TYP: General Bill GB
SPO: Bryan, Leventis
COM: Banking and Insurance Committee 02 SBI
SUB: Bail bonds, runners may execute for bondsman when power of attorney
recorded; Courts, Magistrates
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved
______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________
Senate 19990112 Introduced, read first time, 02 SBI
referred to Committee
Senate 19981216 Prefiled, referred to Committee 02 SBI
Printed Versions of This Bill
9 A BILL
11 TO AMEND SECTION 38-53-10, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH
12 CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO BAIL BONDS, SO AS TO
13 REVISE THE DEFINITION OF RUNNER AND TO FURTHER
14 PROVIDE THAT RUNNERS MAY EXECUTE BONDS ON
15 BEHALF OF A LICENSED BONDSMAN WHEN A POWER OF
16 ATTORNEY HAS BEEN RECORDED; TO AMEND SECTION
17 38-53-200, RELATING TO THE SIGNING OF BONDS, SO AS
18 TO PROVIDE THAT A RUNNER MAY SIGN A BOND.
20 Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South
23 SECTION 1. Section 38-53-10 of the 1976 Code is amended to
26 “Section 38-53-10. As used in this chapter:
27 (1) „Accommodation bondsman‟ means a person who has
28 reached the age of eighteen years, is a resident of this State, who,
29 aside from love and affection and release of the person concerned,
30 receives no consideration for action as surety, and who endorses
31 the bail bond after providing satisfactory evidence of ownership,
32 value, and marketability of real property to the extent necessary to
33 reasonably satisfy the official taking bond that the real or personal
34 property will in all respects be sufficient to assure that the full
35 principal sum of the bond will be realized in the event of breach of
36 the conditions of the bond. „Consideration‟ as used in this item
37 does not include the legal rights of a surety against a defendant by
38 reason of breach of the conditions of a bail bond nor does it
39 include collateral furnished to and securing the surety so long as
40 the value of the surety‟s rights in the collateral does not exceed the
41 defendant‟s liability to the surety by reason of a breach in the
42 conditions of the bail bond.
1 (2) „Bail bond‟ means an undertaking by the defendant to
2 appear in court as required upon penalty of forfeiting bail to the
3 State in a stated amount and may include an unsecured appearance
4 bond, a premium-secured appearance bond, an appearance bond
5 secured by a cash deposit of the full amount of the bond, an
6 appearance bond secured by a mortgage, and an appearance bond
7 secured by at least one surety.
8 (3) „Bail bondsman‟ means a surety bondsman, professional
9 bondsman, or an accommodation bondsman as defined in this
11 (4) „Clerk of court‟, unless otherwise specified, means the
12 clerk of the circuit court of the county in the state where the
13 bondsman is currently writing or obligated on the majority of those
14 bail bonds which he has written or on which he is obligated.
15 (5) „Court‟, unless otherwise specified, means circuit,
16 magistrate‟s, or municipal court.
17 (6) „Insurer‟ means any domestic, foreign, or alien surety
18 company which has qualified generally to transact surety business
19 and specifically to transact bail bond business in this State.
20 (7) „Obligor‟ means a principal or a surety on a bail bond.
21 (8) „Principal‟ means a defendant or witness obligated to
22 appear in court as required upon penalty of forfeiting bail under a
23 bail bond.
24 (9) „Professional bondsman‟ means any person who is
25 approved and licensed under the provisions of this chapter and
26 who pledges cash or approved securities with the clerk of court as
27 security for bail bonds written in connection with a judicial
28 proceeding and receives or is promised money or other things of
29 value for the pledge.
30 (10) „Runner‟ means a person employed by a bail bondsman for
31 the purpose of assisting the bail bondsman in presenting the
32 defendant in court when required, assisting in the apprehension
33 and surrender of the defendant to the court, and keeping the
34 defendant under necessary surveillance, and executing bonds on
35 behalf of the licensed bondsman when the power of attorney has
36 been recorded. „Runner‟ does not include an attorney or a law
37 enforcement officer assisting a bondsman.
38 (11) „Surety‟ means one who, with the defendant, is liable for
39 the amount of the bail bond upon forfeiture of bail.
40 (12) „Surety bondsman‟ means any person who is approved by
41 and licensed by the director or his designee as an insurance agent,
42 appointed by an insurer by power of attorney to execute or
43 countersign bail bonds for the insurer in connection with judicial
1 proceedings, and receives or is promised money or other things of
2 value for the execution or countersignature.
3 (13) „Appropriate judge‟ means a magistrate, municipal, or
4 circuit court judge who has jurisdiction over the defendant.
5 (14) „Good cause‟ means the violation of a specific term of the
6 bail bond not to include the nonpayment of fees.”
8 SECTION 2. Section 38-53-200 of the 1976 Code is amended to
11 “Section 38-53-200. A professional or surety bondsman may
12 not sign or countersign blank bail bonds, nor may he give a power
13 of attorney to, or otherwise authorize, anyone to countersign his
14 name to bonds unless the person so authorized is a licensed
15 bondsman or runner directly employed by the bondsman giving
16 power of attorney. Copies of all the powers of attorney and
17 revocations of the powers of attorney issued by an insurer
18 appointing surety bondsmen must be filed immediately with the
19 department and the clerk of the circuit court of the county in the
20 State where the bondsman giving the power of attorney is currently
21 writing or is obligated on bail bonds.”
23 SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.