ASSEMBLY, No. 3275

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 22, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  RONALD S. DANCER

District 12 (Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits certain communication with or solicitation of incarcerated individuals; provides license revocation for certain bail agents and agencies; creates fourth degree crime, per SCI recommendations.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning bail solicitation and communication with incarcerated individuals, supplementing Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, and amending P.L.2001, c.210.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    (New section) a. In addition to any penalties imposed pursuant to section 15 of P.L.2001, c.210 (C.17:22A-40), a person commits a crime of the fourth degree if he:

     (1)   facilitates a three-way telephone call between any person incarcerated in a State correctional facility or a county jail and a third party; or

     (2)   solicits business on behalf of a bail agent or agency from any person incarcerated in a State correctional facility or a county jail, whether directly or by means of any third party.

     b.    As used in this section, “bail agent or agency” means any person or entity that solicits, negotiates or sells bail bonds, or is affiliated in any manner with the execution of bail and is licensed as a limited lines insurance producer pursuant to P.L.2001, c.210 (C.17:22A-26 et seq.), an insurance producer or a limited insurance representative.

 

     2.    Section 15 of P.L.2001, c.210 (C.17:22A-40) is amended to read as follows:

     15.  a.  The commissioner may place on probation, suspend, revoke or refuse to issue or renew an insurance producer's license or may levy a civil penalty in accordance with subsection c. of section 20 of this act or any combination of actions, for any one or more of the following causes:

     (1)   Providing incorrect, misleading, incomplete or materially untrue information in the license application;

     (2)   Violating any insurance laws, or violating any regulation, subpoena or order of the commissioner or of another state's insurance regulator;

     (3)   Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license through misrepresentation or fraud;

     (4)   Improperly withholding, misappropriating or converting any monies or properties received in the course of doing insurance business;

     (5)   Intentionally misrepresenting the terms of an actual or proposed insurance contract, policy or application for insurance;

     (6)   Having been convicted of a felony or crime of the fourth degree or higher;

     (7)   Having admitted or been found to have committed any insurance unfair trade practice or fraud;

     (8)   Using fraudulent, coercive or dishonest practices, or demonstrating incompetence, untrustworthiness or financial irresponsibility in the conduct of insurance business in this State or elsewhere;

     (9) Having an insurance producer license, or its equivalent, denied, suspended or revoked in any other state, province, district or territory;

     (10) Forging another's name to an application for insurance or to any document related to an insurance transaction;

     (11) Improperly using notes or any other reference material to complete an examination for an insurance producer license;

     (12) Knowingly accepting insurance business from an unlicensed insurance producer;

     (13) Failing to comply with an administrative or court order imposing a child support obligation;

     (14) Failing to pay income tax or comply with any administrative or court order directing payment of income tax pursuant to Title 54A of the New Jersey Statutes;

     (15) Intentionally withholding material information or making a material misstatement in an application for a license;

     (16) Committing any fraudulent act;

     (17) Knowingly facilitating or assisting another person in violating any insurance laws;

     (18) Failing to notify the commissioner within 30 days of his conviction of any crime, indictment or the filing of any formal criminal charges, or the suspension or revocation of any insurance license or authority by a state, other than this State, or the initiation of formal disciplinary proceedings in a state, other than this State, affecting the producer's insurance license; or failing to obtain the written consent pursuant to sections 1033 and 1034 of Title 18, United States Code (18 U.S.C. ss.1033 and 1034); or failing to supply any documentation that the commissioner may request in connection therewith; or

     (19) Failing to notify the commissioner within 30 days of the final disposition of any formal disciplinary proceedings initiated against the insurance producer, or disciplinary action taken against the producer, by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), any successor organization, or other similar non-governmental regulatory authority with statutory authority to create and enforce industry standards of conduct, or of any other administrative actions or criminal prosecutions, as required by sections 15 and 22 of P.L.2001, c.210 (C.17:22A-40 and 17:22A-47), or failing to supply any documentation the commissioner may request in connection therewith.

     b.    If the action by the commissioner is to nonrenew or to deny an application for an insurance producer license, the commissioner shall notify the applicant or licensee and advise, in writing, the applicant or licensee of the reason for the denial or nonrenewal of the license.  The applicant or licensee may make written demand upon the commissioner for a hearing before the commissioner, or his designee, to determine the reasonableness of the commissioner's action. The hearing shall be held pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

     c.     The insurance producer license of a business entity may be suspended, revoked or refused if the commissioner finds, after hearing, that an individual licensee's violation was known or should have been known by one or more of the partners, officers or managers acting on behalf of the business entity and the violation was neither reported to the commissioner nor corrective action taken.

     d.    The commissioner shall retain the authority to enforce the provisions of and impose any penalty or remedy authorized by this act and Title 17 of the Revised Statutes or Title 17B of the New Jersey Statutes against any person who is under investigation for or charged with a violation of this act or Title 17 of the Revised Statutes or Title 17B of the New Jersey Statutes even if the person's license or registration has been surrendered or has lapsed by operation of law.

     e.     Following a hearing, the commissioner shall revoke the license of any bail agent or agency if it is found that the agent, agency, or any licensed or unlicensed representative of the bail agent or agency, has:

     (1)   facilitated a three-way telephone call between any person incarcerated in a State correctional facility or a county jail and a third party; or

     (2)   solicited business from any person incarcerated in a State correctional facility or a county jail, either directly or by means of a third party.

     For the purposes of this subsection, "bail agent or agency" means any person or entity that solicits, negotiates or sells bail bonds, or is affiliated in any manner with the execution of bail and is licensed as a limited lines insurance producer pursuant to P.L.2001, c.210 (C.17:22A-26 et seq.), an insurance producer or a limited insurance representative.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.278, s.1)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill prohibits facilitating a three-way telephone call between a person imprisoned in a State correctional facility or a county jail and any third party. The bill further prohibits the solicitation of bail bond business from any person imprisoned in a State prison or a county jail.  The bill makes engaging in the prohibited facilitation or solicitation a crime of the fourth degree, and provides for the mandatory revocation of the bail agent or agency’s license.

     Under the provisions of the bill, a person, whether or not licensed as a bail agent, commits a fourth degree crime if he:

     (1)   facilitates a three-way telephone call between any person incarcerated in a State correctional facility or a county jail and a third party; or

     (2)   solicits business on behalf of a bail agent or agency from any person incarcerated in a State correctional facility or a county jail, whether directly or by means of any third party

     Fourth degree crimes are punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

     The bill also requires the Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) to revoke the license of any bail agent or agency if, after a hearing, the commissioner finds the agent, agency, or any licensed or unlicensed representative, has:

     (1)   facilitated a three-way telephone call between any person incarcerated in a State correctional facility or a county jail and a third party; or

     (2)   solicited business from any person incarcerated in a State correctional facility or a county jail, either directly or by means of a third party.

     The bill defines, "bail agent or agency" as any person or entity that solicits, negotiates or sells bail bonds, or is affiliated in any manner with the execution of bail and is licensed as a limited lines insurance producer, an insurance producer or a limited insurance representative.

     This bill implements a recommendation by the State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation in its May 2014 report entitled, “Inside Out: Questionable and Abusive Practices in New Jersey’s Bail-Bond Industry.”