Legal correspondence

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A fictitious letter to retired police officer Captain Bryant who wants to become a licensed bail bondsman in North Carolina and have two of his friends operate as his runners (bounty hunters).

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Legal correspondence

  1. 1. Weft and Wright, P.L.L.C. Attorneys at Law 11 Middle Street Raleigh, NC 27604 (919) 723-2820 LOWW@LawGiver.comFebruary 27, 2013Captain M. Emmet Bryant, ret.4200 West Arcadia DriveClayton, NC 27510RE: Becoming a North Carolina bail bondsman or runnerDear Captain Bryant: We at Weft and Wright are very pleased that you have chosen us to assist you inbecoming a bail bondsman. We also commend you on your desire to continue to protect andserve the people of Johnston County after 24 years of service in law enforcement. This lettercovers the requirements for you becoming a bail bondsman in North Carolina, as well as Mr.Deckard and Mr. Gaff becoming runners. In North Carolina bounty hunters are classified asrunners or bail bondsman runners. I. Considerations Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute Chapter 58-71-41(a), any person who holds abail bondsman or runner license for twelve or fewer months must operate as an employee orcontractor under the supervision of a licensed supervising bail bondsman, and from that licensedsupervising bail bondsman’s official business address. This means that a newly licensed bailbondsman or runner cannot operate as an independent agent for a minimum of twelve months.Furthermore, a first year bail bondman is prohibited by law from operating as a supervising bail ~1~
  2. 2. bondsman for the first two years of holding a bail bondsman license which means that a newlylicensed bail bondsman cannot hire runners for at least two years. During the first twelve months of holding the license, the bail bondsman can operate as asurety bondsman who is appointed by power of attorney from a surety company with theauthority to execute or countersign bail bonds for the insurer in connection with judicialproceedings. After twelve months of holding the license, the surety bondsman can then take theprofessional bail bondsman exam. Prior to the license being issued, a minimum of fifteenthousand dollars ($15,000.00) must be placed in the security deposit of a U.S. bank authorizedby the Commissioner of Insurance of North Carolina. Prior to the issuance of the license it must be verified that the bail bond runners andsurety bondsman have found a licensed professional bail bond agent who has agreed to supervisethem, and the professional bail bondman’s email address must be on the license application. The person applying for a license of runner can only be employed by one professionalbondsman who endorses the license application and agrees to supervise the work of the runnerand assume responsibility of the runner’s conduct while on duty. By North Carolina law, anyone involved with the criminal justice system, such as asheriff, attorney, or jailer cannot be a bail bondsman or a runner. Therefore, as long as Mr. Gaffis employed as a bailiff for the Wake County Sheriff’s Department he is disqualified from beinga runner. II. Qualifications Just as in law enforcement, no person can perform any of the functions, duties, or powersof a bail bondsman or runner unless qualified and licensed to do so. The license to become a bailbondsman or runner is issued by the Commissioner of Insurance in North Carolina. ~2~
  3. 3. An applicant must be over the age of eighteen and have a high school diploma orequivalent. He or she must be a resident of North Carolina for a minimum of six continuousmonths with a valid and current North Carolina driver’s license or identification card issued bythe North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. The driver’s license or identification card isnecessary for proof of residence in North Carolina along with one of the following documents:(1) a pay stub or utility bill with your North Carolina residential address; (2) a signed writtenlease agreement or deed of property in North Carolina; (3) a receipt of your most recent personalproperty taxes or real property taxes paid to North Carolina: (4) a current monthly or quarterlyNorth Carolina financial institution bank statement that shows the applicant’s North Carolinaresidential address. The applicant must have sufficient competency and years of experiencenecessary to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a bail bondsman or runner. There can be nooutstanding bail bond obligations, no felony conviction or crime involving dishonesty, breach oftrust, or moral turpitude, and no violation of any state or federal law or regulation governing bailbonding or insurance in North Carolina or any other state. In addition to violations of the law, the following can cause a person to lose his or herbail bondsman or runner’s license in North Carolina: (1) a misdemeanor or felony committed inthe recapture of a bail jumper; (2) any cheating, material misstatement, misrepresentation, orfraud in obtaining the license; (3) knowingly aiding or abetting others to revoke or violate any ofthe rules dealing with being a bail bondsman or runner; (4) having any professional licensedenied, suspended, or revoked in North Carolina or any other state for causes substantiallysimilar to those involved with being a bail bondsman or runner; (5) entering into any businessassociation or agreement with any person who is found to be in violation of any of the bail bondlaws of North Carolina or any or state. ~3~
  4. 4. III. Fingerprinting & Criminal Background Check All license applicants must have a fingerprint background check performed. A fingerprintpackage with the appropriate forms is sent via email from the North Carolina LicensingManagement System. These forms should be completed and taken to a local law enforcementoffice that does Live Scan electronic fingerprints because ink fingerprint images cannot bemailed and must be sent to the State Bureau of Investigation electronically. After the fingerprintsare taken, all ink fingerprint images are returned and the law enforcement officer then signs theElectronic Fingerprint Submission Release of Information form. This form is uploaded by theapplicant to https://i7lp.integral7.com/ncdoi or sending the form to the North Carolina Office ofPearson VUE by mail, fax, or email. The State Bureau of Investigation conducts a state andnational criminal background check and the results of this check, which take seven business daysto six weeks, are sent to the North Carolina Office of Pearson VUE who then forwards it to theNorth Carolina Department of Insurance for review. Once the criminal background check is approved by the North Carolina Department ofInsurance, the applicant receives an authorization to test letter that must be taken to the testcenter on the day of the test. The applicant can now schedule the exam at https://i7lp.integral7.com/ncdoi. IV. Obtaining the License Each applicant for a bail bondsman or runner license must attend and pass a pre-licensingeducation class that is conducted by the North Carolina Bail Agents Association at theMcKimmon Center in Raleigh. The cost for the pre-licensing class is five-hundred dollars($500.00). This class is geared towards enhancing the competence of being a bail bondsman or ~4~
  5. 5. runner and more information can be obtained at http://www.ncbaa.com/careers/get-licensed/.Prior to going to the pre-licensing class a copy of the bail bondsman or runner license applicationshould be obtained from the North Carolina Department of Insurance at 919-807-6800, or ontheir website at: http://www.ncdoi.com/asd/. Once the certificate of pre-licensing education isearned, the process of getting the license can begin. All applicants for a new bail bondsman or runner license complete a new licenseapplication at https://i7lp.integral7.com/ncdoi. The process for taking the license exam isdescribed in full detail at http://www.asisvcs.com/publications/pdf/BB3408.pdf. We at Weft andWright would be happy to provide you with an application. There are no study manuals orpreparatory courses related to taking the examination and any that are offered should be avoided. Overview of all fees to become a bail bondsman in N.C. Pre-license education class at McKimmon Center $500.00 Bail bondsman license exam fee $56.50 Bail bondsman license fee $263.00 License processing fee $50.00 Criminal background history background check fee $38.00 Total cost to become a bail bondsman in N.C. $907.50 Overview of all fees to become a runner in N.C. Pre-license education class at McKimmon Center $500.00 Bail bondsman license exam fee $56.50 Bail bondsman license fee $183.00 License processing fee $50.00 Criminal background history background check fee $38.00 Total cost to become a runner in N.C. $827.50 ~5~
  6. 6. Passing the exam is indicated with the word “pass” only as no numeric score is reported.Applicants who fail the exam receive general diagnostic information relevant to each majorcontent area of the exam to help identify areas of strength and weakness in order to prepare fortaking the examination again in the future which is, by law, a minimum of twelve months. Afterpassing the examination, the applicable license is sent via regular mail within ten to twelve daysafter the examination date. V. Gun Permits Mr. Harrison Deckard has a license from Virginia authorizing him to carry a handgun onhis person. Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute Chapter 14-415.24(a), North Carolinahonors any valid concealed handgun permit or license issued by another state. The Virginiapermit is valid for five years from the date it was issued. Captain Bryant and Mr. Gaff shouldconsider getting North Carolina gun permits considering the amount of personal risk involved inthe bail bond business. We at Weft and Wright would be happy to assist Mr. Deckard withrenewing his Virginia permit or obtaining a North Carolina gun permit once the current permitexpires, and assisting Captain Bryant and Mr. Gaff with obtaining their North Carolina gunpermits. VI. Recommendations Pursuant to your desire to become a bail bondsman and hire Mr. Deckard and Mr. Gaff asrunners, you would have to operate under the supervision of a professional bail bondsman and atthe official address of the professional bail bondsman’s place of business. You will need to dothis for one year before you could become a professional bail bondsman eligible to hire Mr.Deckard and Mr. Gaff as runners, and have a minimum of fifteen-thousand dollars ($15,000.00)placed in a savings account. ~6~
  7. 7. Mr. Gaff should seriously consider the financial risks involved in resigning from hiscurrent occupation in order to be eligible to operate as a runner. It would be realistic for you toeventually own and operate your own bail bond business though the competition in the regionwould have to be considered as to date there are twenty bail bond businesses in Clayton alone,and Johnston County is surrounded by six other counties. If and when you are interested instarting your own bail bond business, Weft and Wright would be happy to assist you in yourendeavor.Sincerely,Bea Little Wright,BLW/clh ~7~

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