Judicial bonds are required in civil matters when a litigant seeks a special right or remedy in advance of a final court decision. They are required by a party to a lawsuit to guarantee payment of losses which may arise from the delay or depravation caused by the legal proceeding.
Examples of common court/judicial bonds are:
- Appeal Bond – A surety bond, also known as a supersedeas bond, that a court requires from an appellant who wants to delay payment of a judgment until the appeal process is concluded. An appeal bond guarantees payment of the judgment along with interest or other costs incurred which arise from the appeal process. Appeal bonds are stringently underwritten and their approval often requires collateral in the full penal sum of the bond. See defendant bond for further details.
- Attachment Bond – An attachment is the legal process of seizing an asset from another individual or entity to ensure satisfaction of an expected judgment against them. The document by which a court orders such a seizure is known as a writ of attachment. Attachments are sought when a favorable ruling is anticipated on behalf a plaintiff who claims to own the property and/or be owed money by the defendant. An attachment bond, also known as a writ of attachment, undertaking bond or replevin bond are required by a party to a lawsuit to guarantee payment of losses which may arise from the delay or depravation caused by the legal proceeding should they not prevail in the matter.
- Court Cost Bond – A court cost bond is required to promise payment of litigation expenses including court fees, payment to the clerk, sheriff or any costs awarded against the party required to post the bond.
- Indemnity to Sheriff Bond – Surety bonds are often required when a plaintiff has law enforcement seize property from a defendant in a court proceeding. The bond covers damages the defendant might seek against the law enforcement agency for doing so.
- Injunction Bond – An injunction is a judicial order that restrains a person from beginning or continuing an action threatening or invading the legal right of another. Injunction bonds are often required for reimburse the party which may sustain damages should the injunction not be upheld by the court.
- Replevin Bond – Replevin is defined as a legal action to recover personal property said or claimed to be unlawfully taken or detained. Replevin bonds are required by a court of a party to a lawsuit. They guarantee payment of losses which may arise from the delay or depravation caused by the legal proceeding.
- Retraining Order/TRO Bond – A temporary restraining order bond is a type of injunction bond which protects a defendant against loss in the event the court awards the case in their favor and concludes the restraining order should not have been granted.
- Writ Bond – A writ is the process in which the court orders a person or entity to cease performing a specific action until a legal proceeding is concluded. A writ bond covers damages to the party required to cease the action should the court find in their favor.
Probate bonds, also termed as fiduciary bonds, are required when a party is acting on behalf of another individual or entity. Probate bonds guarantee the ethical performance of the Principal to the bond with respect to carrying out their duties as the administrator, executor, trustee, or other court deemed designation. Should the Principal be found to have caused a loss through fraud or malfeasance, the bond would reimburse those affected.
The most common probate bonds are as follows:
- Administrator Bond – An administrator is a person or entity legally appointed to manage and dispose of the estate of an individual, a deceased person, a debtor or an insolvent company. Probate courts often require an administrator bond as a guarantee they will ethically perform their fiduciary responsibilities. Should the administrator be found to have caused a loss through fraud or malfeasance, the bond would reimburse those affected.
- Conservator Bond – A conservator is a person, official, or entity appointed by a court to provide care and manage the finances for an incompetent adult or minor. A probate conservator bond is often required as a guarantee they will ethically perform their fiduciary responsibilities. Should the conservator be found to have caused a loss through fraud, malfeasance, or mistreatment, the bond would reimburse those affected.
- Executor Bond – An executor is an individual appointed to administrate the estate of a deceased person. The executor’s main duty is to carry out the instructions and wishes of the deceased. The executor is appointed either by the testator of the will (the individual who makes the will) or by a court, in cases where there was no prior appointment. The court may require an executor bond to guarantee the ethical performance of the executor respect to carrying out their duties. Should the executor be found to have caused a loss through fraud or malfeasance, the bond would reimburse those affected.
- Guardianship Bond – A guardian is a fiduciary appointed by the court to manage the estate or assets of a minor or incompetent. A guardianship bond is required in some probate matters to protect against unethical or illegal actions made by the guardian.
- Receiver Bond – Upon being appointed as a receiver in most jurisdictions, a receiver bond is required to guarantee the faithful performance of the duties and obligations under which the court orders them to act.
- Trustee Bond – An individual or member of a board appointed to control or manage property and other assets held in trust. A trust is an arrangement in which one person holds property or assets of another for the benefit of a third party (beneficiary). Courts will often require a trustee bond to guarantee the ethical performance of the Principal to the bond with respect to carrying out their duties as the administrator, executor, trustee, or other court deemed designation. Should the Principal be found to have caused a loss through fraud or malfeasance, the bond would reimburse those affected.
Pinnacle Surety has substantial internal underwriting authority on court bonds nationwide. For additional information regarding judicial or probate bonds, please contact an expert at Pinnacle Surety.