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.