CHAPTER 533

PROFESSIONAL BONDSMEN

Table of Contents

Sec. 29-144. Definition.

Sec. 29-145. Bondsmen to be licensed.

Sec. 29-146. Investigation of applicant for license. Fee. Term of license.

Sec. 29-147. Renewal, revocation or suspension of license.

Sec. 29-147a. Suspension of license for failure to pay forfeited bond.

Sec. 29-148. Notice. Statement of assets and liabilities.

Sec. 29-149. Notice to courts and municipal departments of licensees.

Sec. 29-150. Oath of bondsmen. Form.

Sec. 29-151. Maximum commission or fee. Reports to commissioner.

Sec. 29-152. Penalty.

Sec. 29-152a. Inspection of books and records. Regulations.

Sec. 29-152b. Prohibited acts.

Sec. 29-152c. Collateral security or other indemnity on a bail bond. Penalty.

Sec. 29-152d. Reserved


Sec. 29-144. Definition. Any person who makes a business of furnishing bail in criminal cases or who furnishes bail in five or more criminal cases in any one year, whether for compensation or otherwise, shall be deemed a professional bondsman and shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter. Any resident elector of the state of Connecticut who is of good moral character and of sound financial responsibility may, upon obtaining a license therefor in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, engage in the business of professional bondsman within this state.

(1949 Rev., S. 3728.)

Expressly exempts state from showing defendant received compensation. 25 CA 643.

Sec. 29-145. Bondsmen to be licensed. Any person desiring to engage in the business of a professional bondsman shall apply to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection for a license. Such application shall set forth under oath the full name, age, residence, telephone number and occupation of the applicant, whether the applicant intends to engage in the business of a professional bondsman individually or in partnership or association with another or others, and, if so, the identity of each. It shall also set forth under oath a statement of the assets and liabilities of the applicant, and whether the applicant has been charged with or convicted of crime, and such other information, including fingerprints and photographs, as said commissioner from time to time may require. The commissioner shall require the applicant to submit to state and national criminal history records checks. The criminal history records checks required pursuant to this section shall be conducted in accordance with section 29-17a. No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be licensed to do business as a professional bondsman in this state. No person engaged in law enforcement or vested with police powers shall be licensed to do business as a professional bondsman.

(1949 Rev., S. 3729; P.A. 77-614, S. 486, 610; P.A. 01-175, S. 24, 32; P.A. 11-45, S. 16; 11-51, S. 134.)

History: P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of state police with commissioner of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 01-175 added language re criminal history records checks in accordance with Sec. 29-17a and made a technical change for purposes of gender neutrality, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 11-45 added applicant’s telephone number to information required in application and made a technical change; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Commissioner of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection”, effective July 1, 2011.

Cited. 25 CA 643.

Sec. 29-146. Investigation of applicant for license. Fee. Term of license. The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall, upon receipt of such application, cause an investigation to be made of the character and financial responsibility of the applicant and, if he finds that such applicant is a resident elector of good moral character and of sound financial responsibility, he shall, upon payment by such applicant to the state of a license fee of two hundred dollars, issue a license to such applicant to do business in this state as a professional bondsman. Each such license shall be for such term not exceeding one year as said commissioner determines.

(1949 Rev., S. 3730; P.A. 96-180, S. 154, 166; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 313; P.A. 11-51, S. 134.)

History: P.A. 96-180 substituted “The Commissioner of Public Safety” for “Said commissioner”, effective June 3, 1996; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 increased license fee from $100 to $200; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Commissioner of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection”, effective July 1, 2011.

Sec. 29-147. Renewal, revocation or suspension of license. Each professional bondsman licensed under the provisions of this chapter may apply for a renewal of his license upon renewal application forms provided by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection and requiring the disclosure of such information as said commissioner requires in determining whether or not such professional bondsman’s financial responsibility remains unimpaired or whether for any other reason such bondsman’s fitness to continue in such business has been otherwise altered since the issuance of any prior license. Said commissioner may suspend for a definite term or revoke any license issued under the provisions of this chapter if it appears to said commissioner that such licensee has been convicted of a felony in this state or elsewhere or is engaged in any unlawful activity affecting his fitness to continue in the business of professional bondsman or that his financial responsibility has been substantially impaired.

(1949 Rev., S. 3731; P.A. 77-614, S. 486, 610; P.A. 11-51, S. 134.)

History: P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of state police with commissioner of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Commissioner of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection”, effective July 1, 2011.

Sec. 29-147a. Suspension of license for failure to pay forfeited bond. The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection may suspend any license issued under the provisions of this chapter of any professional bondsman when he finds that such surety has failed to pay a forfeited bond. Such license shall remain so suspended and shall not be reinstated nor shall any such license be issued to such surety until such person pays such forfeited bond.

(P.A. 80-312; P.A. 11-51, S. 134.)

History: Pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Commissioner of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection”, effective July 1, 2011.

Sec. 29-148. Notice. Statement of assets and liabilities. Each professional bondsman licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall: (1) Inform the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, in writing, of (A) a change in such professional bondsman’s name, residence address or telephone number, not later than thirty days after such change, and (B) any material change in such professional bondsman’s assets or liabilities affecting such bondsman’s responsibility as a bondsman; and (2) at any time, upon request of said commissioner, furnish said commissioner with a statement under oath of such professional bondsman’s assets and liabilities, including all bail bonds on which such bondsman is obligated.

(1949 Rev., S. 3732; P.A. 96-180, S. 155, 166; P.A. 11-45, S. 17; 11-51, S. 134.)

History: P.A. 96-180 substituted “the Commissioner of Public Safety” for “said commissioner”, effective June 3, 1996; P.A. 11-45 added provision requiring notice to commissioner of changes in bondsman’s name, address or telephone number and made technical changes; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Commissioner of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection”, effective July 1, 2011.

Sec. 29-149. Notice to courts and municipal departments of licensees. The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall furnish to all courts and to all town, city and borough departments in the state, having authority to accept bail, the names, residence addresses and telephone numbers of all professional bondsmen licensed under the provisions of this chapter and shall forthwith notify such courts and all such town, city and borough departments of any change in any such bondsman’s name, residence address, telephone number or status or of the suspension or revocation of any bondsman’s license to engage in such business.

(1949 Rev., S. 3733; P.A. 96-180, S. 156, 166; P.A. 11-45, S. 18; 11-51, S. 134.)

History: P.A. 96-180 substituted “The Commissioner of Public Safety” for “Said commissioner”, effective June 3, 1996; P.A. 11-45 added residence address and telephone number to licensee information commissioner is required to furnish to courts and municipal departments; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Commissioner of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection”, effective July 1, 2011.

Sec. 29-150. Oath of bondsmen. Form. Each professional bondsman shall, when furnishing surety for recognizances of any person charged with crime, take oath to the sufficiency of his security upon a uniform form furnished for such purpose by the clerk of the Superior Court and approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection. No person who offers himself as surety on bail in any criminal case shall falsely represent that he is the legal or equitable owner of any stated property.

(1949 Rev., S. 3734; 1961, P.A. 129; 1969, P.A. 57; P.A. 74-183, S. 265, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 228, 681; P.A. 77-614, S. 486, 610; P.A. 11-51, S. 134.)

History: 1961 act provided for furnishing of forms by state police commissioner in lieu of superior court clerk; 1969 act required use of “uniform” form and transferred responsibility for furnishing form from state police commissioner to clerks of superior or circuit courts; P.A. 74-183 replaced circuit court with court of common pleas; P.A. 76-436 deleted reference to court of common pleas, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of state police with commissioner of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Commissioner of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection”, effective July 1, 2011.

Sec. 29-151. Maximum commission or fee. Reports to commissioner. No such professional bondsman shall charge for his commission or fee more than fifty dollars for the amount of bail furnished by him up to five hundred dollars, nor more than ten per cent of the amount of bail furnished by him from five hundred dollars up to five thousand dollars, nor more than seven per cent of the amount of bail furnished by him on sums in excess of five thousand dollars. When a professional bondsman has furnished bail to an accused in a criminal proceeding, the fee which he receives therefor shall be credited on account of his fee for any subsequent bail in an increased amount which he may furnish for the same person in the same criminal proceeding; but this provision shall not apply to bail furnished on appeal of a conviction or bindover of an accused. Each professional bondsman licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall annually, during the month of January, on forms furnished by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, report to said commissioner in detail the names of the persons for whom such bondsman has become surety during the year ended December thirty-first preceding, with the date, the amount of bond and the fee charged and paid and such further information as said commissioner requires.

(1949 Rev., S. 3735; 1969, P.A. 206; P.A. 77-614, S. 486, 610; P.A. 83-163; P.A. 86-183; P.A. 11-51, S. 134.)

History: 1969 act increased bondsman’s commission from $5 to $20 on bail amounts up to $300, rather than $100, from 5% to 7% for changed $300 lower range up to $5,000 and from 2.5% to 5% for amounts exceeding $5,000; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of state police with commissioner of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 83-163 increased bondsman’s commission from a maximum of 7% to a maximum of 10% for amounts of bail furnished from $300 up to $5,000; P.A. 86-183 increased maximum fee from $20 to $50 on bail up to $500, 10% of amount of bail from $500 to $5,000 and changed percentage from 5% to 7% of amount of bail in excess of $5,000; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Commissioner of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection”, effective July 1, 2011.

Cited. 147 C. 1.

Statute upheld as constitutional. 2 Conn. Cir. Ct. 83. Defendant, after accepting license under statute and acting thereunder, cannot then claim statute is unconstitutional. Id.

Sec. 29-152. Penalty. Any person who violates any provision of sections 29-145, 29-148, 29-150 and 29-151 shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than two years or both and such person’s right to engage in the business of a professional bondsman in this state shall thereupon be permanently forfeited.

(1949 Rev., S. 3736; P.A. 11-45, S. 19.)

History: P.A. 11-45 replaced “this chapter” with “sections 29-145, 29-148, 29-150 and 29-151” and made a technical change.

Sec. 29-152a. Inspection of books and records. Regulations. To carry out the provisions of sections 29-144 to 29-151, inclusive, 29-152b and 29-152c, the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection may:

(1) Inspect the books and records of any professional bondsman as often as the commissioner deems necessary. Said commissioner may consult with the Insurance Commissioner to carry out such inspections. The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to (A) establish procedures for such inspections, (B) specify the content and form of books and records required to be kept by professional bondsmen, or (C) require a fee to be paid by professional bondsmen to cover the cost of inspections; and

(2) Adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of sections 29-144 to 29-151, inclusive, 29-152b and 29-152c.

(P.A. 11-45, S. 20.)

History: (Revisor’s note: “Commissioner of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection” to conform with changes made by P.A. 11-51).

Sec. 29-152b. Prohibited acts. (a) No professional bondsman shall:

(1) Suggest or advise, in exchange for a fee or other consideration, the employment of or name for employment of any particular attorney to represent the principal on a bail bond;

(2) Solicit business in or on the property or grounds of a correctional institution, community correctional center or other detention facility where arrested persons are confined, or in or on the property or grounds of any courthouse, unless a request is initiated by an arrested person, a person with actual or apparent authority to act on behalf of such arrested person, or a potential indemnitor. For purposes of this subdivision, “solicit” includes the distribution of business cards, print advertising or any other written information directed to arrested persons or potential indemnitors. A correctional institution, community correctional center or other detention facility where arrested persons are confined, police station or courthouse may permit print advertising by a professional bondsman in or on the property or grounds of such institution, center or facility, police station or courthouse, provided such advertising shall be limited to a listing in a telephone directory and the posting of the professional bondsman’s name, address and telephone number in a prominent designated location in or on such property or grounds. Nothing in this subdivision shall prohibit a professional bondsman from soliciting business in or on the property or grounds of a police station;

(3) Pay a fee or rebate or give or promise anything of value to a law enforcement officer, judicial marshal, employee of the Department of Correction or other person who has power to arrest or to hold a person in custody, or to any other public official or public employee to secure a compromise, remission or reduction of the amount of any bail bond or estreatment of bail;

(4) Pay a fee or rebate or give or promise anything of value to an attorney in any matter pertaining to a bail bond, except in defense of any action on a bail bond;

(5) Pay a fee or rebate or give or promise anything of value to the principal or to any person on the principal’s behalf;

(6) Participate in the capacity of an attorney at a proceeding of a principal, in violation of section 51-88;

(7) Accept anything of value from a principal for providing a bail bond, other than the commission or fee authorized under section 29-151, except that the professional bondsman may accept collateral security or other indemnity on a bail bond from a principal or other person in accordance with section 29-152c. A professional bondsman may, upon written agreement with a third party, receive a fee or other compensation for returning to custody an individual who has fled the jurisdiction of the court or whose bail bond has been forfeited;

(8) Execute a bail bond in this state on such professional bondsman’s own behalf; or

(9) Write a bail bond in this state for an arrested person if such arrested person or a person with actual or apparent authority to act on behalf of such arrested person has not authorized such bondsman, in writing, to execute a bail bond on such arrested person’s behalf. The professional bondsman shall maintain any such written authorization.

(b) If a bail bond executed by a professional bondsman is forfeited and such forfeiture has remained unpaid for at least sixty days after the date payment has become due, no such bondsman shall execute a bail bond in this state until the full amount of the forfeited bail bond is paid to the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney in accordance with procedures set forth by said office.

(P.A. 11-45, S. 21; 11-152, S. 17.)

History: P.A. 11-152 amended Subsec. (a) to delete “directly or indirectly” re soliciting business and permit solicitation of business within a police station and when request is initiated by person with actual or apparent authority to act for arrested person in Subdiv. (2), to delete Subdiv. (3) that prohibited wearing or displaying certain identification, and to redesignate existing Subdivs. (4) to (10) as Subdivs. (3) to (9).

Sec. 29-152c. Collateral security or other indemnity on a bail bond. Penalty. (a) A professional bondsman may accept collateral security or other indemnity on a bail bond.

(b) If collateral security or other indemnity was received on a bail bond by a professional bondsman and such bond is terminated, such bondsman shall return the collateral security or other indemnity, except a promissory note or an indemnity agreement, not later than twenty-one days after receipt of a written report from the court that the bail bond has been terminated. Such collateral security or other indemnity shall be returned to the person who gave the collateral security or other indemnity unless another disposition is provided for by legal assignment to another person of the right to receive the return of the collateral security or other indemnity. If, despite diligent inquiry by the professional bondsman to determine whether the bail bond has been terminated, the court fails to provide any written report on termination, the collateral security or other indemnity, except a promissory note or an indemnity agreement, shall be returned to the person who provided the collateral security or other indemnity not later than twenty-one days after the professional bondsman has become aware that the bail bond has been terminated.

(c) No fee or other charge shall be deducted from the collateral security or other indemnity due, except that actual and reasonable expenses incurred by a professional bondsman in the apprehension of a defendant because of a forfeiture of a bail bond or judgment may be deducted if such expenses are accounted for.

(d) Any person who violates this section shall be subject to the penalties for larceny under sections 53a-122 to 53a-125b, inclusive, depending on the amount involved.

(P.A. 11-45, S. 22.)

Sec. 29-152d. Reserved for future use.