On Tuesday, April 9, 2013, Sen. Linda Newell introduced SB 13-259 – Concerning the Regulation of Private Investigators by the Department of Regulatory Agencies. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.
Under the current “Private Investigators Voluntary Licensure Act” (act), a private investigator, at his or her option, may apply for a license from the division of professions and occupations (division) in the Department of Regulatory Agencies and, upon satisfaction of the criteria for licensure, the director of the division is to issue a license to the private investigator. Only a person who obtains a license from the division may refer to himself or herself as a licensed private investigator, but no private investigator is required to be licensed by the division.
As of March 1, 2014, the bill converts the voluntary licensure program to a mandatory licensure program under which all persons conducting private investigations in this state must obtain a license from the division. The bill modifies the experience criteria for licensure to eliminate the requirement that the prior experience be obtained within the prior five years.
Under the bill, a person who does not satisfy the experience requirements for licensure may register with the division as a private investigator apprentice and may engage in private investigation activities under the indirect supervision of a licensed private investigator.
The bill also requires the director to appoint an advisory committee, consisting of three licensed private investigators, one representative from law enforcement, and one public member, to make recommendations to the director concerning private investigators and the practice of private investigations.
In addition to the exemptions in current law, which are relocated to a new section in the act, the bill excludes the following persons from the requirements of the act:
- A person serving process in accordance with rules of civil procedure;
- A person providing paralegal services under contract with an attorney; and
- A person recovering a fugitive.
Under the bill, licensees and registered apprentices are required to post a surety bond in an amount determined by the director by rule and are subject to discipline for failing to maintain the surety bond. Additionally the bill, a licensee is subject to discipline for failing to properly supervise a private investigator apprentice or, for licensees and registered apprentices, failing to meet generally accepted standards of private investigations practice.
The bill extends the sunset date for the “Private Investigators Licensure Act” and the functions of the director under the act from Sept. 1, 2016, to Sept. 1, 2021. The advisory committee is also subject to sunset review and repeal on Sept. 1, 2021.
The bill was introduced on April 9 and has been assigned to the Judiciary Committee; it is scheduled for committee review on April 19, “Upon Adjournment.”