A Manitoba man was charged with murder and was released after his father signed to be a surety for $100,000. The man breached his bail conditions and the Court of Queen’s Bench recently ordered the father to pay $75,000.
If someone is charged with an offence and is trying to get released from jail on bail, there are occasions where the Court requires some kind of extra assurance that the accused person will follow their bail conditions.
A surety is someone who is prepared to pay money to the court if the accused person breaches their bail conditions. The need for a surety usual arises when the accused person is charged with a serious offence, or has a history of failing to attend court or breaching court orders.
Often a surety is a friend, parent or relative of the accused person. The surety signs a document promising to pay the court a specified amount of money if the accused person breaches any of their bail conditions.
If the accused person breaches their conditions, the court holds a hearing to decide what to do with the surety amount called an Estreatal Hearing. In that hearing the Court decides whether the surety must pay, and how much of the total surety they will be ordered to pay.
In the recent Manitoba Queen’s Bench case, R. v. Tymchyshyn, the court said the following:
The moral pressure brought to bear on the accused by the risk of forfeiture assumed by his or her family member or friend as surety is essential to the functioning of the bail system. However, as pointed out by Rosenberg J.A., the effectiveness of the “pull of bail” may be maintained by something less than full forfeiture in some cases. In particular, where the recognizance amount is significant, forfeiture of the entire amount may not be necessary to maintain the integrity of the bail system. Whereas when the recognizance involves a lesser amount, it may be that nothing less than forfeiture of the entire amount would suffice.
The Judge found that the father could not be blamed for the breaches, nor could he have known about them, but ultimately ordered the father to pay $75,000.
*note: The information on this page is not legal advice.