What are Court Bonds?

Court Bonds can be the most confusing kinds of bonds. Here’s what I’ve made out of the confusion:

Court Bonds relate to court proceedings, all of which involve two parties: the plaintiff and the defendant. So it makes sense that court bonds are divided into two categories: Plaintiff’s Bonds and Defendant’s Bonds. Both of these bonds are required as protection for the other party. Plaintiff’s bonds protect the defendant–bond the plaintiff to the defendant’s protection, if you will–and defendant’s bonds protect the plaintiff.

An example of a Plaintiff’s Bond–one specifically called an attachment bond–would be if the plaintiff was claiming that the defendant owed him, say, several thousand dollars. The plaintiff could “attach” something like the defendant’s car so that, if the court ruled in the plaintiff’s favor, the defendant’s car could be sold to pay the plaintiff his money. The problem with this is that the court may not rule with the plaintiff, which would be depriving the defendant of his car for no good reason. The plaintiff’s bond assures that the defendant will be compensated for his loss, perhaps at the plaintiff’s expense.

An example of a Defendant’s Bond–one specifically called a garnishment bond–would be if the plaintiff, let’s say a car dealership, sold the defendant a car, to be paid for in monthly installments. If the defendant then didn’t pay his bills from the dealership, they could ask the courts for the power to “garnish” the money straight out of the defendant’s salary. However, it’s possible that the court might not allow the dealership to garnish the defendant’s salary, and maybe instead would tell them to just take back the car. The the dealership therefore has to buy a garnishment bond promising that they will cover whatever losses the defendant sustained from his salary being garnished, if it turns out that they’re just going to repossess the car.