Judiciary Task Force to Examine
Bail Bond System
ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 27, 2003)
– Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell signed an administrative
order creating a task force to review the laws, practices and procedures
governing bondsmen and bail bonds and make recommendations for improvement.
The decision to form a task force stems from a report of the Judiciary’s
internal auditors, which indicates weaknesses in several areas. One of
the anticipated changes is the automatic referral of information on suspected
abuse or violation of the rules to the appropriate administrative agency
or prosecutor for enforcement action.“The Judiciary’s audit staff alerted
me to potential deficiencies in the current system,” said Chief Judge Bell.
“These deficiencies have hampered our ability to monitor bail bonds effectively
and to ensure compliance with statutes and court rules. Now that the audit
is complete and the problems are identified, we are ready to take corrective
The Honorable James N. Vaughan, Chief Judge of the District Court, and
the Honorable Daniel M. Long, Chair of the Conference of Circuit Judges,
will serve, respectively, as chair and vice chair of the Task Force.
The membership will reflect the diverse parties involved in the bail system,
including judges and clerks of the Circuit and District Courts, District
Court commissioners, and representatives of the Attorney General of Maryland,
the Maryland Bar, the Maryland Association of Counties, the Maryland Bail
Bond Association, the Maryland Insurance Administration, the Maryland Public
Defender, and the Maryland State’s Attorneys Association.
"Each of these stakeholders have unique and critical roles in the bail
system, and the Task Force’s purpose will be to encourage the exchange
of information and ideas to address gaps in the current laws and develop
detailed operating procedures allowing for an effective bail system,” explained
Chief Judge Bell. Other interested persons will be afforded an opportunity
to express their concerns and observations and will be called upon to provide
their expertise to the Task Force as needed.
The Task Force will be charged with analyzing the current system, from
bond acceptance to satisfaction or forfeiture, recommending policy, and
drafting procedures to ensure compliance with applicable statutes, rules,
and regulations and to facilitate monitoring.
Please contact the Court Information
Office at 410/260-1488 for more information.
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