By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY–Alabama State Bail Bondsmen sent an email to legislators on Friday announcing that they will “not bond anyone out of jail for two days before the Senate votes” on a bill imposing additional fees on bond issuing. The protest is designed, according to their email, to “demonstrate how strategic the bonding industry is to the judicial system.”
House Bill 703, sponsored by Representative Blaine Galliher (R-Gadsden), would require a bond filing fee to be paid upon adjudication of the case.
A minimum of $35 fee will be imposed on all bonds issued unless the person is released on judicial public bail, recognizance or signature bond. In those cases the fee will be $25.
Fees assessed on misdemeanors bonds will be set at 3.5 percent of the total face value of the bond or $100, whichever is greater. A cap is set at $450.
Felony bond fees will be 3.5 percent of the total face value or $150, whichever is greater. These fees will not exceed $750.
Fees are due by end of business the day after adjudication. Bondsmen failing to pay these fees will be found in contempt of court and fined not less than $500.
The funds will be distributed to the court clerk’s fund, the law enforcement fund of the sheriff or municipality, the Solicitor’s Fund, the State General Fund, and the Alabama
Department of Forensic Sciences in the county where the bond was executed as follows:
- 10 percent from each fee shall be distributed either to the county general fund to be earmarked and distributed to the Sheriff’s Fund
- 45 percent of the fee to the Court Clerk’s Fund
- 45 percent of the fee to the Solicitor’s Fund for payment of expenses incurred by the district attorney.
The minimum fee of $35 will be distributed as follows:
- $17 to the county general fund to be earmarked and distributed to the Sheriff’s fund
- 35 percent of the remainder to the Court Clerk’s Fund
- 35 percent of the remainder to the Solicitor’s Fund
- 10 percent to Alabama Forensic Services Trust Fund
The Alabama State Bail Bondsmen further threaten, “If the bill passes we will strike for a period long enough to cripple your budget. We estimate that it will take seven days of strike to catastrophically impact you (sic) budget.”