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Bonds - Posting and Refund Procedures
Posting of Bonds
Bonds may be posted with the court for bail, appeal, TRO and other matters 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 these 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. Cash may be 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 person identified as the owner of the cash at the time bond is posted, as specified by local rules. Subsequent assignment of cash bond will not be accepted by the court. The party posting the cash bond will be required to complete an Affidavit of Ownership stating the owner of the funds and provide his/her addresss.
Sureties used on federal bonds must comply with the following guidelines as stated below:
- All sureties used must be on Department of the Treasury's Listing of Approved Sureties (Circular 570). This listing is available on the internet at http://www.fms.treas.gov/c570/index.html. Note: Be sure to read the footnote and note information at the end of the document from the Treasury if you access this information.
- The surety must have a current Certificate of Authority from the State of Missouri on file with the court. Certificates of authority are issued for a one year period from July 1 to June 30 of each year.
- The agent appointed by the surety must have a valid power of attorney filed with the court. There is a $46.00 fee to file a power of attorney with the court, however, the power of attorney is valid until revoked by the surety.
- An attorney preparing to file a surety bond with the court may call the U. S. District Court at 314-244-7872, and verify compliance with the stated surety guidelines. However, before the judge approves a surety bond filed with the court, the cashier will verify compliance directly with the chambers.
A property bond may be approved by the judge as collateral to secure a bond. Posting of a property bond is handled directly by the judge's Judicial Assistant in chambers. Typically, the property owner posting the bond must provide the following items to the court: 1) Copy of the deed to the property, 2) The most recent paid real estate tax receipt, 3) Copy of the property insurance policy, and 4) 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 be sure to check with the individual judge for any additional requirements which may vary on an individual case basis.
Refund or Release of Bond
The release of a surety or property bond will only be granted in response to a motion or filing with the court. A bond refund or release is not performed as a standard procedure upon conclusion of a case. Specific action must be requested by the interested party.
All cash bonds, other than bail bonds, are only released upon order of the court. The interested party should motion the court appropriately.
All cash placed as bail in a criminal matter in this court is considered to be the property of the designated "owner" on the Affidavit of Ownership completed at the time the bond was posted. You will note that the receipt for the cash bail payment indicates that the funds are "Received From" the owner and "Paid for" the defendant. The completion and filing of the Affidavit of Ownership is the only step necessary by the owner of the funds. All other steps and procedures are handled by U.S. District Court personnel.
U.S. District Court personnel will monitor all active criminal matters and at the conclusion of the case, will prepare an ORDER requesting the refund of cash bail to the "owner" of the funds. The Court considers a case to be concluded when one of these four conditions are met:
- The case against the defendant is dismissed.
- The defendant is placed on probation.
- The defendant reports to prison as instructed by the U.S. Marshal.
- The defendant is remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal.
Common questions about cash bond procedures:
What do I have to do to get my money back?
Nothing. The Court has set up procedures to automatically reimburse the owner of the funds once one of the four conditions above is met.
Who do I call to check the status of my bond reimbursement?
You may call the Finance Department at (314) 244-7872 to check the status of your reimbursement.
How long will it take to get my money back?
This varies depending on the type of conclusion to the case. If, for example, the case was dismissed, the defendant placed on probation, or if he/she was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal, you should see a check within two to three weeks from the date the case ended. If the defendant was allowed to voluntarily surrender, this will take much longer. The Court must wait until we receive confirmation from the U.S. Marshals Service that the defendant reported as directed and is in custody. This could take any where from two to four weeks after the defendant has reported.
Who do I contact if I move, so that my check will find me?
You must submit a written notice to the court and send it to the attention of Finance at the following address: U.S. District Court-Eastern District of Missouri Attn: Finance 111 South 10th Street, Room 3.300 St. Louis, MO 63102
What happens if I am paying in this Court for a case in another Federal District?
As a courtesy, the Eastern District of Missouri will accept a cash bond on behalf of a defendant from another district. The jurisdictional district will be notified of the payment and the defendant should be released. Within a few days, all funds and paperwork will be forwarded to the Court where the defendant is being held. The refund of the cash bond will then be handled by the district where the defendant is charged. If you need contact numbers for the other district, please feel free to call our offices for that information.
Surety bonds normally expire automatically upon satisfaction or completion of the terms set forth in the bond (ie. the defendant surrendering into custody.) If specific action is necessary to terminate the surety bond, the defendant should motion the court directing the action required to terminate the bond. Upon ORDER from the court, the appropriate action will be taken.
Property bonds are handled directly by the judge's chambers. The chambers should be contacted by the property owner to release the bond.