What is a Court Bond? [How do they work?]
During your legal proceedings, the court may order you to get a Surety Bond. This bond serves as your promise to fulfil your duties as ordered by the court.
There are many different types of Court Bonds.
Are you making an appeal on a judgment?
Have you been chosen as the caretaking of someone’s finances or property?
Does your case involve becoming the legal guardian of a minor or disabled relative?
The type of bond you require depends on your situation relating to the court proceedings. Generally, you’ll be advised by your lawyer or the court on the type you need.
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As with other types of Surety Bonds, a Court Bond is a three-party contract.
The Obligee – The entity requiring the bond. This is typically the court.
The Surety – This is the entity that issues the bond and vouches for the principal.
The Principal – If the court orders you to get the bond, then you are the principal of the bond.
A bond is required to minimize the possibility of financial loss and to ensure compliance with the court’s decisions.
Court Bond Types
The types of Court Bond can be split into two categories. There are Probate Bonds (also known as Fiduciary Bonds) and Judicial Bonds. The big difference between these categories is a Probate Bond serves as a guarantee the principal will remain faithful and honest while performing their responsibilities; whereas a Judicial Bond promises payment of money required in a court case.
Depending on the type of Court Bond you are applying for, our surety partners typically require you retain an attorney throughout the duration of your case.
A court of law may require one of the following bonds if they assign you to care for another individual or their assets. This bond is your guarantee to the court you’ll perform your assigned duties faithfully and ethically.
Administrator Bond [also known as a Personal Representative Bond]
As the administrator, you must follow the law when using and disbursing the estate when the deceased passed intestate.
This bond serves to protect the minor or disabled individual with a conservator who handles their financial needs.
Similar to the Administrator Bond, except the executor is appointed in the will. As the executor, you must use and disburse the estate according to the law and provisions of the will.
The conservator handles the dependent’s financial needs, whereas the guardian handles the day-to-day care of the dependent. However, not every state differentiates between the two bond types.
This bond is the trustee’s guarantee they will follow the law and provisions of the trust when handling the property and assets left behind by the deceased.
You may be tasked with securing a Judicial Bond when beginning a civil proceeding. The bond guarantees you can pay costs associated with the legal action.
Appeal Bond [also known as a Supersedeas Bond]
The court may require the defendant to post an Appeal Bond if they attempt to appeal a ruling. All fees accrued while the appeal delays the payment of the judgement are covered by the bond if the defendant’s appeal is unsuccessful.
Attachment Bond [also known as Writ of Attachment Bond]
If the plaintiff requests the court to seize the defendant’s property to satisfy payment of a judgement, the court might require the plaintiff to obtain an Attachment Bond. This is to ensure the plaintiff has all legal fees covered if the grounds for attachment rule out to have not been necessary.
Defendants can choose to use cash to pay bail. But, due to the large amount bail is usually set at, a Bail Bond tends to be the favorable option. This bond ensures the court is financially compensated if the defendant fails to make their court appearance.
Please note: Surety Solutions, A Gallagher Company does not issue Bail Bonds.
By securing a Cost Bond, you making a promise to pay all court related expenses after the case is over.
This bond type is similar to an Attachment Bond. The plaintiff needs a Garnishment Bond to garnish a defendant’s wages prior to a final judgment. If the defendant wins the court case, they can make a claim against the plaintiff’s Garnishment Bond.
Indemnity to Sheriff Bond
The plaintiff may need an Indemnity to Sheriff Bond, so law enforcement officers are protected if they incur loss or damages while seizing property.
Injunction Bond [also known as a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) Bond]
If the plaintiff requests a temporary restraining order, the court may order them to acquire an Injunction Bond to ensure all fees are covered if the injunction is not granted.
Release of Mechanic’s Lien Bond
A property owner wanting to sell their property with a mechanic’s lien can by purchasing a Release of Mechanic’s Lien Bond. This bond guarantees the contractor who assigned the lien will receive the money owed if they win their case in court.
Replevin Bond [& Counter-Replevin Bond]
The plaintiff may secure a Replevin Bond to get their property back from the defendant before a final decision is made in court. The bond ensures the defendant will receive the property back if they win the case.
The Counter-Replevin Bond functions the same, expect this bond is purchased by the defendant to seize the property back.
How much does the bond cost?
The cost of a Court Bond is a small percentage of the required bond amount. Generally, you, as the principal of the bond, can expect to pay around 1% to 3% of the bond amount in premium. Factoring into the cost is the type of bond, the type of legal proceedings, the court’s state and your personal credit score.
If you need a Judicial Bond, the surety requires you to post 100% collateral along with your bond premium. This requirement is to mitigate risk for the surety company issuing your bond. Get a custom quote for your Court Bond using our quick and easy online application. If you’re not ready to fill out an application, but have questions about the bond or the cost, contact our Court Bond experts for assistance.
Can I get a Court Bond with bad credit?
Getting a Court Bond with non-standard credit is a possibility. The Surety is taking on a large amount of risk when issuing a bond for a court case. An applicant with non-standard credit generally receives quotes in the range of 5% to 15% of the total bond amount, if their application is approved.
Due to the even riskier nature of Judicial Bonds, they are more difficult to secure without good credit and still require the applicant to submit 100% collateral. However, if you’re seeking quotes for a Court Bond, we perform a soft-pull when checking credit. Meaning your credit score is not adversely affected when we review your application. Don’t let your credit score prevent you from applying for your Court Bond.
What happens if I get a claim?
Unlike traditional insurance, a Surety Bond is not meant to protect you. The bond is a safeguard for the court and others involved in the court case. A claim can be made against your bond if you fail to conduct your duties and/or abide to your legal obligations given by the court.
Your surety provider will conduct a thorough investigation on a claim made against your bond to determine its validity. If the surety concludes the claim is valid, they will payout up to the full bond amount to the claimant. As the principal of the bond, you must fully repay the surety for the claim payout.
Is a Court Bond refundable?
The majority of Court Bonds are not refundable. However, depending on the type of bond and the term length, your bond may be eligible for a prorated refund.
All of our Court Bond premiums are considered fully-earned for the first year. This means no portion of the first-year premium is eligible for a refund. But, if your case is exonerated and you send us your court exoneration documents, you may receive a prorated refund for the remaining coverage outside of the first term.
If you submitted collateral for a Judicial Bond, this will be released to you after your court case is over. Although, you will not get your bond premium back.
How to get a bond for court?
Get a custom quote for your Court Bond at Surety Solutions, A Gallagher Company. Our online application gives you access to a market place of leading surety companies to ensure you get the best deal for your Court Bond.
Additional Surety Bond Resources
If you need another type of bond, we can help!
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