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An Alabama appeal bond, also known as a supersedeas bond, is a type of court bond required as a prerequisite for filing an appeal of an Alabama court’s judgment against a defendant in a civil case. Alabama appeal bonds serve these important purposes:
Anyone filing an appeal in an Alabama court is required to provide an appeal bond to stay the collection of a judgment until there is a final judgment from the appellate court. No appeal of a judgment can be filed in an Alabama court without the purchase of an Alabama appeal bond in an amount determined by the court.
If the original judgment was for the payment of money only, the required amount of the appeal bond is 150% of judgment amounts up to $10,000 or 125% of judgment amounts over $10,000. The court will apply different rules to determine the required bond amount if the original judgment involved disputed property in addition to or rather than monetary damages.
Because of the very low chance of a successful appeal, surety bond companies require appeal bonds to be fully collateralized. Appeals only succeed if the court finds that there was a procedural error that compromised the defendant’s rights. Appeals based on the unreliability of a witness or the discovery of additional information may not even be heard.
If the appeal is not successful, execution of the original judgment will proceed, and the surety bond company will use the collateral put up by the appellant to pay it.
Surety bond companies view appeal bonds as a risky proposition. So, in addition to putting up collateral in the amount of the judgment plus anticipated court costs and other fees, applicants for an Alabama appeal bond must also pay a premium determined by the surety bond company underwriting and issuing the bond. That premium is a small percentage of the required bond amount.
Because appeal bonds must be fully collateralized, the defendant’s creditworthiness is not a major consideration in the surety bond’s assignment of a premium rate to a given bond applicant. The underwriting rules for an appeal bond are strict, and the appellant’s financial strength is the primary consideration. The premium rate depends largely on the details of the original judgment and will be high enough to ensure that the risk to the surety is minimal.
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