Bail is an agreement between the Court and a defendant as a result of which the defendant is released from custody between appearances before the court. One condition of the bail may be that the defendant provides a surety.
A surety is a person who agrees to forfeit a sum of money if a defendant fails to appear before a court as required. The surety can either be required to deposit the money with the court before the defendant is released from custody or, more usually, may be permitted to provide an undertaking to pay if ordered.
In agreeing to act as surety for a person you are undertaking that you are willing to be liable to pay some or all of the money to the Cayman Islands Government should the defendant fail to appear before the Court.
When considering a person’s suitability to be a surety, the court (that is, a Judge, Magistrate or Justice of the Peace (s.2)) has a discretion; in exercising that discretion, section 5 (2) of the Bail Law (2015 Revision) provides that the court may have regard to his or her:
Character and any previous convictions; and
Proximity (of kinship, place of residence or otherwise) to the person for whom he or she is to be surety.
When assessing financial resources, a Court will normally expect the potential surety to:
Show the court you have enough assets to cover the amount of bail by:
Proving land documents
All proprietors will be required to sign bail recognizance;
Proprietors may be required to provide a recent valuation of property;and/or
Providing a letter from a local bank securing the amount of the bail until completion of the case (almost always required where the amount exceeds $2,000); this will need to confirm that the money will not be released to anyone other than the Court until the bank is notified that the Court has released it;
If employed, a current letter of employment and salary range or, if self-employed, a copy of business licence;
Providing a deposit of cash in that amount.
In order to verify identity, a Court will normally only accept a person who is Caymanian who is normally resident in the Islands or a permanent resident;
Photo identification confirming both identity and residence will be required;
Proof of residence (usually through a recent utility bill in the person’s name) will be required.
Those with criminal matters pending before the court whether on custody or on bail;
Those with previous criminal convictions; those with a conviction for a minor offence or one that is fairly old may be allowed at the discretion of the Court.
Where a SECURITY is required by the Court (that is, where payment is required before the defendant is released from custody), this can only be provided in the form of a CASH DEPOSIT or check in the name of a bank deposited with the Court.