2009 California Penal Code - Section 1277-1281a :: Article 2. Bail Upon Being Held To Answer Before Indictment ..

SECTION 1277-1281a

1277.  When the defendant has been held to answer upon an
examination for a public offense, the admission to bail may be by the
magistrate by whom he is so held, or by any magistrate who has power
to issue the writ of habeas corpus.

1278.  (a) Bail is put in by a written undertaking, executed by two
sufficient sureties (with or without the defendant, in the discretion
of the magistrate), and acknowledged before the court or magistrate,
in substantially the following form:

   An order having been made on the ____ day of ____, 20__, by ____,
a judge of the ____ Court of ____ County, that ____ be held to answer
upon a charge of (stating briefly the nature of the offense), upon
which he or she has been admitted to bail in the sum of ____ dollars
($____); we, ____ and ____, of ____ (stating their place of residence
and occupation), hereby undertake that the above-named ____ will
appear and answer any charge in any accusatory pleading based upon
the acts supporting the charge above mentioned, in whatever court it
may be prosecuted, and will at all times hold himself or herself
amenable to the orders and process of the court, and if convicted,
will appear for pronouncement of judgment or grant of probation, or
if he or she fails to perform either of these conditions, that we
will pay to the people of the State of California the sum of ____
dollars ($____) (inserting the sum in which the defendant is admitted
to bail). If the forfeiture of this bond be ordered by the court,
judgment may be summarily made and entered forthwith against the said
(naming the sureties), and the defendant if he or she be a party to
the bond, for the amount of their respective undertakings herein, as
provided by Sections 1305 and 1306.

   (b) Every undertaking of bail shall contain the bail agent license
number of the owner of the bail agency issuing the undertaking along
with the name, address, and phone number of the agency, regardless
of whether the owner is an individual, partnership, or corporation.
The bail agency name on the undertaking shall be a business name
approved by the Insurance Commissioner for use by the bail agency
owner, and be so reflected in the public records of the commissioner.
The license number of the bail agent appearing on the undertaking
shall be in the same type size as the name, address, and phone number
of the agency.

1279.  The qualifications of bail are as follows:
   1. Each of them must be a resident, householder, or freeholder
within the state; but the court or magistrate may refuse to accept
any person as bail who is not a resident of the county where bail is
   2. They must each be worth the amount specified in the
undertaking, exclusive of property exempt from execution, except that
if any of the sureties is not worth the amount specified in the
undertaking, exclusive of property exempt from execution, but owns
any equity in real property, a hearing must be held before the
magistrate to determine the value of such equity. Witnesses may be
called and examined at such hearing and if the magistrate is
satisfied that the value of the equity is equal to twice the amount
of the bond such surety is justified. In any case, the court or
magistrate, on taking bail, may allow more than two sureties to
justify severally in amounts less than that expressed in the
undertaking, if the whole justification be equivalent to that of
sufficient bail.

1280.  The bail must in all cases justify by affidavit taken before
the magistrate, that they each possess the qualifications provided in
the preceding section. The magistrate may further examine the bail
upon oath concerning their sufficiency, in such manner as he may deem

1280a.  All affidavits for the justification of bail shall set forth
the amount of the bail undertaking, a notice that the affidavit
shall constitute a lien upon the real property described in the
affidavit immediately upon the recordation of the affidavit with the
county recorder pursuant to Section 1280b, and the legal description
and assessor's parcel numbers of the real estate owned by the bail,
which is scheduled as showing that they each possess the
qualifications provided in the preceding sections, the affidavit
shall also show all encumbrances upon the real estate known to
affiants and shall show the number of bonds, if any, on which each
bail has qualified, within one year before the date of the affidavit,
together with the amount of each such bond, the date on which, the
county in which, and the name of the principal for whom each bond was
   The affidavit shall also state the amount of each bail's liability
on bonds executed in previous years and not exonerated at the date
of the execution of the affidavit and be signed and acknowledged by
the owner of the real property.

1280b.  It shall be the duty of the judge or magistrate to file with
the clerk of the court, within 24 hours after presentation to him or
her, all affidavits for the justification of bail, by delivering or
mailing them to the clerk of the court. Certified copies of the
affidavits for justification of bail involving equity in real
property may upon the written order of the judge or magistrate be
recorded with the county recorder.

1280.1.  (a) From the time of recording an affidavit for the
justification of bail, the affidavit shall constitute an attachment
lien governed by Sections 488.500, 488.510 and 489.310 of the Code of
Civil Procedure in the amount of the bail undertaking, until
exonerated, released, or otherwise discharged. Any release of the
undertaking shall be effected by an order of the court, filed with
the clerk of the court, with a certified copy of the order recorded
in the office of the county recorder.
   (b) If the bail is forfeited and summary judgment is entered,
pursuant to Sections 1305 and 1306, the lien shall have the force and
effect of a judgment lien, by recordation of an abstract of
judgment, which, may be enforced and satisfied pursuant to Section
1306 as well as through the applicable execution process set forth in
Title 9 (commencing with Section 680.010) of Part 2 of the Code of
Civil Procedure.

1281.  Upon the allowance of bail and the execution and approval of
the undertaking, the magistrate must, if the defendant is in custody,
make and sign an order for his discharge, upon the delivery of which
to the proper officer the defendant must be discharged.

1281a.  A judge of the superior court within the county, wherein a
cause is pending against any person charged with a felony, may
justify and approve bail in the said cause, and may execute an order
for the release of the defendant which shall authorize the discharge
of the defendant by any officer having said defendant in custody.

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