You may be an attorney helping a client find a court bond, or maybe your attorney sent you on a quest to find a particular court bond. Hopefully we can help you find what you’re looking for.
Let's cover some quick bond basics in case you’re not familiar.
First of all, understand that a bond is not an insurance policy. An insurance policy is a two party contract, between you and the insurance company. You pay a premium, the insurance company agrees to pay for losses covered in the contract.
The court bond is different. It’s a three party contract between:
So in this case, the bond written by the surety, guarantees the performance of the principal, to the obligee.
If the principal fails to perform, the obligee can recover losses from the surety. If the surety pays a claim to the obligee, the bond underwriters from the surety will expect to be reimbursed, or indemnified by the principal for any claims paid.
If you follow that three party relationship, where the first party (the surety), guarantees the performance of a second party (the principal), to a third party (the obligee), you begin to understand why it may be more difficult to obtain some court bonds, simply because of the financial risk the bond underwriter is being asked to guarantee.
Court bonds are used in Civil Court and in Probate Court. See Probate Bonds for more information on those.
Because the court bonds used in civil court usually deal with property in dispute and financial damages awarded to one party or another, collateral of some sort is almost always required. A letter of credit from the principal’s bank or some other collateral pledge agreement is common.
Appeal Bond or Supersedeas Bond is the type of bond filed with the court by the party who lost a case, and wants to appeal to a higher court. The Appeal Bond guarantees the original judgment will be paid if the case is not overturned on appeal.
Replevin Bonds may be required of the Plaintiff or the Defendant in disputes over the rightful owner of specific articles of property.
Injunction Bonds may be required of the Plaintiff or the Defendant to cover damages as a result of one party being enjoined from the performance of certain acts.