QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
My son got arrested and his girlfriend wants me to send monies to her to pay a “bailerman” in the community to bail him. My problem is the fee keeps increasing. Can you give me an idea of the fees and how can I assist without using these persons. Can you assist me in finding someone?
RESPONSE: Dear Shirley Bourke,
There are persons in our team who can assist with the bailing process your son for a fee. You should also try contacting the arresting officer, or the station where your son is being held. You can get more information on what kind of bail is being offered.
One of the first things you need to realise is that there are licensed bailers in Jamaica. These persons authorised to bail persons on someone’s behalf charge a percentage of the fees. Do you know if this ‘bailerman’ is licensed or just someone on whom the community members rely on to assist in bailing processes?
You have the option to rely on a citizen that can present the required documents listed below. The challenge you will have with this option is whether or not you can find someone willing to take the risk. If your son does not show up for the Court date, that person can be locked up in his stead.
The documents vary from station to station, and officers are only too willing to tell you the list for their station or the specific case. There are times when substitute documents are accepted for example for proof of address where there is no utility bill of the person bailing the arrested person. Generally speaking the documents required are:
One (1) passport-sized picture signed by a Justice of the Peace (J.P.)
A valid form of identification
a. National ID
b. Drivers’ Licence
Two (2) letters of recommendation
b. Sergeant of police or police of higher rank
a. Motor vehicle statement
b. Land title without caveat
c. Bank statement
Proof of Address
a. A recent utility bill. Sometimes two are required. Where there is no bill, an officer can advise on what is needed.