How Does an Appeal Bond Work?

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Appeal Bond

Also known as a supersedeas bond, an appeal bond is usually required by the lower court when a losing defendant decides to request that the case be reviewed by an appeals court. By posting an appeal bond, the defendant guarantees that, should he lose the appeal, the original judgment against him will be paid. The appeal bond can also guarantee payment of additional expenses and interest. The defendant might also have to put up collateral -- or personal property -- for the bond with a surety, or bonding, company. If the defendant doesn't post an appeal bond with the court, the winning plaintiff can seize his property for the judgment within two weeks after the lower court enters its order. The entire amount of the judgment -- or more -- is reflected in the amount of the appeal bond.

Releasing the Bond

You can't cancel your appeal bond. It's discharged by the court only after the appeals court renders a decision or you settle the case in the meantime. If you lose the appeal, years can pass before the bond is released and you're no longer responsible for the judgment, depending on when the plaintiff collects the full amount of the judgment awarded him. This helps discourage frivolous appeals.

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About the Author

A graduate of New York University, Jane Meggitt writes regularly for various legal blogs. Her work has appeared in LegalZoom, USA Today and many other publications.

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