|Submitted||April 24, 2017|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to Michigan's Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), I hereby request the following records:
Records relating to bail enforcement Agents also known as BEA's, Bounty Hunters, bail agents, bail recovery agents, bail recovery agents, skip tracers, or fugitive recovery agents. An itemized list of the records I am requesting about BEA's follows:
-Any training material including syllabi, power point presentations, or any distributed reading material. Please conduct this portion of the search from 1/1/05 to the date this request was processed on.
-Any regulations, policies, guidelines, or any other rules made to limit or manage what a BEA can and cannot do.
-Use of force policies for BEA's.
-All complaints against any BEA licensed or permitted by this agency with the following date range: 1/1/05 to the date this request is processed on.
-Financial documentation concerning the gross income of the Bail Enforcement industry in the state. In addition or in the event the agency does not keep documentation about the overall finances going to Bail Enforcement, any documentation about billing, salary/payment range, or potential benefits are also requested.
-Number of injuries and fatalities reported per year from the Bail Enforcement industry from 1/1/05 to the date this request was processed.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on April 24, 2017. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
May 2, 2017
VIA EMAIL ONLY
Curtis Waltman email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
DEPT MR 36699
411A Highland Avenue
Somerville, MI 02144-2516
Re: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request #16762
Dear Mr. Waltman:
The Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is in receipt of your recent request, a copy of which is below, relating to "bail enforcement Agents also known as BEA's, Bounty Hunters, bail agents, bail recovery agents, bail recovery agents, skip tracers, or fugitive recovery agents."
I am the person designated by the Director of the DIFS ("Director") to approve or deny requests under the Michigan FOIA, MCL 15.231 et seq. Your request is denied because those records do not exist within this department. It is hereby certified that, to the best of the undersigned's knowledge, information, and belief, records do not exist within the department under the description you provided or under another name reasonably known to the department.
DIFS requires a license of an individual who represents a surety insurer. An individual is required to hold resident or non-resident license for property and casualty, limited lines property and casualty or surety. A bail bond is a type of surety bond and it is a binding contract between the insurance company, the defendant and the insurance agent. Therefore, we regulate the activities of selling, soliciting and negotiating insurance (the surety or bail bond). Other than the selling, soliciting and negotiating of the insurance product, we do not license and regulate the activities of bounty hunters, bail agents, bail recovery agents, bail recovery agents, skip tracers, or fugitive recovery agents.
There is a small amount of information relating to bondmen in the Michigan Penal Code, PA 328 of 1931<http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(0rzqcff0df5wty4vigyggelk))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectname=mcl-act-328-of-1931>, as amended, under Section 750.216b<http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(rznvxs2su2icvjon0ecpeatw))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-750-216b> and Section 750.167b<http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(rznvxs2su2icvjon0ecpeatw))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-750-167b>. Additionally, you may be able to get some of the information from the Michigan Professional Bail Agents Association, www.mpbaa.com<http://www.mpbaa.com>. It does not appear that they have made changes to their page since 2010/2011. If they are no longer operational, there is link to the national page http://www.pbus.com/.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing may consider the activities of a bounty hunter, bail agent, bail recovery agent, bail recovery agent, skip tracer, or fugitive recovery agent to fall under the licensure of a professional investigator. Therefore, you may wish to contact LARA directly to determine whether that department's records fall under the scope of your request.
State of Michigan, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
c/o FOIA Coordinator,
Ottawa Building, 4th Floor
P.O. Box 30004
Lansing, MI 48909
e-mail - LARAFOIAInfo@michigan.gov<mailto:LARAFOIAInfo@michigan.gov>
Fax: (517) 335-4037
Under the FOIA (MCL 15.240), you may submit a written appeal regarding the denial of any portion of your FOIA request to Patrick M. McPharlin, Director, Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, 530 W. Allegan Street, 7th Floor, P.O. Box 30220, Lansing, Michigan 48909. Your appeal must include the word "appeal" and give your reason or reasons for reversal of the denial(s). You may also seek judicial review in the Michigan court of claims within 180 days after the department's notice of final determination to deny a request. If you prevail in court you may be awarded reasonable attorney fees, costs, and disbursements. If the court finds that the department has arbitrarily or capriciously violated FOIA, you may receive, in addition to actual or compensatory damages, punitive damages in the amount of $1,000.00.
Dawn M. Kobus
FOIA Analyst/Hearings Coordinator
Department of Insurance and Financial Services
Office of General Counsel
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