City of Dothan, Alabama - Bail Bondsman Surety Bond
What Is the Purpose of the City of Dothan’s Bail Bondsman Surety Bond?
In the City of Dothan, Alabama, any person advertising themselves as a Bail Bondsman must post a $3,000 surety bond and obtain a license from the City Clerk in order to conduct bail bond business in the city. The bond represents a financial guarantee for the City and members of the public, ensuring that funds are available if a bail amount is forfeited, and must be refunded to the defendant.
Who Needs the City of Dothan Bail Bondsman Surety Bond?
Pursuant to the City of Dothan Code of Ordinances Section 18-53, the Bail Bondsman Surety Bond is required as part of the licensing process for bail bondsmen who wish to operate in the City of Dothan’s “criminal jurisdiction or in any criminal action or proceeding within the city, including the municipal court, for another deposit cash, bonds or securities or execute as surety any bond or recognizance and who shall receive any compensation therefore.”
What Do Surety Underwriters Need to Know About the City of Dothan Bail Bondsman Surety Bond?
When a member of the public is accused of a crime and placed under arrest, they may be given a bail amount to go free until their next mandatory court appearance. If the defendant does not have the bail amount readily available at the time of their arrest, they may seek the services of a bail bondsman, who secures bail by posting what is called a “bail bond” on their behalf (not to be confused with the Surety Bond at the subject of this article). In a typical bail bondsman’s agreement, the defendant typically agrees to pay a cash portion of the bail amount (commonly 10% of the total) while the bail bondsman posts the remaining 90% using the defendant’s collateral. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail must be paid to the court. If the defendant meets all requirements from the court, then the bail is dissolved by the court, and the bail bondsman retains the 10% cash payment as profit and refunds the 90% collateral to the defendant.
The City of Dothan’s City Clerk may file a claim against the Bail Bondsman bond when the court determines that a bail bond should be refunded to the defendant. This may occur because the bail bondsman failed to uphold the standards of the profession in carrying out their duties, or because of some other circumstances justifying the forfeiture of the bail bond. According to the Dothan Code of Ordinances, that forfeited bail amount must come from the surety bond held by the licensed bail bondsman, ensuring a swift refund to the defendant.
Sources within the obligee’s office and knowledgeable members of the surety industry affirm that bonds of this type have an extremely low loss ratio (<1%), and that the prevailing method of underwriting is through a personal credit check of the licensee. Applicant bail bondsmen are screened previously by the application process, as they are required under Section 18-53 of the Code of Ordinances to obtain the written approval of at least four members of the board of commissioners to receive their license.
What Do Surety Claims Handlers Need to Know About the City of Dothan Bail Bondsman Surety Bond?
Claim handlers should be aware that in order to investigate claims, they will need to communicate extensively with the office of the City Clerk and City Attorney to gather pertinent information about the case. There is likely little that can be done by a claim handler once the municipal court has ruled in favor of a forfeiture of the bail bond. Payment from the security deposit or surety carrier is required by Section 18-58 of the City of Dothan Code of Ordinances.
Can a Bail Bondsman in the City of Dothan Avoid the Bond Requirement?
According to the Code of Ordinances Section 18-53, the license for Bail Bondsmen must be accompanied by a deposit of $3,000 or a surety bond in the same amount.
How Much Does the Bail Bondsman Surety Bond Cost?
Surety carriers typically offer the Bail Bondsman Surety Bond for around $100 for the $3,000 bond limit.
How Is the City of Dothan Bail Bondsman Surety Bond Filed?
As prescribed by the Code of Ordinances Section 18-53, a bail bondsman seeking a license must post the $3,000 surety bond with the City Clerk, and the bond must be approved by the City Attorney.
In addition to the bond requirement, to be successfully licensed in the City of Dothan the applicant must apply to the City Clerk, pay the $300 application fee, present a notarized financial statement, and receive written approval from four members of the board of commissioners.
All documentation must be mailed to the City of Dothan City Clerk’s office at the address below:
City of Dothan
City Clerk’s Office
P.O. Box 2128
Dothan, AL 36302
Can the Bail Bondsman Surety Bond Be Cancelled?
The bond can be cancelled by the surety company by providing 30 days notice to the City of Dothan.