What is Indemnity-to-Sheriff (Marshal) Bond?
An Indemnity-to-Sheriff Bond (aka Marshal Bond) is a type of surety bond that guarantees protection to law enforcement agencies seizing property on orders of the court on behalf of a plaintiff from a defendant. This bond prevents sheriffs or marshals to incur any liability should the defendant seek damages against the officers who seized the property.
This type of bond also called the marshal bond ensures that sheriffs or marshals are reimbursed for any financial loss because the plaintiff failed to fulfill his or her contractual obligation. The financial costs include items such as labor, services, or materials that were used to enforce the seizure of the property.
In essence, an Indemnity-to-Sheriff Bond provides protection to law enforcement agencies in the course of their action when enforcing a court order to seize or repossess the property of a defendant on behalf of a plaintiff. The bond guarantees that law enforcement agencies are indemnified against any and all legal action that the defendant might take as a result of damages incurred on the property during the legal and lawful seizure of the property.
When the sheriff or marshal removes the property in question, other property that belongs to the defendant could be damaged. For example, the law officer might cause damage to the defendant's premises, on which the plaintiff's property is located while seizing the property.
Qualifying for a Sheriff Indemnity Bond and Cost
The cost of a bond premium for a Sheriff Indemnity Bond varies from state to state. However, the court usually provides a provision for possible interest and court costs when computing the premium. It is important to note that the full value of the property being seized should be covered by the Indemnity-to-Sheriff Bond to avoid future conflict. Also, note that most states require the bond to be twice the amount of the Judgement.
To give you a general idea, your cost (also known as the premium), is typically set at 1-2% of the total bond amount.
Typically, to qualify for this bond, we need an individual with a good FICO score. However, depending on the specifics of your case, we often can get this particular bond approved without a good FICO score. Contact us and we can explain.
Examples of Indemnity-to-Sheriff Bond
Toyota Motors wants to repossess a Toyota Tacoma from Neil after he failed to pay for the vehicles chattel mortgage for over three months. However, Neil locked the Tacoma in his garage making it unlawful for Toyota to seize the vehicle by themselves or their representative.
Toyota then secures a writ from the court to seize the Tacoma from Neil’s garage. But to enforce the court order, Toyota has to seek assistance from the local sheriff. By law, law enforcement agencies can legally destroy the padlock or forcibly open the garage door to seize the vehicle.
But this action could damage Neil’s other property, mainly the garage. Neil could also file charges against the law enforcement officer who effected the writ that caused damage to his garage even if the action of the officer was legal and lawful.
To protect itself from any and all liability, the court can ask the plaintiff (Toyota) to obtain an Indemnity-to-Sheriff Bond to guarantee that the plaintiff will reimburse the officer should Neil take any legal action against them.
Officers were called to enforce a writ ordering the seizure of a large antique statue from a defendant who lives on the 15th floor of a 20-story apartment building. Complicating the enforcement of the order is the fact that the statue is so fragile and cumbersome it might be damaged if it is moved using the elevator only.
The officer needs to use special tools, including the hiring of antique experts to handle the movement of the property, as well as a helicopter to airlift the statue once it is boxed in a crate.
But before making all necessary arrangements, the court required the plaintiff to post an Indemnity-to-Sheriff Bond to guarantee that the plaintiff will reimburse all expenses incurred in the seizure and transport of the statue, including payment of experts and rental of the helicopter.
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