Bill S506-2013

Requires the commissioner of financial services to conduct a study to identify problems and concerns regarding the bail bond business and to present his or her findings to the legislature

Requires the commissioner of financial services to conduct a study to identify problems and concerns regarding the bail bond business and to present his or her findings to the legislature.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO INSURANCE
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO INSURANCE

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S506

TITLE OF BILL: An act requiring the commissioner of financial services to conduct a study to identify problems and concerns regarding the bail bond business and to present his or her findings to the legislature

PURPOSE: Requires the New York State Insurance Commissioner to conduct a study to identify problems and concerns regarding the bail bond business and to present finding to the Legislature.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section One of the bill requires the Commissioner of Insurance, within 90 days of the enactment of this legislation, to conduct a study to identify problems and concerns regarding the bail bond business as defined in Section 6801 on the Insurance law.

The study will identify necessary improvements and clarifications to current regulation and statutes related to the rights of defendants who utilize the bail bond business.

Upon completion of the study, the Commissioner shall repair a report with the departments suggestions for regulatory and statutory changes necessary to improve and clarify current regulations and statures related to defendants utilizing the bail bond business.

Upon completion of the report, the Commissioner shall hold a public hearing to afford the opportunity for any person to propose additions or deletions from the report recommendations and shall have the report available for public inspection and posted on the Insurance Departments website.

Notice of the hearing must be sent to those working in the bail bond industry, public defenders and legal aid societies, district attorneys, and a representative from the uniform court system.

Upon completion of the public hearing the Commissioner shall present her or his findings to the Legislature.

EXISTING LAW: New bill.

JUSTIFICATION: A recent New York Times article ("For Poor, Bail System Can Be an Obstacle to Freedom" Metro, 1/09/11) highlighted the serious problems defendants face when posting bail via a bail bondsman.. Under New York State law, the Insurance Department regulates the bail-bonds business. The laws surrounding the practice are vague, and insufficient oversight has created a situation where a bail-bondsman can return a defendant to jail for no sufficient cause.

Indigent defendants are now faced with the option of remaining in jail because she or he cannot make bail, or use a bails-bond service that

can return her or him to jail at anytime and charge thousands of dollars worth of questionable fees.

This legislation will improve the fairness and consistency of the bail-bonds business by creating a dialogue with stakeholders which will lead to fairness and consistency in the bail-bonds business.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 506 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ESPAILLAT -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Insurance AN ACT requiring the commissioner of financial services to conduct a study to identify problems and concerns regarding the bail bond busi- ness and to present his or her findings to the legislature THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. a. The commissioner of financial services shall, within 90 days of the effective date of this act, conduct a study to identify problems and concerns regarding the bail bond business as defined in section 6801 of the insurance law. The study is to identify necessary improvements and clarifications to current regulations and statutes related to the rights of defendants who utilize the bail bond business. b. Upon completion of the study, the commissioner shall prepare a report with the department's suggestions for regulatory and/or statutory changes necessary to improve and clarify current regulations and stat- utes related to the rights of defendants who utilize the bail bond busi- ness as defined in section 6801 of the insurance law. c. Upon completion of the report, the commissioner or her or his designated hearing officer shall hold a public hearing in that area in order to afford an opportunity for any person to propose additions or deletions from the report recommendations and shall assure that copies of the report are available for public inspection and a copy posted to the department's website. d. The commissioner of financial services shall give notice of such hearing by certified mail not less than 30 days prior to the date set for such hearing to all relevant stakeholders including, but not limited to, any person, firm or corporation, or officer, employee or agent ther- eof, licensed under section 6801 of the insurance law, all county funded public defenders and legal aid societies, the district attorney for each
county and a representative appointed by chief judge of the New York state court of appeals. e. The commissioner shall also cause notice of such hearing, to be published at least once, not more than 30 days nor fewer than 10 days, in newspapers which have a general circulation in each county of the state before the date set for such hearing. f. Upon completion of the public hearing, the commissioner shall pres- ent his or her findings to the legislature no later than 60 days after the completion of the public hearing. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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