Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Applauds Passage Of AB 2029 By California Legislature
News: 2012 Press Release
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that the California Legislature has passed AB 2029, authored by Assembly Public Safety Committee Chairman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), by a vote of 29 to 4. The bill re-establishes the Bail Fugitive Recovery Persons Act which requires that all bail fugitive recovery persons meet specified education, notice, and conduct requirements. The Act expired on January 1, 2010.
"I am pleased that the California Legislature 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 the necessary oversight of this narrowly regulated profession to protect Californians and their families in partnership with law enforcement."
"Bounty hunters need industry-wide standards when carrying out their duties, not only for the safety of the public, but also for their own safety," said Assemblymember Ammiano. "This bill just makes sure that they know how to do their job responsibly when tracking down fugitives, not kicking down doors for minor offenses or holding people improperly. I was pleased to work with the Department of Insurance to ensure the passage of this legislation."
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 persons 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 or 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 important provisions.
AB 2029 is strongly supported by statewide and local law enforcement organizations, civil rights groups, and crime victims associations.
AB 2029 now goes to Governor Jerry Brown for his consideration.
"I urge Governor Jerry Brown to sign this bill that will enable the Department of Insurance to continue to protect California's consumers to the best of our ability," Jones said.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $340 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.