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Bond & Release Information
What are the types of bond ordered by U.S. Magistrate Judges?
There are a variety of bond types ordered in the Federal Courts. They include:
- Personal recognizance bond: Defendant is released on his/her written promise to appear at all Court proceedings.
Unsecured bond: Defendant is released on his/her written promise to appear at all Court proceedings AND to pay the Court the full bond amount in the event he/she fails to appear.
Secured bond: Defendant’s release requires cash or collateral (property) be posted with the Court prior to the Defendant’s release from custody.
Surety bond: Defendant’s release requires a bondsman, attorney, or similar party, to post surety prior to the defendant’s release from custody. All sureties used must be on the Department of the Treasury’s Listing of Approved Sureties. The surety must have a current certificate of Authority from the State of Missouri on file with the Court. The agent appointed by the surety must have a valid power of attorney filed with the Court.
Release with Conditions: In addition to the above-mentioned bonds, the Court typically orders pretrial supervision and reporting as a condition of release for all defendants. Other special conditions may be ordered, including, but not limited to: travel restrictions, electronic monitoring (see separate section on this), substance abuse counseling and testing, and employment. Additionally, all defendants are ordered to not possess any firearm or dangerous device while on pretrial release.
What is needed to post a property bond?
The property owner posting the bond must provide the following items to the Court:
Copy of the deed to the property,
The most recent paid real estate tax receipt,
Copy of the property insurance policy; and,
A statement of the balance due on the mortgage (shown on a payment book, monthly statement or letter from the mortgage company.)
The property bond MUST be signed by all parties named on the deed. Anyone posting a property bond with the Court should check with the Judge ordering the release for additional requirements. Property bonds are handled directly by the Judge’s chamber’s staff.
How is my bond money returned once the case is over?
A bond is not automatically refunded when the case is concluded. A motion must be filed with the Court for the return of bond, the Judge must issue an order directing the release of the bond money and there must be a certification of the Court’s Financial Administrator.All bond money is returned to the defendant, no matter who posted the money. The only way it may be returned to the individual posting the bond money is that the Court issue an order known as an Assignment of Cash Bail. Once the Order for Refund of bond money is issued, the Financial Administrator, in the District Clerk’s Office, will draw a registry check for the refund. The check will be given or mailed on to the payee of the check unless otherwise stated in the Order.
For further information on refund of bond money, contact the Financial Administrator at 314-244-7871.
What happens if the bond is revoked?
Forfeiture of bond may occur if the defendant fails to appear and bond is revoked. The Judge may issue a bench warrant and declare a revocation of the bail bond or appearance bond.
How do I post bond?
Bonds may be posted with the court for bail as ordered by a judge. Bonds may be ordered to be posted in the form of cash, secured bond through a surety, property, or a combination of forms. All bonds must be ORDERED by the court before being accepted by the clerk’s office. Cash bonds should be tendered to the cashier located in the District Court Clerk’s Office. Bond may be posted by either cash or cashier’s check, payable to the Clerk, U.S. District Court. All bail bonds will be receipted by the cashier in the name of the defendant as specified by local rules.
What does it mean when someone is a third party custodian?
This is a condition of release that designates an individual who agrees to assume supervision of the defendant and report any violations of release conditions to the Court. The custodian must inform the Court if they believe the defendant will fail to appear or, if the defendant’s behavior becomes a danger to the community.
What are conditions of release?
In nearly all cases, the Court will order conditions of release as part of the bond requirements. Pretrial supervision is ordered in nearly all instances, as are travel restrictions. Additionally, no defendant may possess firearms or other dangerous devices, including ammunition, while the case is pending.
Other conditions may be ordered and could include any or all of the following:
- Avoid contact with any persons who are or may become a victim or potential witness
- Report all contact with law enforcement
- Surrender passport and obtain no passport
- Electronic Monitoring
- House Arrest
- Substance abuse testing and/or treatment
- Mental health evaluation and/or counseling
- Residence at a Community Corrections Center
- Maintain employment or attend school
- Other conditions may be ordered by the U.S. Magistrate Judge