In Indiana, laws governing bounty hunting can be found in Title 27, Chapter 3 of the Indiana Code. Pursuant to Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 27-10-1-9, a recovery agent means a person who is offered or given compensation by a bail agent or surety in exchange for assisting the bail agent or surety in apprehending or surrendering any defendant or keeping a defendant under necessary surveillance.
A person who is licensed as a bail agent can use as a recovery agent any person who holds a valid recovery agent’s license[i]. The requirements to function as a recovery agent are provided in Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 27-10-3-5.
An applicant for a license to serve as a recovery agent must affirmatively show that:
- s/he is at least eighteen years of age;
- s/he is a citizen of the U.S. and has been a bona fide resident of the state for more than six months immediately preceding the date of application;
- s/he has never been convicted of a disqualifying offense;
- in the case of a felony conviction, at least ten years have passed since the date of the applicant’s conviction or release from imprisonment, parole, or probation, whichever is later;
- in the case of a misdemeanor disqualifying offense, at least five years have passed since the date of the applicant’s conviction or release from imprisonment, parole, or probation, whichever is later; and
- s/he has completed at least twelve hours of instruction in courses that pertain to the duties and responsibilities of a bail agent or recovery agent, including instruction in the laws that relate to the conduct of a bail agent or recovery agent[ii].
Additionally, there is a license fee of three hundred dollars and an examination fee of one hundred dollars. The amount is to be remitted to the commissioner with each application, together with the applicant’s fingerprints and photograph[iii].
Pursuant to Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 27-10-3-6, the applicant for a bail agent’s or recovery agent’s license is required to appear in person and take a written examination prepared by the commissioner testing the applicant’s ability and qualifications to be a bail agent or recovery agent.
A recovery agent cannot perform the recovery agent’s duties unless the recovery agent has registered the recovery agent’s license within fifteen days of issuance or any renewal in the office of the sheriff and with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where the recovery agent resides. The clerk of the circuit court and the sheriff cannot permit a registration unless the recovery agent is properly licensed by the commissioner[iv].
[i] Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 27-10-3-14
[ii] Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 27-10-3-5.
[iv] Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 27-10-3-17.