There have been many court cases throughout history that have had a significant impact on the bail bond industry. Below are a couple of cases of great importance that I wanted to share.
Nicolls v. Ingersoll
This has been a very significant case in the earliest American cases involving bail bonds. The case acknowledged the inherent authority of bounty hunters over their bailees. In Nicolls v. Ingersoll, the NYC Supreme Court ruled that bondsmen or bounty hunters may exercise some level of control over the defendant at all times. In this particular case, Nicolls had sued the bounty hunter for assault, false imprisonment, battery, and trespass. P. Edwards, the bond agent representing the defendant Nicolls, had sent two bounty hunters to Nicolls’ home in New York to retrieve him at night. They broke down his door and ejected him without crucial possessions before extraditing him to Connecticut. The court held that the bondsman might gain forceful entry to the principal’s house and arrest the defendant. This was a very important court case, especially for those in the Huntsville Alabama area. There was one bail bond company there this really affected. I don’t want to mention the name of it, but you can simply search 24 hour bail bonds Huntsville and figure out who it is.
Taylor v. Taintor
When Edward McGuire was facing larceny charges in Connecticut in 1866 and awaiting his trial, he was also wanted for another felony in Maine. However, this was unknown to Connecticut bondsmen who made a cash bond for the accused. Upon returning to his New York-based home without informing the bondsmen, he was extradited to Maine to answer to burglary charges. His 15-year imprisonment meant he could not appear for his trial to answer to larceny charges. As a result, the court confiscated the cash bond. In an attempt to seek relief from this forfeiture based on the fact that their failure to secure the defendant’s appearance was not as a result of their shortcoming but rather because he was extradited to another state, the Supreme Court faulted the sureties, citing “supineness and neglect.” The court also claimed that the bondsmen failed to keep up with the defendant and to let the New York law enforcers know about his pending case in Connecticut, which all led to the defendant’s nonappearance.
Reese v. the United States
In 1869, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to handle bail bondsmen’s rights by stating that bail bondsmen or their agents may arrest their principal and do whatever it takes to ensure they remain in custody, and this could be carried out in any part of the country. The Reese Court acknowledged the bail-principal relationship and its contractual nature in affirming that the government refrain from interfering with the operations of the bondsmen and preserve their rights. The bondsmen had garnered support from the highest court and could take any liberties they deemed appropriate to arrest their principals and ensure they showed up in court as scheduled.
It’s best to familiarize yourself with the above cases as the can have a significant impact on how you operate your bail bond business.