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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXXVII
INSURANCE
Chapter 648
BAIL BOND AGENTS
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 648.45
648.45 Actions against a licensee; suspension or revocation of eligibility to hold a license.
(1) The department shall, upon receipt of an information or indictment, immediately temporarily suspend any license or appointment issued under this chapter when the licensee has been charged with a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude or a crime punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of any state, territory, or country. Such suspension shall continue if the licensee has been found guilty of, or has pleaded guilty or no contest to, the crime, whether or not a judgment or conviction has been entered, during a pending appeal. A person may not effect any additional bail bonds after suspension of his or her license or appointment. However, he or she may discharge any liability on bonds effected prior to such suspension.
(2) The department shall deny, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew any license or appointment issued under this chapter or the insurance code, and it shall suspend or revoke the eligibility of any person to hold a license or appointment under this chapter or the insurance code, for any violation of the laws of this state relating to bail or any violation of the insurance code or if the person:
(a) Lacks one or more of the qualifications specified in this chapter for a license or appointment.
(b) Has made a material misstatement, misrepresentation, or fraud in obtaining a license or appointment, or in attempting to obtain a license or appointment.
(c) Has failed to pass any examination required under this chapter.
(d) Has willfully used, or intended the use, of the license or appointment to circumvent any of the requirements or prohibitions of this chapter or the insurance code.
(e) Has demonstrated lack of fitness or trustworthiness to engage in the bail bond business.
(f) Has demonstrated lack of reasonably adequate knowledge and technical competence to engage in the transactions authorized by the license or appointment.
(g) Has engaged in fraudulent or dishonest practices in the conduct of business under the license or appointment.
(h) Is guilty of misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful withholding of moneys belonging to a surety, a principal, or others and received in the conduct of business under a license.
(i) Is guilty of rebating or offering to rebate, or unlawfully dividing or offering to divide, any commission, in the case of a limited surety agent, or premiums, in the case of a professional bail bond agent.
(j) Has willfully failed to comply with or willfully violated any proper order or rule of the department or willfully violated any provision of this chapter or the insurance code.
(k) Has been found guilty of, or has pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony, a crime involving moral turpitude, or a crime punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of any state, territory, or country, whether or not a judgment or conviction has been entered.
(l) Has demonstrated lack of good faith in carrying out contractual obligations and agreements.
(m) Has failed to perform a contractual obligation or agreement with a managing general agent or insurer which results in an unrecovered loss due to nonpayment of a forfeiture or judgment by the licensee.
(n) Has failed to return collateral.
(o)1. Has signed and filed a report or record in the capacity of an agent which the licensee knows to be false or misleading;
2. Has willfully failed to file a report or record required by state or federal law;
3. Has willfully impeded or obstructed such filing; or
4. Has induced another person to impede or obstruct such filing.

Such reports or records shall include only those that are signed in the capacity of a licensed agent.

(p) Has demonstrated a course of conduct or practices which indicate that the licensee is incompetent, negligent, or dishonest or that property or rights of clients cannot safely be entrusted to him or her.
(3) The department may deny, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew any license or appointment issued under this chapter or the insurance code, or it may suspend or revoke the eligibility of any person to hold a license or appointment under this chapter or the insurance code, for any violation of the laws of this state relating to bail or any violation of the insurance code or for any of the following causes:
(a) A cause for which issuance of the license or appointment could have been refused had it then existed and been known to the department.
(b) Cheating on an examination required for licensure or violating test center rules or examination procedures published orally or in writing at the test site by authorized representatives of the examination program administrator. Communication of test center rules and examination procedures must be clearly established and documented.
(c) Violation of any law relating to the business of bail bond insurance or violation of any provision of the insurance code.
(d) Failure or refusal, upon demand, to pay over to any insurer the bail bond agent represents or has represented any money coming into his or her hands which money belongs to the insurer.
(e) Being found to be a source of injury or loss to the public or detrimental to the public interest or being found by the department to be no longer carrying on the bail bond business in good faith.
(f) Interfering or attempting to interfere with the administration of justice.
(4) Any licensee found to have violated s. 648.44(1)(b), (d), or (i) shall, at a minimum, be suspended for a period of 3 months. A greater penalty, including revocation, shall be imposed if there is a willful or repeated violation of s. 648.44(1)(b), (d), or (i), or the licensee has committed other violations of this chapter.
(5) Grounds for revocation of the license or appointment exist when any licensee is adjudged bankrupt or insolvent.
(6) Suspension, revocation, and refusal to renew a license or appointment issued under this chapter is subject to the procedures provided in s. 648.46.
History.s. 17, ch. 29621, 1955; s. 3, ch. 57-63; s. 15, ch. 61-406; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 177, ch. 70-339; s. 25, ch. 71-86; s. 167, ch. 73-333; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 25, 71, 72, ch. 82-175; s. 142, ch. 83-216; ss. 27, 50, 51, ch. 84-103; s. 5, ch. 87-321; ss. 33, 46, 47, ch. 90-131; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 34, ch. 96-372; s. 30, ch. 97-93; s. 25, ch. 2002-260; s. 139, ch. 2004-5.
Note.Former s. 903.53.