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News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: May 30, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Applauds Passage Of AB 2029 By California State Assembly
Bill Would Re-Establish the "Bail Fugitive Recovery Persons Act"

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that the California State Assembly has passed AB 2029, authored by Assembly Public Safety Committee Chair Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco). AB 2029, which received bipartisan support, is sponsored by Commissioner Jones and the California Department of Insurance (CDI). The bill would re-establish the "Bail Fugitive Recovery Persons Act" into state law, requiring that all bail fugitive recovery persons meet specified education, notice, and conduct requirements while out in the field. The act expired on January 1, 2010.

"I am pleased that the Assembly has passed this important legislation regarding the re-establishment of requirements for the bounty hunter profession," Commissioner Jones said. "This legislation will give my Department oversight of this profession in an effort to create much needed safety mechanisms for law enforcement and consumers."

Bail fugitive recovery persons, commonly known as bounty hunters, earn their living by tracking down bail fugitives. If an accused person out on bail fails to appear at his or her court date, the bail agent who posted the bond for the accused may contract with a bounty hunter to retrieve the person.

Specifically, the Act would provide:

  • Specified age, background, training and education, and documentation requirements for an individual acting as a bail fugitive recovery person;
  • That a bail fugitive recovery person may apprehend, detain, or arrest a bail fugitive only if working under the expressed written authorization of a licensed bail agent;
  • That no bail fugitive recovery person shall wear a uniform or carry a badge that could imply that person works for a governmental agency, law enforcement, or a public safety task force; and,
  • That the bail fugitive recovery person is to provide a local police or sheriff's department with at least a six-hour advance notice of his or her intent to apprehend a bail fugitive, except for in exigent situations, among other provisions.

The bill now heads to the California State Senate for consideration.

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2012 the California Department of Insurance received more than 160,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $64 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Out-of-state callers, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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