BAIL BONDS TERMINOLOGY
Bail bond agent: any person or corporation which acts as a surety by pledging money or property as bail for the appearance of a defendant in court. Bail bond agents specialize in sureties for criminal defendants, often securing their customers’ quick release.
A surety is a party agreeing to be responsible for the financial obligation of another. Additionally, the situation in which a surety is most typically required is when the ability of the primary principal to perform its obligations under a contract is in question. In most common law jurisdictions, a contract of suretyship is subject to the statute of frauds.
Subrogation: If the surety is required to perform due to the principal’s failure to do so, the law will usually give the surety a right of subrogation. This allows the surety to “step into the shoes of” the principal and use his contractual rights to recover the cost of making payment or performing on the principal’s behalf, even in the absence of an express agreement to that effect between the surety and the principal.
Bail is money deposited or pledged in order to persuade the court to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail (and be guilty of the crime of failure to appear). In most cases bail money will be returned at the end of the trial, if all court appearances are made, regardless of the court findings.
A bounty hunter captures fugitives for a monetary reward (bounty). Other names, mainly used in the US, include bail agent, bail enforcement agent, bail officer, fugitive recovery agent, fugitive recovery officer and bail fugitive recovery specialist.
Common law refers to any law developed through court decisions and tribunals, rather than through legislative statutes or executive action. Common law is created and refined by judges: a decision in a case depends on the results of previous cases and will affect the law to be applied in future cases. When there is no authoritative statement of the law, judges have to set a precedent.
The body of a precedent is its common law application to future court decisions. In future cases, when parties disagree on what the law is, an idealized common law court looks to past precedents in similar decisions of relevant courts. If a similar dispute has been resolved in the past, the court is bound to follow the reasoning used in the prior decision (this principle is known as stare decisis.
Jurisdiction (from the Latinius, iuris meaning “law” and dicere meaning “to speak”) is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility.
Court bail: Where having already been in court a suspect is granted bail pending further investigation or while the case continues.
Bailment describes a legal relationship where physical possession of personal property is transferred from one person (the ‘bailor’) to another person (the ‘bailee’) who subsequently holds possession of the property but not its ownership or right to use. Moreover, unlike a security agreement or pawn at a pawnbroker, where the secured party is entitled to the possession and use of the property upon default of payment, a bailor can demand the return of the property at any reasonable time, without prior notice.
Remand is a legal term which has two related but distinct usages. Its etymology is from the Latin re- and mandare, literally “to order.” It evolved in Late Latin to remandare, or “to send back word.” It appears in Middle French as remander and in Middle English as remaunden, both with essentially the same meaning, “to send back.”
Remand (court case): an action by an appellate court in which it remands, or sends back, a case to the trial court or lower appellate court for action
Detention of suspects: remand may also refer to the detention of suspects before trial or sentencing.