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Court Bonds

Court Bond

In a civil trial, the court may require the parties to obtain surety bonds to protect their assets or to ensure the court costs are covered. These court bonds, also referred to as judicial bonds or court surety bonds, are mandated by the judge and must be acquired before the legal proceedings can continue.

What is a Court Bond or Judicial Bond?

A court bond is a type of surety bond that protects financial assets subject to litigation or ensures that a court-appointed task is properly fulfilled. Judicial bonds can also be assessed to ensure financial stability and personal integrity. The bond provides both a financial incentive for the desired behavior and an enforcement mechanism.

How Do Court Surety Bonds Work?

Like all surety bonds, court surety bonds are legal contracts between three essential parties:

  • The Principal – The bonded individual or company is the bond principal.
  • The Obligee – The obligee is the person, business, or government entity that mandates the bond. In a court bond, the judge requiring the bond is the obligee.
  • The Surety – The insurance company underwriting the bond is the surety.

Court bonds typically provide some form of financial recourse as a protection for one of the involved parties in the legal proceedings. For example, in the case of an Executor Bond, the estate executor may be required to get an Executor Bond. If the executor mishandles the estate assets, the beneficiaries could file a claim against the bond. The surety thoroughly investigates all claims, dismissing those they deem groundless. The surety will pay all valid claims up to the total bond value. Then, the principal must reimburse the surety for the money paid, plus interest, penalties, and fees.

What Types of Court Bonds are Available?

"Court bond" is an umbrella term that covers many different types of judicial bonds. Some of the most common court bonds include:

  • Appeal Bonds: These bonds cover the judgment amount against a defendant and allow for a delay in payment while the appeal process continues.
  • Plaintiff's Bonds: Plaintiff's bonds guarantee payment for damages if the court rules in the defendant's favor.
  • Attachment Bonds: An attachment bond is necessary for a court to seize a person's property. Thus, an attachment bond ensures the defendant will be paid for any damages related to the attachment.

Replevin Bonds: These bonds guarantee that a seized property will remain intact and not be sold.

Another type of court bond is a probate bond, designed to protect individuals against losses due to a fiduciary's failure to complete tasks and obligations according to the law.

Common types of probate bonds include:

  • Administrator Bonds: These bonds ensure an individual's estate will be administered properly in the absence of a will.
  • Executor Bonds: These bonds protect family members and stakeholders against fraudulent or illegal activities performed by a will's executor.
  • Conservator Bonds: A conservator must maintain a fiduciary responsibility for the assets and finances of a minor or someone deemed incapable of handling their own finances.
  • Guardianship Bonds: These bonds are required when courts have appointed someone to act on another individual's behalf.

Who Needs a Judicial Bond?

Any party to a legal action instructed by a judge to obtain a judicial bond must do so. Plaintiffs and defendants alike may be required to be bonded. Otherwise, the proceeding cannot continue.

How Much Does a Court Bond Cost?

The cost of a surety bond is based on the total bond value and the principal's credit score. The judge establishes the value of any required court bond. Your premium will be a tiny fraction of the bond value, typically between 1% and 10% or more. Bond applicants with better credit pay lower premiums.

Court Surety Bond Requirements: Can I Get One With a Bad Credit?

A surety company bases its bond premiums on its underwriters' best estimate of the risk involved in bonding you. Your credit history is the best gauge they have. Court surety bonds are considered riskier than many other bond types. This can be reflected in the cost of the bonds and the premiums.

Some sureties require judicial bonds to be collateralized to help mitigate the risk. This requirement varies with the type and amount of the court bond required, but collateral is a common requirement for court bonds. And some sureties won't even bond an individual with problematic credit. The Viking Bond Service bad credit program works with you to help you get bonded for the lowest possible rate.

Do You Need to Renew a Court Bond?

Most court bonds are written to be in effect for 1-4 years. If the court case or court appointed responsibility continues beyond the bond's expiration date, you must renew it for as long as the situation lasts. If your credit score improves during that time, you will pay a lower premium to renew the bond.

How You Can Get Your Court Bond

Viking Bond Service makes getting a surety bond hassle-free. Just complete our Online Application, and we'll get right back to you with a competitive court bond quote. Or contact us online or call us at 1-888-2-SURETY (1-888-278-7389) – we'll walk you through the process!

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