Understanding Appeal Bonds: Know The Basics
If you lose a civil court case, you can try to win by appealing. You will need an appeal bond to guarantee the original judgment. Here is a quick overview about how the appeal process and appeal bonds work.
Appellate Courts: The Stairway to Heaven?
Major appeal cases, in which the results have broad consequences, can make it all the way to the Supreme Court. That can take years. Ultimately, the Supreme Court can also decline to hear the appeal, in which case, the prior judgment stands. That’s exactly how the case involving The Stairway to Heaven recently came to an end. As reported by The New York Times:
The high court’s decision means that a ruling for Led Zeppelin in March by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will stand. That ruling affirmed Led Zeppelin’s victory at a trial in 2016 over a challenge led by a trustee representing “Taurus,” a 1968 song by the psychedelic band Spirit.
Chances are that your civil court case is “closer to the ground”—so it’s more likely that if you appeal, your case would be reviewed by an appellate court in your region. The court will generally require you to obtain an appeal bond—sometimes also referred to as a supersedeas bond to begin the process.
Understanding Appeal Bonds
Here are the basics. You lose a civil court case when the judgment is in favor of the other party. When you file for an appeal, you are essentially requesting a higher court to assess the original decision, based on the interpretation of the pertinent body of law.
When you choose to appeal, the court will ask you to guarantee that if your appeal ultimately fails, the winning party can still access whatever was “won” under the original judgment (money, property, rights…). As the person making the appeal, it us up to you to provide the guarantee—and you do so via an appeal bond.
Here is a more formal explanation, with legal terms, from The American Bar Association:
Put simply, the purpose of an appeal bond is to maintain the status quo during appeal whereby the surety insurer issues a guarantee, on behalf of the appellant, to the appellee that, if the judgment is affirmed, the surety will pay the appellee if the appellant is unable to do so. In most jurisdictions, the bond not only covers the underlying judgment, but also costs and interest during the appeal up to a capped amount, typically between 1.2 and 1.5 times the judgment amount.
If you receive an adverse judgment and decide to pursue your right to appeal, you will need to secure an appeal bond quickly—states have explicit timeframes (generally about two weeks) regulating the filing of appeals.
An appeal bond is a type of surety bond—it places money or assets in holding while the case is being judged. In addition to guaranteeing that the initial judgment will be honored if the appeal ultimately fails, appeal bonds also help prevent frivolous appeals from piling up in the court system or stalling payment determined by the original judgment.
An easy choice for efficiently obtaining an appeal bond is Colonial Surety Company. In business since 1930, Colonial Surety Company is licensed in all 50 states and US territories. There is no middleman or broker involved—come to us and get your bonds directly from us. Our modern online system means you can get a quote for an appeal or supersedeas bond immediately and even print it out yourself once approved. Get Started Right Here Now!
Appellate Courts Review The Decisions of Trial Courts
Once you obtain your appeal bond and file your appeal, the case will go to an appellate court. There are no juries in appellate courts. No new evidence is reviewed—the focus is analysis of the law and legal proceedings. As Investopedia explains:
Courts at the appellate level review the findings and evidence from the lower court and determine if there is sufficient evidence to support the determination made by the lower court. Also, the appellate court will determine if the trial or lower court correctly applied the law.
What To Do When You Need an Appeal Bond
No one likes to lose. If you are determined to win through appeal, let Colonial Surety Company help you get on the path quickly by obtaining the required appeal or supersedeas bond. All the information to get started is right here.