Article 71.

Bail Bondsmen and Runners.

58-71-1. Definitions.

The following definitions apply in this Article:

(1) Accommodation bondsman. - A person who shall not charge a fee or receive any consideration for action as surety and who endorses the bail bond after providing satisfactory evidences of ownership, value, and marketability of real or personal property to the extent necessary to reasonably satisfy the official taking bond that the real or personal property will in all respects be sufficient to assure that the full principal sum of the bond will be realized if there is a breach of the conditions of the bond. "Consideration" as used in this subdivision does not include the legal rights of a surety against a principal by reason of breach of the conditions of a bail bond nor does it include collateral furnished to and securing the surety as long as the value of the surety's rights in the collateral do not exceed the principal's liability to the surety by reason of a breach in the conditions of the bail bond.

(2) Bail bond. - An undertaking by the principal to appear in court as required upon penalty of forfeiting bail to the State in a stated amount; and may include an unsecured appearance bond, a premium-secured appearance bond, an appearance bond secured by a cash deposit of the full amount of the bond, an appearance bond secured by a mortgage pursuant to G.S. 58-74-5, and an appearance bond secured by at least one surety. A bail bond may also include a bond securing the return of a motor vehicle subject to forfeiture in accordance with G.S. 20-28.3(e).

(3) Bail bondsman. - A surety bondsman, professional bondsman or an accommodation bondsman as defined in this section.

(4) Commissioner. - The North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance.

(4a) First-year licensee. - Any person who has been licensed as a bail bondsman or runner under this Article and who has held the license for a period of less than 12 months.

(5) Insurer. - Any domestic, foreign, or alien surety company which has qualified generally to transact surety business and specifically to transact bail bond business in this State.

(6) Obligor. - A principal or a surety on a bail bond.

(7) Principal. - A defendant or witness obligated to appear in court as required upon penalty of forfeiting bail under a bail bond or a person obligated to return a motor vehicle subject to forfeiture in accordance with G.S. 20-28.3(e).

(8) Professional bondsman. - Any person who is approved and licensed by the Commissioner and who pledges cash or approved securities with the Commissioner as security for bail bonds written in connection with a judicial proceeding and who receives or is promised money or other things of value in exchange for writing the bail bonds.

(8a) Resident. - A person who lives in this State for at least six consecutive months immediately before applying for a license under this Article.

(9) Runner. - A person employed by a bail bondsman for the purpose of assisting the bail bondsman in presenting the defendant in court when required, assisting in the apprehension and surrender of defendant to the court, keeping the defendant under necessary surveillance, or executing bonds on behalf of the licensed bondsman when the power of attorney has been duly recorded. "Runner" does not include a duly licensed attorney-at-law or a law-enforcement officer assisting a bondsman.

(9a) Supervising bail bondsman. - Any person licensed by the Commissioner as a professional bondsman or surety bondsman who employs or contracts with any new licensee under this Article.

(10) Surety. - One who, with the principal, is liable for the amount of the bail bond upon forfeiture of bail.

(11) Surety bondsman. - Any person who is licensed by the Commissioner as a surety bondsman under this Article, is appointed by an insurer by power of attorney to execute or countersign bail bonds for the insurer in connection with judicial proceedings, and who receives or is promised consideration for doing so. (1963, c. 1225, s. 1; 1975, c. 619, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 726, s. 1; 1998-182, s. 16; 2000-180, ss. 1, 2; 2001-269, s. 2.1; 2007-228, s. 1.)