Court Bonds

The purpose of a court bond is to ensure that the defendant shows up for scheduled court dates.  Court bonds may also be used to reduce the risk of any sort of financial failings after a court ruling is issued.

Law concept - Law book with a wooden judges gavel on table in a courtroom or law enforcement office

The most popular court bond are bail bonds.  A bail bond is used to make sure that the defendant appears when summoned to court.  If the defendant fails to appear, the bail bond is revoked and it must be paid in full by the applicant.  A warrant will then be issued for the defendant and when apprehended, they will not be released from jail until a not guilty verdict is issued.

Another lesser known court bond is a judicial bond.  This bond is issued in order to litigate between the plaintiff and defendant.  It is mainly a protection against uncertainty in legal proceedings.  It also ensures that the applicant is financially sound to proceed, especially in cases where there are costs incurred from appeals, attachments and injunctions.

Probate and Fiduciary bonds ensure that the caretaker of an individual, usually referred to as the ward (either elderly, juvenile or developmentally disabled), will adhere to the contractual obligations set forth in the contract.  These forms of bonds help to protect the ward.  There are several different types of probate and fiduciary bonds:

A custodian bond is issued to protect the ward from any negligence or fraud which the caretaker has committed.  The obligations are usually issued by the court.

An executor bond is issued to ensure that the executor of a will carries out the obligations specified in the will.

A fiduciary bond is a vague term that basically ensures that an authorized individual fulfills court-appointed tasks, such as managing a ward’s property and finances in an ethical manner.

In 2011, the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs began allowing friends and family members of veterans to act as guardians where necessary.  This bond, as with a custodian or fiduciary bond, ensures that the authorized individual carries out the contractual obligations in the best interest of the veteran.  It guards against unethical or fraudulent behaviors.

In the state of Maryland, a bond is required in cases where there is no will to decide what happens to a deceased’s estate.  This bond ensures that the court-appointed personal representative uses the estate to pay all debts, the Maryland inheritance tax, court costs and register’s fee.


Court bonds vary, but are generally categorized into bail bonds and judicial bonds.  Bail bonds tend to be used in criminal court cases, whereas judicial are more prevalent in civil court cases.

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