Everything You Need to Know About Charitable Bail Funds and SB6

 



The New Rules regarding Charitable Bail Funds go into effect January 1, 2022.  

I.    What is a Charitable Bail Organization-

A Charitable Bail Fund is an organization that files cash bonds to get individuals out of jail.

In SB 6 the definition of a "charitable bail organization"  is a person or group that accepts and uses donations from the public to deposit money with a court in the amount of a defendant's bail bond.

The definition applies to any charitable bail organization that files more than three cash bonds for defendants in a any 180-day period. 

II.    Groups Excluded from the Definition-

    The term does not include:  

    1.    a person accepting donations with respect to defendant who is a member of the person's family, as determined under Section 71.003, Family Code; or 

    2.    a nonprofit corporation organized for a religious purpose.

    3.    a charitable bail organization that files fewer than 3 cash bonds in a given 180-day period. 

III.    Charitable Bail Organization Must Meet the Following Requirements in Each County In Which It Intends to File Cash Bonds

    The charitable bail organiztion must be: 
          (1) a nonprofit organization exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as a 501 (c) (3) organization; 
           (2) be issued a certificate from the county in which the bond is sought to be filed.

IV.    How Does a Charitable Bail Organization Become Certified In Each County In Which It Intends to File Cash Bonds-

The charitable bail organization must apply with the county clerk to be certified in that county.  The clerk is required to issue a certificate if the following requirements are met:
        (1) the charitable bail organization documents that it has obtained the required tax exemption status from the IRS; and 
        (2) the charitable bail organization documents that it is current on all of the filings required by the Internal Revenue Code.

V.    Once The Certificate is Issued, the Charitable Bail Organization must file an Affidavit with the Office of the County Clerk-

Once a certificate is issued, the charitable bail organization must file an affidavit with the county clerk designating the individuals authorized to present cash bonds to the county jail on the organization's behalf.

VI.    Once an Affidavit is filed in a County, the Charitable Bail Organization must file Monthly Reports in that County-

Not later than the 10th day of each month, a charitable bail organization shall submit, to the sheriff of each county in which the organization files an affidavit under Subsection (e), a report that includes the following information for each defendant for whom the organization paid a bail bond in the preceding calendar month:

        (1)  the name of the defendant;

        (2)  the cause number of the case;

        (3)  the county in which the applicable charge is pending, if different from the county in which the bond was paid; and 

        (4)  any dates on which the defendant has failed to appear in court as required for the charge for which the bond was paid.

*The sheriff is required to forward a copy of the report to the Office of Court Administration.

VII.    What Happens if the Charitable Bail Organization Is Not In Compliance With the Statute's Requirements?

A charitable bail organization may not file cash bonds for a defendant if the organization is not in compliance with the reporting requirements.

A sheriff may suspend a charitable bail organization from posting cash bonds for a periof not to exceed one year at any time the organization if the sheriff determines the organiztion has paid one or more bonds in violation of this article (after failing to file a required report).  The sheriff must issue a warning that the charitable bail organization is not in compliance.  Then upon a second further violation, the sheriff may suspend.

Any suspension must be reported to the Office of Court Administration.

VIII.    Other Applicable Rules-

Chapter 22 regarding how a bond is forfeited applies to cash bonds posted by charitable bail organizations.

A charitable bail organization cannot charge a premium for posting a cash bond.  

By December 1st of each year, the Office of Court Administration shall prepare and submit a report regarding the information submitted to the Office regarding the monthly reports. The report shall be submitted to the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of representatives and presiding officers of the standing committees of each house of the legislature with primary jurisdiciton over the judiciary. 

Tex. Code Crim. Pro. art. 17.071. 


   The Professional Bondsmen of Texas



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