Archive for the ‘Bounty Hunting and Private Investigation’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Yvonne Mason: Going West

Go West Young Man Go West:

The Outlaws Did and the Hunters Followed

California is another one of those states that tend to keep the laws and statutes for Bounty Hunters close to their chest so to speak. As I researched this state the pickings were very lean.

However, what I did find was very interesting. For instance a license is required which goes without saying, however, I found that the person must also be at least 18 years old. Which is very strange to me, you can’t be licensed to carry in most states until you are at least 21. They have to complete a 2 hour arrest course. This law also requires that a Bail Enforcement Agent has to notify his intent to apprehend his jumper to law enforcement six hours before he picks him up.

Now, I find that very interesting. The jumper more times than not will be gone in that amount of time. The reasoning behind this part of the law is to keep the hunter from forcibly entering the premises for any purpose except to pick up the jumper.

The hunter must carry certification of completion of required courses and training programs on his person and of course he shall not wear a badge or law enforcement type of apparel. I wonder is this includes bullet proof vest. They can not carry a firearm or weapon except in compliance with state law.

The hunter has 24 hours to deliver the jumper to either the court or the bonding agent if it is an instate pickup. If it is an out of state pick up they have 48 hours to deliver him to California.

Now I did find something very interesting in this state. According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle there are more than 2.5 million arrest warrants outstanding in the State of California. Many are for misdemeanors, but thousands are for homicide, kidnapping, sexual assault and other very serious crimes, these warrants have remained unserved. The Question is why?

It appears that the state and local law enforcement agencies just sit on them and wait until they are picked up on some other crime. And to add insult injury they are re-released ROR (Released on Own Recognizance).

Also according to this same article it would appear the bonding companies seem to have a higher re-arrest rate than the agencies. Something to think about. The writer of the article thinks the hunters should serve the arrest warrants outstanding and bring those bad boys on in. It sounds like a plan to me.

Now that being said, in 1997 there was an incident where five hunters wearing ski masks( now why would they want to do that) kicked in a front door held children at gunpoint and shot a young couple, they were looking for a jumper.

It appeared the hunters were looking for an out of state jumper who had fled from California to Arizona. The bond on the jumper was $25,000.00 needless to say the bonding company wanted that boy.

The take down went like this. They kicked in the door. A woman and her two children were in one bedroom sleeping. She was held down and tied and hit on the head with a flashlight while two more of the hunters kicked in the door to another bedroom. Bullets flew from both the couple in the room and the hunters. Two hunters were hit but not hurt, they were wearing vests, the young couple was killed.

One hunter was charged with 2nd degree murder. This entire fiasco turned out to be mistaken identity. The hunters were at the wrong house.

It is stories like this which has given us as hunters a bad name and created the strict laws in the different states and has outlawed hunters in others. And of course the news media love this type of news it sells. It also speaks ill of those of us who are truly interested in bringing them in alive and well. It just takes too much red tape the other way and the clean up is murder.

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Lee Lofland on NPR’s Talk of the Nation

Last Friday, legendary FBI criminal profiler, Clint Van Zandt, and I appeared as guests on the NPR radio show Talk Of The Nation. Our discussion was about the aggressive tactics used by police when questioning criminal suspects and witnesses.

Click the link below to listen to the show.

PostHeaderIcon Yvonne Mason: Bounty Hunting in Hawaii

Bounty Hunting in Hawaii

I know that all of you out there are wondering how Dog the Bounty Hunter is able to do his job. So, I did a bit of research on Bounty Hunting laws in Hawaii.

Apparently there are very few restrictions for the great state of Hawaii. There are lobbyists trying to get the legislature to make hunting laws more restrictive. Of course Dog is fighting that.

They can have a felony record, there appears to be no age restriction or any of the other laws on the books in the other 49 states. The way that Hawaii gets by with the hiring of felons in the bonding business is this:

There is a term called “respondeat superior” a key doctrine in the law of agency, which provides that a principal (employer) is responsible for the actions of his agent (employee) in the “course of employment” and this includes the typical independent contractor relationship which most recovery agents have with the client.

Thus, if a bounty hunter causes a liability, the bonding company for which the hunter works will be liable for the injuries as well. When it comes to light in court that the bondsman hired a felon, a jury will crucify everyone involved. It has happened on several occasions in the past.

If anything happens on Dog’s watch his wife Beth will be held liable.

There is a bill being discussed in the legislature would require that a person apply for a hunters license to be at least 21 years old, pass a state examination, have no felony or aggravated misdemeanor arrest record, have no conviction where a dangerous weapon was used and to also submit to a fingerprint and background check.

Duane (Dog) Chapman is fighting this bill. His contention is that even though he has a felony record, he has been on the right side of the law for over 20 years. He has received a pardon. He feels that his record should not prevent him from this line of work and he cites his 7,000 plus recovery record as his grounds. However, he has also stated he would be willing to help draft a bill which would give some restrictions because the current bill as it stands has to many restrictions

According to current state laws, “career criminals” are allowed to break down doors searching for their jumper. This statement was made in the bill which was introduced. But he agrees that before a hunter breaks down a door to a residence he must first have the suspect in sight.

Dog the Bounty Hunter also agreed that Hawaii needed to follow the example of the other states which requires training and identification for their hunters. But he said the law should bar a bonding agent or a hunter from carrying a firearm.

Duane Chapman uses the fact that he does not carry a firearm; he carries and uses mace which in his mind is a better weapon. He contends that if one needs to use a bullet one should call a cop.

Now in theory that is a wonderful idea. However, if a cop is on the scene and they are involved, then the hunter loses his bounty. If the jumper is placed in a squad car and carted off then hunter cannot collect his money.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I have to get close enough to spray mace then, I am opening myself up to a lot of potential problems.

If Duane Chapman lived in any of the other forty nine states he would not only not be allowed to carry a weapon, he could not even have one in his home. He could not become a licensed hunter.

Now the strange part of this is that a Bail Bondsman has to meet certain requirements before he can become a bonding agent. He has to be at least 18, not committed any act that is a ground for a licensure sanction, pay the applicable fees, pass a written test within two years of the license for which he has applied.

So the question begs to be asked, if the State of Hawaii has absolutely no restrictions on Hunters, what keeps just any one from trying to make a fast buck? What would keep even more convicted felons from applying at the local bondsman for a job? Or even just free lancing. The answer is nothing.

In order for me to be able to hunt I was checked out by every law enforcement agency out there. My fingerprints are on file with every agency as well.

I am required to carry a concealed weapons permit. And I have to obey the laws of the land in regard to the civil rights of my jumper and those whom I come in contact with.

I believe that some convicted felons can turn their life around and be productive. I have some reservations about felons chasing other felons.

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