I attended the PBUS Summer Conference last week at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs. It truly is a beautiful part of our country.
Like most PBUS events there were classes and seminars, cocktail parties and dinners. Bail agents from across the nation sharing tips and stories. I always walk away with something useful from these events.
E-filing was the hot topic at this meeting for some reason. I’m aware of only two counties in the country that currently permit the e-filing of a bail bond, Lee County, Texas and Gadsden County, Florida. Texas in particular is demonstrating the most interest in e-filing bail bonds with Collin and El Paso counties announcing an intent to transition to an electronic filing process.
There were many bail agents at the conference voicing concern over e-filing. They feared e-filing would give some agencies an unfair advantage. Others, including myself, believe e-filing, if done properly and with the appropriate security measures, could save bail agents and the courts tens of thousands of dollars annually in travel fees, paper costs and processing time.
The decision whether or not to move to e-filing bail bonds will largely be decided at the county level. With only two counties out of 3143 counties, parishes and the like actually processing bonds through e-filing, we may be better served preparing for the next meteor to strike than how e-filing will impact the way bail agents do business. In the meantime, we will deal with e-filing as it arises, one county at a time.