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property bonds

If a defendant doesn’t have enough money to pay bail, the court also lets defendants post a property bond.

Posting a property bond means you pledge the value of real property to the court to guarantee the defendant will appear in court.

If the defendant does not come to court when s/he is supposed to, the court will take the posted property as if it were cash bail.

Before the court can accept the property as a defendant's bail, there will be a hearing. At the hearing, the court will determine who is the legal owner of the property and how much it is worth.

Hearings for property bonds are scheduled like this:

The Hall of Justice (West) has hearings about property bonds twice a day in Department 23 at:

9:00 a.m. To be on the 9:00 a.m. calendar, you MUST file in the Clerk’s Office before 3:00 p.m. the day before.
1:30 p.m. To be on the 1:30 p.m. calendar, you MUST file before 11:00 a.m. on the same day.

The South County Courthouse, Palo Alto Courthouse, and Sunnyvale Courthouse have property bond hearings after you file the property bond documents. For these courts, the Clerk’s Office will tell you when your hearing will take place.

Visit our page with a list of all courthouses. You can click on a courthouse for the address, hours and map.

For some cases, the clerk will assign a hearing date for you.

When you file your papers, the Clerk’s Office will review them and if they accept them, they will call you or your lawyer and tell you the date and time of your hearing.


What do I need to bring to my hearing?

  • Original deed for the property or a certified copy. If you have recently acquired the property, you can bring the Grant Deed, Quitclaim Deed, Death Certificate or any other document that shows a change of ownership.

  • All persons named on the deed must be present at the property bond hearing. If the title of property is held in trust, a copy of the agreement also must be presented.

  • Current lot book guarantee or preliminary title report (not older than 10 days)

  • History of property liens from the title company (not a property profile).

  • Current appraisal. If you bought the home in the last 12 months, you can bring a tax statement.

  • Balance of all loans. List payment amount and loan balance for each bank or mortgage company. The equity must be twice the amount of the bail.

  • Affidavit / Undertaking for Justification of Bail and Acknowledgment. Get this form from the Clerk’s Office.

  • Original homestead deed or a certified copy if the home is homesteaded.
To get the original deed or certified copies for property in this county, go to:

Recorder’s Office
70 West Hedding Street, 1st Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
(located at Hedding and First Street)

© 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara