The commissioner shall, upon notice of the court, notify said surety within five (5) working days of receipt of revocation. If after ten (10) working days of such notification the revocation order has not been set aside by the court, then the commissioner shall revoke the authority of the surety and all agents of the surety and shall notify the sheriff of every county of such revocation.
(3) If within twelve (12) months of the date of the final forfeiture the defendant appears for court, is arrested or surrendered to the court, or if the defendant is found to be incarcerated in another jurisdiction and a hold order placed on the defendant, then the amount of bail, less reasonable extradition cost, excluding attorney fees, shall be refunded by the court upon application by the surety.
(4) If a bond is to be revoked, the person giving bond shall be entitled to a hearing within seventy-two (72) hours of revocation.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.