Attorney General Doug Chin announced Wednesday that his office has filed petitions to enforce judgments against Da Kine Bail Bonds, Inc. (Da Kine) and Safety National Casualty Corporation (Safety) for forfeited bail bonds those companies failed to pay to the State of Hawaii (State).
According to the attorney general, Da Kine owes the state $35,500 from 21 separate criminal cases. Duane “Dog” Chapman is the president and director of Da Kine. Safety is the surety that is obligated to pay if Da Kine defaults.
“Bail bond companies promise to pay us when their clients skip court. Simply put, if they don’t pay, we have to hunt down that money,” Chin said.
The Chapmans say they have not been served with any formal petition, but issued the following statement:
As a bail bonds company, we pride ourselves in working within the State and Federal laws, as well as within the code of ethics of the bail bonds industry, and therefore, we emphatically dispute the forfeitures in question.
We have cooperated fully with the Attorney General’s office for the past three years regarding these alleged outstanding forfeitures, as we have apprehended almost every one of the fugitives who jumped bail on our television show, “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” making these forfeitures null and void.
The Hawaii Statutes require that bail bonds companies keep their files for 5 years. Some of these cases are at least 12 years old.
We have actually worked with the State to retrieve millions of dollars in forfeitures from bail bonds companies across the state over the last 15 years without any cost to tax payers, so it’s unfortunate that we are being targeted and our names are now in the headlines associated with this petition.
We are currently in discussions with our attorney who will review the petition when it has been received.
Bail is a financial arrangement that a bail bonding agency makes on behalf of a criminal defendant.
A bail bonding agency works with the court to have a defendant released from jail pending trial in exchange for money or collateral. This collateral can be in the form of cash, assets, or a bond. The bail agency is then responsible for ensuring that the defendant arrives in court on the day of trial. If the defendant does not appear in court, the court may forfeit the bond and the entire bail amount must be paid to the court by the bail bonding agency.
Wednesday’s action against Da Kine and Safety resulted from a joint effort by the State Judiciary and the Department of the Attorney General to sue various bail bond companies in Hawaii for non-payment of forfeiture of bail bonds. Other bail bond companies are also being reviewed.
Of the bail bond companies that the Judiciary and Attorney General have looked into, seven paid the Judiciary approximately $700,000 upon receiving notice. Those companies are not subject to today’s action.
Petitions filed with the Circuit Court, Family Court, and District Court are attached. A hearing date of Aug. 17, 2016 has been set by the Circuit Court. Hearing dates for the Family Court and District Court have not yet been determined.