Home>Articles>California Bail Agents Claim Vendetta Against Bail Bond Industry in Amended SB 262

Bail Bonds Sign in Sacramento. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

California Bail Agents Claim Vendetta Against Bail Bond Industry in Amended SB 262

Zero bail doesn’t have enough votes; What’s left is ‘direct attack at private industry’

By Katy Grimes, August 31, 2021 8:06 am

Zero bail was rejected by California voters in 2020, but introduced as legislation in January 2021 by Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles) as Senate Bill 262.

However, Sen. Hertzberg doesn’t have enough votes in the Assembly for SB 262 to pass before the end of the legislative session, according to California bail agents. But they say that it’s not stopping him. 

SB 262, ‘Safe and Resilient Communities Act,’ (AB 329 in the Assembly) sets bail at $0 for misdemeanors and low-level felonies in California,” Sen. Hertzberg’s website says. “These bills require that money paid for bail or bond be refunded when the charges are dropped, if a case has been dismissed, or if the person has not missed any required court appearances. The intent is to ensure that a person is not kept behind bars pending trial simply because of their inability to afford bail.”

SB 262 says:

“(a) The pretrial justice system in California is fundamentally broken. Not only has it failed to achieve its stated objectives of preventing recidivism and assuring court appearance, but it has significantly eroded a sacred principle in our criminal justice system: the presumption of innocence.”

One Bail Bond agent explained to the Globe:

“Sen. Hertzberg doesn’t have enough votes in the Assembly for SB262 to pass. On Friday Hertzberg had to amend SB262 with his Crayons. Zero Bail was a No Go. All that’s left is a direct attack at private industry; Hertzberg wants 95% of the premium refunded if no criminal complaint is filed within 60 days of arrest or if a defendant makes all the court appearances. Bail Bond Agency may only keep a 5% surcharge. On a $10,000. bond that’s $50.”

“I don’t know any business that can operate in the red.”

“SB262 will shut down Surety Bail in CA. Defendants will be left with 2 choices —- Cash Bail which is the full amount of the Bail which will be set by the Judicial Council – this takes away Bail Schedules from all 58 counties – or stay in jail. This will lead to mass incarceration.”

A surety is someone who knows the accused well and is approved by the court to supervise an accused out on “bail.”

“The very people Hertzberg claims he’s trying to help would be hurt,” the bail agent said. “SB262 is retaliation for SB10 being overturned. Hertzberg is a termed out washed up politician that overstayed his welcome. Hertzberg has made this personal and is an ethics violation.”

Another bail agent chimed in:

“There’s no reason to pass SB262. Defendants unable to pay for bail have the Humphrey Decision. Judges in every county are capable of modifying the Bail Schedule.”

In March the California Supreme Court ruled in the Humphrey decision, that the judges are required to consider a person’s ability to pay when setting bail.

The bail agent addressed the decision by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye’s idea for the Emergency Zero Bail Schedule during the Pandemic – “that was a disaster,” the bail agent said. “Law Enforcement were furious. Jails were a revolving door of catch and release.”

“CA Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye came up with the Emergency Zero Bail Schedule,” another bail agent explained. “SB262 would give her the power to draft a ‘One Size Fits All Bail Schedule’ for the entire state. 58 counties can’t use the same Bail Schedule.”

“SB262 isn’t necessary and will lead to mass incarceration if Bail Bonds are no longer an option for pretrial release from custody,” the bail agent said.

” Hertzberg’s own words——this is a personal vendetta,” the bail agent said. “His fourth-floor district office affords a scenic view of the bail-bonds stores in the Van Nuys civic center,'” the LA Daily News reported. “’They’re all going to be Starbucks soon,’ Hertzberg said, envisioning that his legislation will put bail bondsmen out of business.”

“After we bail a defendant out we babysit them and make sure they appear at all of their court appearances,” a San Diego bail agent said. “Since March 2020 in San Diego the court dates that used to be one week later for Felony Arraignment and 6 weeks out for Misdemeanor Arraignments changed. Now? Thanks to Chief Justice Sakauye — 4 months for a Felony Arraignment and 6 months for a Misdemeanor Arraignment. We’re liable for the full amount of the bond if they disappear. Premium on bonds are good for 1 year. Majority of the cases filed are going beyond 1 year.”

Sb 262 was amended in the Assembly Monday to effectively end the bail industry according to another bail agent.

“The following two extracts will eliminate bail in California,” the bail agent said.

Another bail agent reported that SB 262 was amended Monday and asked, “Is it the intent of SB 262 supporters to:”

  • Eliminate millions of dollars annually in PREMIUM TAX AND SUMMARY JUDGMENTS paid by the California bail industry to the General Fund?
  • Support the growth of the largest ankle monitor company in California, LGA? A company acquired by SuperCom in 2016? SUPERCOM LTD, a company located in Tel Aviv, Israel over California companies?
  • Note: Ninth Circuit Court on April 2, 2021, AFFIRMED. William Edwards v. Leaders in Community Alternative, Inc.(LCA) and Supercom, Inc. Section IV page 10 states:  “In the end, the Appellants chose to enter into these payment agreements with LCA rather than serve jail time. LCA was, therefore, entitled to payment for the electronic monitoring services rendered.” Likewise, I say, bail bond companies should be entitled to “payment for services rendered”, which is regulated by the California Department of Insurance and less costly than ankle monitors.

EXAMPLE: $50,000 Bail Bond

  • LCA ankle monitor Alameda County $25.50 per day—- $760 per month, or $9,180 per year…… plus additional $750 per month if the case continues beyond a year     (Case # 4:18-cv-4609 US District Court, Northern District of California) page 2.  Note: this is pure profit.  They do not pay PREMIUM TAX OR SUMMARY JUDGMENT to California General Fund.
  • Bail Bond in California rates range from 8% to 10% or $4,000 to $5,000 for the life of the bond, no renewal fee or interest on financing

 EXAMPLE: $10,000 Bond

  • LCA ankle monitor –$9,180 per year….. plus additional $750 per month if the case continues beyond a year
  • Bail Bond between $800 to $1,000 – 8% to 10% for the live of the bond, no renewal fee or interest on financing

“If the bill passes, this will set case precedent for ALL insurance and refunding premium,” the bail agent said. Can you contact Geico, All State, Progressive, State Farm, Farmers, Mercury, USAA, The General, Wawanesa ….all of them would have to refund premiums.

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3 thoughts on “California Bail Agents Claim Vendetta Against Bail Bond Industry in Amended SB 262

  1. Because hearing is believing, I like to post this entertaining 3-year-old interview of Sen Bob “Huggy” Hertzberg by John & Ken of KFI 640-AM every time Hertzberg pops up again like Jason from the “Friday the 13th” horror movie franchise. How many sequels are there now? I counted eight. Sure hope we won’t see as many for the bail issue — you know, the one we already VOTED to KEEP. Anyway, here it is. Enjoy:

    “A riveting discussion with Sen Bob Hertzberg about the bail reform bill (and AB 1810)”
    John & Ken Show, KFI 640-AM, August 2018:
    https://www.spreaker.com/user/kfiam640/full-show_36

  2. Fun Fact: When William Edwards filed the lawsuit against LCA in 2018, he was the prime suspect in a North Richmond murder and under surveillance by law enforcement. He even did an interview with The Guardian while he was under a Title 3 wiretap and his quotes ended up in an article titled “Digital Shackles” by Olivia Solon. He was convicted of murder in April 2021 in Contra Costa County. The prosecutor hung three special circumstances on him. LWOP. Edwards was ultimately dismissed from the LCA lawsuit for lack of standing.

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