Revocation of Authority to Write Bonds

Unless otherwise indicated, all indented material is copied directly from the court’s opinion.

Decisions of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Decisions of the Tennessee Criminal Court of Appeals

In re Horton, No. W2022-01355-CCA-R3-CD, p. 8 (Tenn. Ct. Crim. App. July 25, 2023). 

A trial court has full authority to determine who should be allowed to make bonds in its court. Gilbreath v. Ferguson, 260 S.W.2d 276, 278 (Tenn. 1953). A “trial court is given wide discretion in its regulation of bail bondsmen[,] and its actions will not be overturned absent a showing that they were arbitrary, capricious[,] or illegal.” In re Hitt 910 S.W.2d 900, 904 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1995) (citing Taylor v. Waddey, 334 S.W.2d 733, 736 (Tenn. 1960)). This Court reviews a trial court’s denial of a bondsman’s application under a de novo standard of review. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-11-125(d).

In re: Tennessee Bonding Company, No. M2021-01423-CCA-R3-CD, p. 7 (Tenn. Ct. Crim. App. Dec. 13, 2022). 

Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-11-125(d) provides that an appeal from a trial court’s suspension or revocation of a professional bondsman’s ability to write bonds “shall be heard de novo.” This statute includes the present action, as a “professional bondsman” is defined as meaning any “firm, partnership or corporation” that is “engaged for profit in the business of furnishing bail, making bonds or entering into undertakings, as surety, in criminal proceedings[.]” Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-11-301(4)(A). “Under this de novo standard, the parties are entitled to a reexamination of the whole matter of law and fact.” In re Cox, 389 S.W.3d 794, 798 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2012) (quoting State v. Cunningham, 972 S.W.2d 16, 18 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1998)) (internal quotation marks omitted).


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