Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team
When you hear the term “bond” mentioned in court proceedings, you may think about bail bonds. However, there are many types of court bonds that are as equally as important as the other.
Court bonds are an integral component of the American judicial system. A court bond can provide accountability to the legal process, therefore, adding additional strength to the court proceeding. For instance, a court bond can act as a promise for someone to pay fees if they default on certain financial obligations.
All types of court bonds serve different purposes. It is vital that you understand the differences between these court bonds if you need to attend court.
In today’s article, we will be discussing the different kinds of court bonds and what they are so you can be sure that you get the correct court bond for your unique needs.
A Court Bond: What Is It?
A bond in court, or a court bond, is a term that covers multiple types of surety bonds. These are regularly required in all kinds of court proceedings.
Surety bonds essentially serve as security for different payments and/or obligations. There are some types of non-court bonds that work to facilitate a business’ transactions. They do this by guaranteeing that the services a company promises are carried out for their client.
Other surety bonds are commonly referred to as court bonds. This is because they are often associated with court cases. On occasions, some court bonds are paid to a court by a surety company. This will be on behalf of a party to guarantee their liability for default on payments or a possible debt that is owed.
Another court bond can guarantee that a company or party carries out court-ordered obligations.
Court bonds can be divided into two main categories:
- Judicial bonds
- Fiduciary/Probate bonds
The primary difference between the two is that a Judicial bond is in place to act as a promise to pay a sum of money that is required in a court case. A Fiduciary bond simply promises an honest and faithful performance of a certain duty to be carried out.
Judicial bonds are used in civil and criminal court cases, while fiduciary/probate bonds are used within civil courts by specialized divisions. Judicial bonds tend to come with greater financial risks than most other court bonds but, because of this, they are more difficult to obtain.
Judicial bonds are only used when a civil court proceeding is taking place. This type of bond ensures that a person is protected from possible losses in revenue as a result of the decision made by the court.
Judicial bonds generally require the payment of money, such as bail bonds.
Two further categories divide judicial bonds:
- The defendant
- The plaintiff
A defendant bond can block a plaintiff’s actions to help gain a satisfactory claim. These bonds tend to allow a defendant to regain control of contested property. They can also postpone the insistence of a decree that affects property rights.
Some of the most common types of defendant bonds include:
- Bail bonds
- Release of Lien bonds
- Appeal bonds
- Counter-Replevin bonds
A plaintiff bond is required for a plaintiff to ensure the absolute protection of a defendant if they end up losing the lawsuit and court case. These bonds hold the plaintiff liable for damages the defendant may have suffered due to the court case’s result.
Some common types of plaintiff bonds include:
- Attachment bonds
- Replevin bonds
- Injunction bonds
- Indemnity to Sheriff bonds
A fiduciary bond, also known as a probate bond, signifies bonds that individuals require who have been chosen in a court of law to care for another person or their assets. During the probate process, probate bonds are usually required.
This type of bond requires the promise of performance.
Fiduciary bonds are in place to ensure that the court-appointed individual completes the duties and obligations set out by the court. It ensures they do not handle another individual’s assets in a dishonest way.
The fiduciary/probate bonds can also be separated into different categories. These are:
A probate bond includes bonds that are required for fiduciaries that control and manage a deceased person’s assets.
Some common types of probate bonds are:
- Administrator bonds
- Estate of Court bonds
- Personal Representative bonds
- Executor of Court bonds
A Trustee bond includes bonds that are required of trustees and receivers who have been appointed by the court to manage the assets of an individual or a business.
Some common types of Trustee bonds include:
- Receiver bonds
- Trustee bonds
- Disbursing Agent bonds
The final subcategory, Guardianship bonds, include bonds that are needed, so fiduciaries can control and manage the assets of a ward. For instance, this could be a minor or someone who is incapacitated and unable to manage their assets themselves.
Some common types of Guardianship bonds are:
- Guardianship bonds
- Custodian bonds
- Conservatorship bonds
How Do Bail Bonds Work?
A bail bond is a type of court bond. To be specific, it is a type of judicial bond. While you may have heard the terms bail and bond used interchangeably, they are actually unique from one another.
A bail bond process starts when a judge decides on the amount of bail required for a defendant. This allows the defendant to be released from custody or jail until they need to attend court for their hearing.
If the defendant does not have the required amount of money to pay for this bail bond, they can contract a bail bondsman who will pay the money on their behalf. This isn’t a one-way street, however. In return, the defendant will pay the bondsman a fee for their service. If the defendant then fails to attend his or her court hearing, the total amount of bail money will be paid to the court.
A Court Appeal Bond
A Court Appeal bond, also known as a superseded bond, is a specialized type of court bond. This is used in civil cases.
If a defendant loses a court case but wants to appeal the ruling to a higher court, they can obtain an appeal bond. This bond will then allow the defendant to delay paying the judgment handed out by the lower court until the appeal is heard by the higher court. Then, when a verdict is given, a decision on this payment will be made.
However, if the higher court denies the defendant’s appeal, the appeal bond will enforce the payment of the original judgment handed out in the lower court.
A Court Cost Bond
When it comes to a court cost bond, this simply ensures that a plaintiff has to pay his or her court expenses. This bond is usually required from plaintiffs who have filed a lawsuit in a different state from where they live. However, some states can require cost bonds from their state residents.
Court Cost bonds are important in covering any litigation expenses such as court fees, attorney fees, deposition fees, paralegal fees, and private investigation fees. If the plaintiff is unable or fails to pay their litigation fees, the court has the power to lay claim against their Court Cost bond.
Plaintiff’s Attachment Bonds
If a defendant or debtor owes an amount of money to a plaintiff, then the plaintiff can ask the court for permission to seize and hold the defendant’s property to act as security for the claim.
Therefore, an Attachment bond attaches the defendant’s property to the claim. It also guarantees that the plaintiff has to pay any possible damages if the property is wrongfully or unlawfully taken.
Bankruptcy Trustee Bonds
In the event that a court appoints a trustee to administer a bankruptcy case, a Bankruptcy Trustee bond is set in place to hold the trustee accountable for completing his or her court-ordered duties to the plaintiffs. It’s just down to the bankruptcy court to decide whether a trustee bond is required or not.
Custodian Or Guardianship Bonds
If an individual is chosen to be a custodian for the care of another person and/or their finances, a Custodian or Guardianship bond is used. This is to ensure that the person appointed with these duties acts lawfully and very carefully follows the court order and acts in the best interest of the person they are a custodian for.
These bonds cover the care of:
- Elderly individuals
- Disabled individuals
Court Injunction Bonds
A court can issue an injunction against a defendant but this is a court order that needs the defendant to act in a specific way or stop performing a specific action. If a court rules that the injunction shouldn’t have been issued at a later date, then an injunction bond allows the defendant to recoup any potential losses from the plaintiff that they may have encountered.
If this occurs, the defendant must file a claim against the injunction bond. If the claim is found to be valid, then he or she can recoup their losses from the surety company that first issued the bond. Then, the surety company will seek reimbursement for the claim that it has paid the defendant from the plaintiff.
How Much Do Court Bonds Cost?
The cost of a court bond depends on a few factors such as:
- The type of bond
- The state the court cases takes place
- The judge who oversees the court proceeding
One of the best methods of securing the best price for a court bond is to get your bond through a surety bond agency or company. These generally have access to multiple carriers and offer the best rates.
Most of the time, a court will require a bond before a court proceeding. Therefore, purchasing a bond should be the first step in the court process.