No Place For Bounty Hunters in Canada

The Canadian and American justice systems have many similarities but they also differ dramatically in the area of bail for those charged with criminal offences.

While both jurisdictions favour the release of alleged offenders on specific conditions pending trial, including the posting of bail, bounty hunters and bail bondsmen proliferate in the United States. In Canada, bail bondsmen and bounty hunters are illegal and to world-wide critics of the practice, immoral and discriminatory.

And Canada is not alone. Most countries, with the exception of the Philipines, will charge a bounty hunter with kidnapping if they remove a citizen, albeit a fugitive, from their soil. The authority of a bounty hunter does not extend beyond the jurisdiction of his or her home country or state and even in America, where several states have outlawed bounty hunters, including Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Oregon, a fugitive-finder must exercise extreme caution.

That is why the world’s best known bounty hunters, Duane and Beth Chapman, aka Dog the Bounty Hunter’s, recent threats to capture Oscar-winning actor Randy Quaid, now living in Vancouver, can’t be taken for more than a publicity ploy timed for the start of their new season on A&E television.

Dog surely knows that Canada and the U.S. entered into a memorandum of understanding in 1988 that provides there will be no cross-border kidnapping of Canadians.

He certainly is intimately familiar with the aftermath of interfering with a U.S. citizen on foreign soil after the clandestine removal of sex offender and Max Factor trust-fund beneficiary, Andrew Luster from Mexico. Luster was successfully returned to California to serve his 124-year sentence. Dog went home to Hawaii and was later arrested by police as a result of an extradition request by the Mexican government. After a night in jail he posted bail and eventually the Mexican authorities dropped the criminal charges against him. It made for good television.

There are, however, clever ways to fool a fugitive into slipping back into the United States so that a legal capture can occur. Businessman Fred J. Gilliland fled the United States after his massive securities frauds were uncovered. He escaped to West Vancouver where it was reported he lived in the lap of luxury. Gilliland had ripped off hundreds of people and had more than just a few enemies as a result of his criminal behavior. One of his enemies was a British Columbia resident who alleged he had been suckered into one of Gilliland’s fraudulent schemes and lost $200,000 dollars.

Brian Van Vlack, who described himself as a private investigator, befriended Gilliland, eventually luring him for lunch to Point Roberts, a sleepy beach town, that happened to be a sliver of land that was part of the State of Washington. Just as lunch began, American police emerged, arrested Gilliland and returned him to Florida to face the music.

I suspect that Randy Quaid will not be as gullible or cocky as Gilliland, and after all, why would Quaid visit the U.S? He has pretty much burned all his bridges there.

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang

19 thoughts on “No Place For Bounty Hunters in Canada

  1. I can’t stand Dog the Bounty Hunter a self appointed vigilante running around suburbia and airports with badges and assault rifles. Low standards all around, and there should be no place for private bounty hunters in Canada, especially armed ones. I believe that if bounty hunters or FBI (authorized or unauthorized) agents capture a fugitive in Canada and transport him/her across the border to the United States, it is considered a legal act under U.S. federal law.

    • I agree with you.. I beleive these people that choose bounty hunting as a career are no better then the people they are hunting.. Any person that makes an income off other people’s misery are scum…Dog and his wife are glorified bullys and should be taking off the air.. I read something, somewhere that goes a little something like “if you live in a glass house you shouldn’t throw stones” Need I say more… We pay our taxes for Police to do these services.. Let them do their job…

      • For some strange reason I just got notifies about this post today. But thanks for you comments. Dog the Bounty Hunter is in its final season, but some these reality tv shows are really bad for law & justice. I believe there is a new one on tenant eviction that seems so low. But some of the Police reality are good, even Cajun Justice.

    • yea, by the way; he doesn’t carry assault rifles or lethal weapons of any sort. just pepper spray. and if you give it more than the 8 seconds of attention that your app-texted mind allows, you may see that he identifies with their plight and tries to touch some base too, he after all was once there; but took a new path.
      Dont judge a man untill you walk a Mile in his shoes!

      • Well the schmuck can’t carry a weapon, since he is also a convicted felon. I would like to see how he gets into Canada, unless the Nazi party (Conservative Party of Canada) gives him a passl

    • US bounty hunters have no power to arrest in Canada other than the ordinary power of citizens arrest and regardless of the agency no person can be forced to cross an international border against their will – Also – considering Canadian Castle defense / stand your ground laws apply to any place that a Canadian has a legal right to be it would be a bad day for the arresting person without a warrant signed off by a Canadian Judge

  2. Lawscribe Thanks for your comment. I am not familiar with US federal law or the law of extradition between Canada and the US. I think I’ll do a post on extradition to see what it is all about.

    PS I enjoy reading your blog!

    • Thanks. Been away from my blog for while, just finished revamping it. If I can blog like you, maybe you’ll buy me a coffee. :) (ps I hope you will create a facebook page, its really hard to share your twitter posts there). Thanks, have a Great Canada Day!

  3. he or she hates this bounty hunter, or that one…. I watch dog and lisa and as a full time bounty hunter some things make ya just make ya say why. In fact the bail paper work on luster is sighned on the wall of one of my biggest clients. Oh and where is the good old mister luster, the rapesy? I yhink he is in jail. Why? not because of tax paid cops. Not cuz of the mexican policia. cuz of dog…… it chaps me that even when a jumper runs, he knows that a beautiful resort area or even one of four states set up safe haven so they can go on with the life that has been so good to them and the community. http://www.joebountyhunter.com

  4. Once a person commits a crime they are responsible for whatever actions or punishments the law sets against them. This may include having a bounty hunter come after you. If there is a murderer running around on the streets it is better for him to either be shot or apprehended in whatever means necessary as long as it is humane. I agree that bounty hunters shouldn’t be inhumane towards the people they capture

  5. The basic idea of bond is important. That citizens (who are innocent until proven guilty) are able to be out of jail to get back to their lives, secure legal support etc. Allowing bail bond companies to operate takes the burden off the taxpayer. While some might think a government surety is ideal, keep in mind when the defendant skips the courts then begin another process to capture and collect payment from the cosignor. If you left the work to a bail bonds company, the burden to return the defendant is up to them and there is no cost to the taxpayer for their services. I can hear the critics now though about some of the actions of certain bounty hunters or bondsmen. Be honest, you have a few people in EVERY industry that makes that industry look bad… politicians, teachers, cops, firefighters, bondsmen… it doesn’t matter the job, there’s always going to be someone that puts that industry in a bad light. Some states that have abolished bail bonds are seeing a huge increase in people who fail to appear (see Oregon).

    • yes, but if you understand the bail law in the US. The person is signing to be a slave. So much for your glory constitution, to still have slaves.

  6. I am a bail bondsman, and our “bounty hunters” are called bail enforcement agents. I agree that every industry has a few people in it that will give that industry a bad reputation. As for the local police and your state, I have a question… Will your local police investigate a fugitive that has relocated to a neighboring state to return that fugitive to justice? Or in other words, will your local pd go get the drug dealer who terrorized your neighborhood and dealt drugs to your children when the dealer flees to another jurisdiction? No they will not. Not a big enough case for a federally entity, DEA, but out of reach for the local police. That’s when a fugitive recovery agent will travel hundreds to thousands of miles to put this fugitive back in jail to face his crime. With that being said, there is a fugitive of ours who stole hundreds to thousands of dollars via credit card crimes. They have relocated to Canada, and is living a luxurious life at the expense of honest people. We would love to bring this fugitive back to justice, but can not enter Canada, and the government authorities say they will not get involved. “Bounty Hunters” are not the people you should be angry with. This person who stole money from innocent people, then fled, causing the need for bounty hunters, is the person who you should be mad at.

    • You are absolutely correct jr; anybody look into the eyes of the victom? then you will see pain and might think different! about, well you know; Also Canada is being flooded by criminals of all types who take full advantage of our word of honour system, but times are a changing-even in Canada

    • We have one criminal code, so no problem with interprovincial transfer of prisoners. So don’t cry, you made your own problems. I still think bounty hunters and bailbonds men are douches.

  7. That’s not entirly factual. The truth is in Candian law there are two roles a Police officer can assume. Each depends upon the jurisdiction and circumstances present. It is lawful for a peace officer to make a citizens arrest. And according to Canadian law, I can as a canadian citizen assign certain title and duties to another citizen under contract and or demand they act as a peace officer on my behalf to fufill the protective duty to prevent harm to my person.

  8. This is one of the more ignorant posts I’ve read, bounty hunting is extremely humane and the ones bounty hunting are not low life scum like the ones they are hunting. One: There are no “Dead or Alive” circumstances, you need the person alive period, anything else is murder. Two: You cannot collect a single cent if the person has any broken bones or bruises resulting from you, the bounty huner. Three: Police officers should patrol, make arrests, and do their desky duty among other things, they should not go on wild manhunts that can take weeks, yes weeks, of their precious law enforcing time. Detectives solve mysteries not chase people down, that’s the end of that. Canada needs a new proffesion… and that proffession is bounty hunting. I’m all for shouting go Canada, I’m proud, but I’m not blind… Canada is in the wrong here, we should not be wasting law enforcement officers’ time.

    • Hoof My article simply points out that bounty hunting is illegal in Canada, and other jurisdictions. It also recounts examples of successful captures. Not sure why you would say it is ignorant, but it is truthful. Glad you enjoy your career and aren’t you happy it’s legal in your state!

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