Bounty Hunting in the Great Southern State of North Carolina
This Monday I am discussing the great State of North Carolina’s Laws on Bounty Hunting.
Again I will begin with the statutes of the State. In North Carolina Hunters are called Bail Runners. They must be licensed NC Gen Stat 58-71-40. They must be over 18 years old with no felony convictions and a resident of the state. They must have necessary training and experience.NC Gen Stat 58-17-50. They have to take a mandatory 20 hours of education in order to procure a license. NC Gen Stat 58-71-71. They also must take a written examination NC Gen 58-71-70. They can only work for one bonding company at a time which is the same in Georgia. NC Gen Stat 58-71-65 (1996)
Now here comes the big one. Bondsmen and runners cannot enter the homes of third parties to apprehend a fugitive.
This statute was added because of the case of State v Mathis. 509 S.E. 2d 155 (N.C.1998)
The defendant William Tankersley,III signed a bond in the amount of 1,500.00 with Marie’s Bail Bonding Company. He had been charged with passing bad checks. When Mr. Tankersley failed to appear in court, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Two licensed bail bondsmen, Mathis and Williamson, were employed by Marie’s Bail Bonding Company on December 9, 1995 to find Mr. Tankersley and bring him into the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s office.
The two bondmen went to the sister-in-law of Mr. Tankersley, but he was not there. They then preceeded to his mother’s house which was listed as his place of residency. Tankersley’s mother Mrs. Susan Nelson had co-signed on the bond. Both Mrs. Nelson and her daughter Mrs. Noto had dealings with Marie’s Bail Bonding before.
The bond showed that the defendant Mr. Tankersley drove a white 1990 Mazda MX-6 and that Mrs. Nelson drove a blue 1990 Toyota Camry.
When the agents arrived at the residence they were told by Mrs. Noto that Tankersley was not at home. She alleged he had gone shopping with his mother in the white Mazda. She was asked if she had been contacted by the bonding agency and her reply was no. However, Tankersley had spoken to the bonding co. before he left the house. The house was watched for several hours and at around 6:47pm Mathis and Williamson were called and told that Mrs. Nelson had returned.
This is where it gets ugly. Mathis and Williamson returned to the residence and see the White Mazda in the driveway. Mathis went to the back door and Williamson to the front. When Mathis knocked on the back door Mrs. Nelson answered and stepped outside closing the glass storm door behind her.
Mathis identified himself showed her his license and explained he was there to pick up her son.
Mrs. Nelson stated her son was not home and refused to allow Mathis to enter the house. Mathis told her he knew her son was there because the Mazda was in the driveway. She shot back with the statement that the Mazda was no longer his car and he no longer drove it.
Mathis told Mrs. Nelson that if it would make her feel better she could call the police and that he was going into the residence. “I have a warrant and I am going to leave when I get my man.”
Mrs. Nelson blocked the door. Mathis began to open the door and she began striking him and yelling loudly. Mathis pushed the storm door against Mrs. Nelson pinning her against the exterior wall of the house. As he pushed in one direction she pushed in the other which caused the clips holding the glass in place to pop out damaging the door.
In the meantime Williamson the other runner was able to enter the house. Mrs. Nelson followed them into the house and called the cops. The cops came and ran the runners out of the house and told them as soon as an arrest was made they would call them to pick Tankersley up. No call was made. At 2:00am Mathis and Williamson went back to the house flagged down a cop and the jumper (Tankerlsey) was taken into custody.
Because of this case, Bail bondsmen and Runners can no longer enter the home of a third party. The courts concluded that a bondsman or a Runner cannot enter the home of a third party even if the defendant lives there. Even though Tankersley listed his mother’s house as his place of residency the courts stated that the bondsmen could not enter the house forcefully because the house was the primary residence of Mrs. Nelson and she refused to give permission.
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