Rule 528. Monetary Condition of Release on Bail.
(A) If the bail authority determines that it is necessary to impose a monetary condition of bail, to determine the amount of the monetary condition, the bail authority shall consider:
(1) the release criteria set forth in Rule 523; and
(2) the financial ability of the defendant.
(B) The amount of the monetary condition shall be reasonable.
(C) After determining the amount of the monetary condition, the bail authority may permit the deposit of a sum of money not to exceed 10% of the full amount of the monetary condition if he or she determines that such a deposit is sufficient to ensure the defendants appearance and compliance.
(D) One or a combination of the following forms of security shall be accepted to satisfy the full amount of the monetary condition:
(1) Cash or when permitted by the local court a cash equivalent.
(2) Bearer bonds of the United States Government, of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, in the full amount of the monetary condition, provided that the defendant or the surety files with the bearer bond a sworn schedule which shall verify the value and marketability of such bonds, and which shall be approved by the bail authority.
(3) Realty located anywhere within the Commonwealth, including realty of the defendant, as long as the actual net value is at least equal to the full amount of the monetary condition. The actual net value of the property may be established by considering, for example, the cost, encumbrances, and assessed value, or another valuation formula provided by statute, ordinance, or local rule of court. Realty held in joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety may be accepted provided all joint tenants or tenants by the entirety execute the bond.
(4) Realty located anywhere outside of the Commonwealth but within the United States, provided that the person(s) posting such realty shall comply with all reasonable conditions designed to perfect the lien of the county in which the prosecution is pending.
(5) The surety bond of a professional bondsman licensed under the Judicial Code, 42 Pa.C.S. § § 57415749, or of a surety company authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(E) The bail authority shall record on the bail bond the amount of the monetary condition imposed and the form of security that is posted by the defendant or by an individual acting on behalf of the defendant or acting as a surety for the defendant.
(F) Except as limited in Rule 531, the defendant or another person may deposit the cash percentage of the bail. If the defendant posts the money, the defendant shall sign the bond, thereby becoming his or her own surety, and is liable for the full amount of bail if he or she fails to appear or to comply. When a person other than the defendant deposits the cash percentage of the bail, the clerk of courts or issuing authority shall explain and provide written notice to that person that:
1) if the person agrees to act as a surety and signs the bail bond with the defendant, the person shall be liable for the full amount of bail if the defendant fails to appear or comply; or
2) if the person does not wish to be liable for the full amount of bail, the person shall be permitted to deposit the money for the defendant to post, and will relinquish the right to make a subsequent claim for the return of the money pursuant to these rules. In this case, the defendant would be deemed the depositor, and only the defendant would sign the bond and be liable for the full amount of bail.
3) Pursuant to Rule 535(E), if the bail was deposited by or on behalf of the defendant and the defendant is the named depositor, the amount otherwise returnable to the defendant may be used to pay and satisfy any outstanding restitution, fees, fines, and costs owed by the defendant as a result of a sentence imposed in the court case for which the deposit is being made.
Nothing in this rule precludes the bail authority from releasing the defendant on an unsecured bail bond whereby the defendant, upon executing the bail bond, binds himself or herself to be liable for an amount of money in the event the defendant fails to appear or to comply with the conditions of the bail bond. Although this is a monetary condition, no actual security or money is deposited as a condition of the release. See Rule 524(C)(3) for the definition of unsecured bail bond.
The bail authority may impose a monetary condition in addition to nonmonetary conditions if a combination of such conditions is necessary to reasonably ensure the defendants appearance and compliance. For example, a defendant could be released conditioned upon posting a certain amount of money and subject to the supervision of a designated probation department or bail agency, or a designated person or private organization. The supervisor would maintain close contact with the defendant, assist the defendant in making arrangements to appear in court, and, if appropriate, accompany the defendant to court. In addition, the bail authority could require that the supervisor also be a surety for the full amount of the monetary condition so that the supervisor would be financially responsible if the defendant failed to appear.
Paragraph (C) requires that in all cases, the bail authority must consider whether a defendant should be permitted to deposit a percentage of the cash bail.
Nothing in this rule changes the practice of permitting the judicial districts to require by local rule the use of percentage cash bail.
When the bail authority determines that it is appropriate to accept a percentage of the cash bail, the defendant, or an individual acting on behalf of the defendant or acting as a surety for the defendant, may make the deposit with the clerk of courts or the issuing authority. See Rule 535.
When the bail authority authorizes the deposit of a percentage of the cash bail, the defendant may satisfy the monetary condition by depositing, or having an individual acting as a surety on behalf of the defendant deposit, the full amount of the monetary condition. For example, there may be cases in which the defendant does not have the cash to satisfy the percentage cash bail, but has some other form of security, such as realty. In such a case, the defendant must be permitted to execute a bail bond for the full amount of the monetary condition and deposit one of the forms or a combination of the forms set forth in paragraph (D).
If a percentage of the cash bail is accepted pursuant to these rules, when the funds are returned at the conclusion of the defendants bail period, the court or bail agency may retain as a fee an amount reasonably related to the cost of administering the cash bail program. See Schilb v. Kuebel, 404 U.S. 357 (1971).
Paragraph (F), which formerly was included in the Comment, was added to the rule in 2014 to clarify the manner in which the defendant or a third party may act as a surety for the defendants bond. The rule now requires that written notice be given to the person posting the bail, especially a third party, of the possible consequences if the defendant receives a sentence that includes restitution, a fine, fees, and costs. See also Rule 535 for the procedures for retaining bail money for satisfaction of outstanding restitution, fines, fees, and costs.
The defendant must be permitted to substitute the form(s) of security deposited as provided in Rule 532.
The method of valuation when realty is offered to satisfy the monetary condition pursuant to paragraphs (D)(3) and (D)(4) is determined at the local level. If no satisfactory basis exists for valuing particular tracts of offered realty, especially tracts located in remote areas, acceptance of that realty is not required by this rule.
Former Rule 4007 adopted July 23, 1973, effective 60 days hence, replacing prior Rule 4013; amended January 28, 1983, effective July 1, 1983; rescinded September 13, 1995, effective January 1, 1996, and replaced by Rule 4011. Present Rule 4007 adopted September 13, 1995, effective January 1, 1996. The January 1, 1996 effective dates extended to April 1, 1996; the April 1, 1996 effective dates extended to July 1, 1996; renumbered Rule 528 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; amended September 21, 2012, effective November 1, 2012; amended December 8, 2014, effective February 9, 2015.
Committee Explanatory Reports:
Final Report explaining the provisions of the new rule published with Courts Order at 25 Pa.B. 4116 (September 30, 1995).
Final Report explaining the March 1, 2000 reorganization and renumbering of the rules published with the Courts Order at 30 Pa.B. 1478 (March 18, 2000).
Final Report explaining the September 21, 2012 amendment correcting a typographical error in paragraph (A)(1) published with the Courts Order at 42 Pa.B. 6251 (October 6, 2012).
Final Report explaining the December 8, 2014 amendment providing for the advice required to be given concerning possible forfeiture of the deposit published with the Courts Order 44 Pa.B. 7833 (December 20, 2014).
The provisions of this Rule 528 amended September 21, 2012, effective November 21, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 6247; amended December 8, 2014, effective February 9, 2015, 44 Pa.B. 7830. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (363821) to (363823).
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