RULES AND REGULATIONS

 

OF THE

 

PARKER COUNTY

 

BAIL BOND BOARD

 

RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE

 

PARKER COUNTY BAIL BOND BOARD

______________________________

 

 

            Pursuant to the authority granted in Texas Statutes Occupations Code Chapter 1704, the following rules and regulations are adopted to regulate the bail bond business in Parker County, Texas.

The Parker County Bail Bond Board will hold regular meetings on the fourth    (4th) Wednesday of each month, at 1:15 p.m., in the informal courtroom of the Parker County District Courthouse unless otherwise specified by the Chairperson of the Board.  Notices of any meeting will be posted on the bulletin board at the designated county location for such posting 72 hours  in advance of each meeting.  For purposes of Board meetings, the Chairperson shall be the designated presiding officer.  In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall be the designated presiding officer.  In the absence of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, the presiding officer shall be a Board member, designated by the Chairperson in writing, for that purpose for that particular meeting.  Such written designation shall be attached to the minutes of such Board meeting.  It shall be the responsibility of the Presiding Officer of each meeting to provide a secretary for purposes of recording minutes of the business that comes before the Board during that meeting.  All proceedings not governed by specific statutory provisions shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, and the presiding officer shall serve ex officio as parliamentarian. The Board shall annually elect members to the offices of Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson at the June meeting of each year .

 

 

RULES AND REGULATIONS

 

FOR

 

PARKER COUNTY LICENSED BONDSMEN

 

 

1.                  If a judicial determination is made that a bondsman licensed by the Parker County Bail Bond Board has surrendered a principal without reasonable cause, the Parker County Bail Bond Board, upon receiving information that such determination was made, shall then take whatever action it deems        appropriate, including revocation or suspension of the license of the      bondsman.

 

2.

            A.            No collateral will be added to a bondsman's maximum bond amount unless it is a minimum of $1,000.00.

 

B.        If cash or certificate(s) of deposit are to be deposited with the Parker County Treasurer as collateral, such collateral must remain in trust for at least one (1) year.  If real estate is offered as collateral, the real estate may be released within ninety (90) days provided that cash or certificate(s) of deposit in equal or greater amount are offered in lieu of the real estate.  Cash or certificate(s) of deposit offered in place of real estate must remain in trust for one (1) year.  Any change in collateral under this rule must be accompanied by a current financial statement.  A statement entitled Assignment of Certificate of Deposit and a Financial Inquiry Waiver shall be properly executed and provided to the Board in every instance a certificate of deposit is used as collateral as is evidenced by the attached Exhibit 1.

 

C.        If real estate is offered as collateral in lieu of cash or certificate(s) of deposit or in lieu of other real estate already pledged or any real estate offered as collateral the bondsman must present the following to the       Board for approval:

 

1. A legal description equivalent to the description required to        convey the property by general warranty deed entitled Statement of Real Estate Used as Collateral and attached hereto as Exhibit 2.

 

2. A current statement from each taxing unit with power to assess or collect taxes against the property indicating that there are no outstanding tax liens against the property and indicating the net value of the property according to the current appraisal [said appraisal must have been prepared within twelve (12) months of the date of the application and /or renewal of a license] made by a real estate appraiser who is a member in good standing of a nationally recognized professional appraiser society or trade organization that has an established code of ethics, educational program, and professional certification program, accompanied by a statement from the applicant agreeing to keep all taxes paid on the property while it remains in trust to be exhibited by a statement entitled No Tax Liens Statement attached hereto as Exhibit 3.

 

3. A statement of the applicant that he/she will not further encumber the property after conveying it in trust to the County Bail Bond Board, without notifying and obtaining the permission of the board to be exhibited by a statement entitled Statement of No Further Encumbrances and attached hereto as Exhibit 4.

 

4. An agreement to insure and keep current the insurance on any improvements on the property against any damage or destruction while the property remains in trust, in the full amount of the value claimed for the improvements exhibited by a statement entitled Statement of Insurance on Improvements and attached hereto as Exhibit 5.

 

5. A statement indicating whether the applicant is married and, if so, a sworn statement from the spouse agreeing to transfer to the board, as a part of the trust, any right, title, or interest that the spouse may have in the property; and the spouse must execute the deeds of trust to any community property placed in the security deposit required under this section exhibited by a statement entitled Spousal Affidavit and attached hereto as Exhibit 6.

 

6. A financial statement properly prepared within thirty (30) days of the date the application is submitted to the Board for consideration and any renewal of a license thereafter; and,

 

7. A properly executed Deed of Trust in favor of the Parker County Bail Bond Board as beneficiary.

 

3.         There shall be no soliciting of bonds permitted inside jail buildings, or at entrances thereto, by either licensed bondsmen or their agents.                      

 

4.                  There shall be no billboard or other type of permanent advertising placed in a location which can be seen from inside the jail.

 

5.                  A person may not advertise that he or she may act as a bail bond surety in this county without holding a license issued by the bail bond board of this county.

 

6.                  Each advertisement placed by or on behalf of a bail bond surety must include a listing of the county or counties in which the bail bond surety is licensed.

 

7.                  If the bail bond surety is an attorney who uses the exemption from the requirement of a license contained in Occupations Code, Sec. 1704.163, any advertisement by or on behalf of that attorney for his or her services as a bail bond surety must include the following statement: “Not licensed by a bail bond board, but permitted by state law to act as surety for persons actually represented by me in the criminal case for which the bond was given.”

 

8.                  A bail bond surety may not advertise bail bond services under any name other than the name approved by the bail bond board.

 

9.                  Each bail bond surety licensed by the bail bond board of this county must maintain an office location in this county,

 

10.             “Office location”  means a physical address having the following characteristics:

 

A.       It is located in a building at a location primarily used for commercial purposes.

 

B.       The telephone services for the bail bond business are primarily installed at that location.

 

C.       The files relating to the bail bond surety’s bonds for this county are maintained at that location.

 

D.        The majority of the bail bond surety’s business relating to this county is conducted at that location

 

11.             Not later than the seventh day after the date when a bail bond surety opens a new office or moves the office to a new office location, the bail bond surety must notify the bail bond board of the location of the office.

 

 

 

12.             Every license renewal request and $500.00 fees must be submitted for Board approval at the meeting thirty one (31) days prior to the expiration of the license. (TX occ code 1704.162)

 

13.             No later than August 5th of each year, ballots will be mailed to each licensed bondsman by the Parker County Bail Bond Board.  At the regular September Board meeting, the ballots will be counted by the Board members according to the instructions sent with the ballot to the licensed bondsmen.  The duly elected representative of the licensed bondsmen will serve from September through the last day of August of the following year.

 

14.             Bond forfeitures must be paid within thirty (30) days following final judgment or the bondsman shall be suspended from the active bond list.

 

15.             The Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson is authorized to act on behalf of the Parker County Bail Bond Board to conduct inspection of bail bond records pursuant to Texas Occupations Code Chapter 1704.202.  Either the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson may appoint agents to conduct actual inspection of records.

 

16.             A bondsman shall maintain a file on each principal for whom he/she writes a bond.  The file shall contain the information required under Texas Occupations Code Chapter 1704.202, as well as any information required to be maintained by the local rules herein.

 

17.       The bondsman has the responsibility of notifying the principal of all court settings.  A record of such notice shall be kept in the file required by Rule No. 16. 

 

18.      A bondsman shall not charge a fee for making a bond in an amount in excess of the amount of the bond.

 

19.      A receipt shall be given to the principal or person paying a bond fee.  The receipt shall indicate whether the payment was money or property.  If property, a description of such property shall be included on the receipt, to include serial numbers, if any.  A copy of such receipt shall be kept in the file required by Rule No. 16.


 

20.          A receipt shall be given to the principal or other person on behalf of the principal who gives money or property to a bondsman as collateral to secure either the payment of the bond fee or performance on the bond.  If property is given, the receipt shall describe said property, including serial numbers, vehicle identification numbers (VIN's), etc.  The receipt shall state whether the collateral is held to secure the fee, the performance, or both.

 

If the collateral is to be forfeited, the person giving said collateral shall be given ten (10) days written notice of said intended forfeiture.  The notice shall be sent by certified mail to the last known address of the person giving said collateral.  The property may be sold for its fair market value and the defendant's account credited for said amount.  The defendant or party giving the collateral shall then be notified of the account balance and any surplus remitted to the person posting said collateral.

 

21.                   A bondsman shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation as it relates to his or her bail bond business.

 

22.      To be eligible for a license, an individual, including an agent designated by a

corporation in an application, must meet the requirements of Occupations Code, Sec. 1704.152, and may not be ineligible because of a criminal

conviction described by Occupations Code, Sec. 1704.153.

 

23.      An individual, including an agent designated by a corporation in an

application, must submit with the application:

 

A.      An affidavit is filed that he or she, in the two years preceding the date a license application is filed, have at least one year of continuous work experience in the bail bond business (Occupational Code, Sec. 1704.152(4)(A).  This affidavit must include the name, address and phone number of the bail bond surety who has so employed the applicant.

 

B.     A certificate issued by an institution of higher education accredited by the State of Texas, certifying that the applicant has completed at least eight hours of continuing legal education in criminal law courses or bail bond law courses that have been approved by the State Bar of Texas and offered by that certifying institution of higher education.  This certificate must include the dates of attendance and must show that the applicant attended those courses within the two years preceding the date of the license application.

 

24. In discharging its responsibility for reviewing applications and renewals for

licenses, the Board shall require the applicant or licensee seeking renewal to have at least $50,000.00 unencumbered minimum collateral deposit.

 

25.          In the event a bondsman signs a Release of Surety, resulting in the issuance of an alias warrant, the bondsman shall furnish a photograph of the defendant, and an information sheet to assist any law enforcement office in serving the warrant upon request.

 

26.            Bondsmen with real estate pledged as collateral for making bail bonds shall provide a copy of paid tax receipts for each piece of real estate so pledged by February 7of each year.  These receipts must provide proof of taxes paid to the county, to the city, if applicable, and to the school district.  Failure to provide the evidence of taxes paid shall result in the property being deducted from posted collateral.

 

27.       Left blank for future use.

 

28.       If a complaint against a bondsman is submitted to the Board, the complaint will first be screened to determine if it provides reasonable cause to believe that a violation of the statutory Texas Occupations Code Chapter 1704 or these local rules has occurred.  All complaints shall be placed on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled Bail Bond Board meeting occurring seven (7) or more days after receipt of said complaint so that the Board can make this determination.  This determination shall be made on the face of the complaint and not subject to a hearing at this point.  If the Board decides that a complaint does not provide "reasonable cause" as described above, the complainant and the bondsman made the subject of the complaint shall be so notified in writing by the designated Secretary of the Board.

 

If the Board determines that a complaint does state "reasonable cause" as described above, it shall direct such investigation into the complaint as it deems necessary.  This may include a testimonial hearing before the Board, but such a hearing shall not be required by every case.  The complainant and the bondsman named in the complaint shall be entitled to at least ten (10) calendar days written notice of a decision to hold a testimonial hearing before the Board  convenes the hearing.  This notice period shall commence on the date  when the Board or its representative deposits written notice in the United States Mail by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, addressed to the last business address provided to the Board by the bondsman.  The hearing may be held no earlier than the eleventh (11th) day, counting the notice's mailing day as day one.  A bondsman shall also be entitled to the same notice and time to answer if the Board chooses to investigate a complaint through other means, such as a request for affidavits, a request to produce evidence, or a request that an agent of the Board interview the bondsman or his agents.  PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NOTHING IN THIS RULE SHALL OPERATE TO ABROGATE OR DIMINISH THE BOARD'S STATUTORY RIGHT TO INSPECT ON DEMAND, WHETHER IN PERSON OR VIA A REPRESENTATIVE, THE RECORDS A BONDSMAN MUST KEEP PURSUANT TO Texas Occupations Code Chapter 1704

 

            Failure on the part of a bondsman to testify at such a hearing, to answer any questions at the hearing, or to timely provide any other response or evidence requested by the Board pursuant to this rule shall be considered in itself to be a violation of these rules.

 

            Once the Board completes its investigation, it shall take such action as it deems appropriate.  Both the complainant and the bondsman who was the subject of the complaint shall be sent written notice of the Board's decision.

 

29.

A.        An Agent, as used in this rule, shall mean any person hired by a bail bondsman who performs either of the following duties:

 

1. meets and negotiates with members of the public for the purpose of selling bail bonds;

 

2. presents bonds to the Sheriff's Department for approval.

 

B.        The Bail Bond Board will not license as an agent any person who, after August 27, 1973, commits or has committed an offense being a felony, or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude if such offense has resulted in a final conviction or for which filed charges are currently pending.  This rule shall not apply if a period of more than ten (10) years has elapsed between the date of the filing of the application for license and the date of:

 

1. the conviction,

 

2. the release from the confinement imposed for that conviction,

 

3. the satisfactory completion of probation or parole for that conviction; or,

 

4. the pardon, annulment or other equivalent procedure for that conviction,

 

            whichever is the later date.

 

C.        No bail bondsman may employ a person as an agent who is not licensed.

 

D.            The fee for licensing an agent shall be $25.00.

 

            E.            A bail bondsman may have a maximum of ten (10) agents.

 

F.         All agents shall comply with the Texas Occupation Code Chapter 1704  et seq., and the Rules and Regulations of the Parker County Bail Bond Board. Upon showing that an agent has violated either the Texas Occupations Code Chapter 1704, or the Rules and Regulations, or conduct unbecoming a bail bondsman, the license(s) for such agent may be suspended or revoked for each bondsman represented by such agent regardless as to which bondsman the agent was pursuing the bonding interests of at the time of any such infraction.

 

G. Each bondsman is responsible for the actions taken by any agent hired by the bondsman.  Upon showing that an agent has violated the Texas Occupation Code Chapter 1704 or the Rules and Regulations while representing one or more specific bondsman, the license of the bondsman may be suspended or revoked.

 

H.                An applicant who has been denied an agent license may not reapply for a period of six (6) months from the date of the denial of his or her application for license.

 

I.                    At any time an agent is terminated by a licensed bail bondsman, it shall be the responsibility of the sponsoring bail bondsman to provide written notice to the secretary, Chairman, and the elected Bail Bond Surety Representative. of the Parker County Bail Bond Board and to the Parker County Sheriff Office by delivering such written notice above referenced to the Bonding Desk at the Parker County Jail revoking the former agent’s power to present bonds to Parker County on behalf of that licensed bail bondsman.  Upon termination it shall be the responsibility of the terminated agent to surrender his/her identification card(s) evidencing such former agent status with said licensed bail bondsman to the elected Bail Bond Surety Representative of the Parker County Bail Bond Board.  The elected Bail Bond Surety Representative shall in turn notify the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, in writing, that said agent power to present bonds has been so terminated.

 

30.                   A licensed bondsman may operate under one (1) assumed name or under his or her own name but not both.  Any advertising must contain the true name and license number of the bondsman.  If a bondsman uses an assumed name, he/she must notify the Bail Bond Board.

 

Bail bond agents may not advertise bail bond services in their own name but only in the name of the licensed bondsman.  They may not, on personal business cards or otherwise, advertise using a telephone number that does not belong to a licensed bondsman.

 

31.          When a bondsman renews his/her license and resubmits real property for collateral, the value may be determined by submitting the following to the Board:

 

A.        A complete appraisal as described in Texas Occupation Code Chapter 1704.

 

32.

A.        The Board may, on its own motion, or upon a showing of good cause supported by an affidavit, grant a continuance to a bondsman and/or agent when a hearing is set to investigate the actions and records relating to any complaint filed against any bondsman and/or agent.  A continuance can be given on a month to month basis but it shall not exceed more than three (3) months.

 

B.        If a motion for continuance is granted, and if the continued hearing is set beyond the expiration date of a bondsman and/or agent's license, the license may be temporarily extended beyond the expiration date of the license, thereby allowing the bondsman and/or agent to sell bail bonds until the final disposition of the continued hearing.  Whenever a continuance is granted, the bondsman will remain liable for any and all obligations incurred on any bonds made during the original license or any extension thereof.

 

33.          When weed liens encumber real estate conveyed in trust to the Board to secure bonding business obligations, the entirely of said encumbered real estate shall not be permitted to be considered as collateral.

 

           

 

 34.         In addition to the powers and duties given to the Parker County Bail Bond Board by this Texas Occupation Code Chapter 1704, the Board shall also have the following powers and duties:

 

A.        To exercise any powers incidental or necessary to the administration of  Texas Occupation Code Chapter 1704, to supervise and regulate all phases of the bonding business and enforce Texas Occupation Code Chapter 1704 within the county, and to prescribe and post any rules necessary to implement Texas Occupation Code Chapter 1704;

 

B.        To conduct hearings and investigations and make determinations respecting the issuance, refusal, suspension, or revocation of licenses to bondsmen within the provisions of Texas Occupation Code Chapter 1704 and to issue licenses to those applicants who qualify under the terms of  Texas Occupation Code Chapter 1704, to refuse licenses to those applicants who do not qualify, and to suspend or revoke the licenses of licensees who commit violations under Texas Occupation Code Chapter 1704 or the rules prescribed by the Board under Texas Occupation Code Chapter 1704;

 

C.        To require applicants and licensees to appear before the Board, and to administer oaths, examine witnesses, and compel the production of pertinent books, accounts, records, documents, and testimony by the licensee or applicant in its hearings;

 

D.        To cause records and transcripts to be made of all its proceedings;

 

E.        To maintain records and minutes and otherwise operate its office affairs;

 

F.         To employ such employees to assist the Board in its functions as necessary;

 

G.        To furnish and post in each court in the county having jurisdiction of criminal cases and each local official responsible for the detention of prisoners in the county with current lists of the bondsmen and their agents licensed and approved in the county and to notify immediately each court and local official when a bondsman's license is suspended or revoked or an agent's authority is rescinded.

 

 

35.          In the event a bonding company goes out of business, all copies of all outstanding bond principals, and a copy of each of their applications, along with the current address and telephone number indicated shall be provided to the Board.  Also, a current list of all outstanding Judgment NISI's and deposits and collateral that is due to be returned to a client shall be provided to the Board before any collateral is released.

 

36.         In the event two (2) or more Bondspersons are retained to post a bond, the bond that is time stamped with the earliest time shall be the one that is presented to the Principal first.

 

37.                   All applicants seeking licensing under these rules shall be required to complete the Bondsperson/Bonding Company Agent Application form available at the Parker County Sheriff's Department. A copy of same is attached hereto as Exhibit 7.

 

38.                   Whenever the Chairman (and/or Presiding Officer) anticipates a vote on any

agenda item scheduled to come before the Board at a meeting that otherwise relates to written documents; then in that event the Chairman (and/or Presiding Officer) shall make the necessary arrangements for such written documents to be made available for inspection at the scheduled meeting location by any Board member at least thirty (30) minutes and ten (10) days on all new sureties applications to all Board members upon request, prior to the beginning of any such meeting at which the Board may be called upon to vote.

 

39.                   Following a written notice to the secretary of the Bail Bond Board, a person

who has previously been approved by the board and is currently licensed as a bondsman or agent, may be added as an agent for another company (period not to exceed 45 days or the next monthly Bail Bond Board meeting, whichever comes first) without the approval of the Board.  To continue as an agent, application and fee must be submitted to the Board for approval.

 

40.                   The following shall be given to the elected Bail Bond Surety Representative or the bail bond board secretary in his absent:

a.      Completed surety and agent applications with all supporting documents, exhibits, and Parker County Bail Bonds Board rules and regulation acknowledgement.

b.      Real property tax receipt By February 7th, per Rule 26

c.      Proof of Insurance prior to the expiration date on the improvements to the pledge real property on the policy then in effect.

d.      Any items requested to be placed on the Parker County Bail Bond Board agenda


 

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