RULE 7:4. Bail

7:4-1. Right to Bail Before Conviction

  • (a) Persons Entitled; Criteria. Every defendant shall have a right to bail before conviction on such terms as, in the judgment of the court, will insure the defendant's presence when required, having regard for the defendant's background, residence, employment and family status and, particularly, the general policy against unnecessary sureties and detention. In its discretion, the court may order defendant's release on defendant's own recognizance and may impose terms or conditions appropriate to such release.

  • (b) Domestic Violence; Conditions of Release. When a defendant is charged with a crime or offense involving domestic violence, the court authorizing the release may, as a condition of release, prohibit the defendant from having any contact with the victim. The court may impose any additional limitations upon contact as otherwise authorized by N.J.S.A. 2C:25-26.

  • (c) Issuance of Restraining Orders By Electronic Communication.

    • (1) Temporary Domestic Violence Restraining Orders. Procedures authorizing the issuance of temporary domestic violence restraining orders by electronic communication are governed by R.5:7A (b).

    • (2) N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.7 and N.J.S.A. 2C:14-12 Restraining Orders. A judge may as a condition of release issue a restraining order pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.7 (“Drug Offender Restraining Order Act of 1999”) or N.J.S.A. 2C:14-12 (“Nicole’s Law”) upon sworn oral testimony of a law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney who is not physically present. Such sworn oral testimony may be communicated to the judge by telephone, radio, or other means of electronic communication. The judge shall contemporaneously record such sworn oral testimony by means of a tape-recording device or stenographic machine if such are available; otherwise the judge shall make adequate longhand notes summarizing what is said. Subsequent to taking the oath, the law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney must identify himself or herself, specify the purpose of the request, and disclose the basis of the application. This sworn testimony shall be deemed to be an affidavit for the purposes of issuance of a restraining order. Upon issuance of the restraining order, the judge shall memorialize the specific terms of the order. That memorialization shall be either by means of a tape-recording device, stenographic machine, or by adequate longhand notes. Thereafter, the judge shall direct the law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney to memorialize the specific terms authorized by the judge on a form, or other appropriate paper, designated as the restraining order. This order shall be deemed a restraining order for the purpose of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.7 (“Drug Offender Restraining Order Act of 1999”) and N.J.S.A. 2C:14-12 (“Nicole’s Law”). The judge shall direct the law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney to print the judge's name on the restraining order. A copy of the restraining order shall be served on the defendant by any officer authorized by law. Within 48 hours, the law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney shall deliver to the judge, either in person, by facsimile transmission, or by other means of electronic communication, the signed restraining order along with a certification of service on the defendant. The certification of service shall be in a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts and shall include the date and time that service on the defendant was made or attempted to be made. The judge shall verify the accuracy of these documents by affixing his or her signature to the restraining order.

    • (3) Certification of Offense Location for Drug Offender Restraining Orders. When a restraining order is issued by electronic communication pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.7 (“Drug Offender Restraining Order Act of 1999”) where the law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney is not physically present at the same location as the court, the law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney must provide an oral statement describing the location of the offense. Within 48 hours thereafter the law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney shall deliver to the judge, either in person, by facsimile transmission, or by other means of electronic communication, a certification describing the location of the offense.

Note: Source-R. (1969) 7:5-1, 3:26-1(a). Adopted October 6, 1997 to be effective February 1, 1998; text designated as paragraph (a), paragraph (a) caption adopted, new paragraphs (b) and (c) adopted July 9, 2013 to be effective September 1, 2013.

7:4-2. Authority to Set Bail

  • (a) Authority to Admit to Initial Bail. Conditions of pre-trial release, including bail, may be set by a judge sitting regularly in or as acting or temporary judge of the jurisdiction in which the offense was committed, or by a vicinage Presiding Judge of the Municipal Courts, or as authorized by any other rule of court. A judge who has fixed the amount of bail may designate the taking of the recognizance by the municipal court administrator or any other person authorized by law to take recognizances, other than the law enforcement arresting officer. In the absence of the judge, and to the extent consistent with N.J.S.A. 2B:12-21, a defendant, arrested and charged with a non-indictable offense that may be tried by the judge, may be admitted to bail by the duly authorized municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator. In the absence of the judge, the municipal court administrator, and deputy court administrator, the defendant may be admitted to bail by any other person authorized by law to admit to bail. The authority of the municipal court administrator, deputy court administrator or other authorized persons shall, however, be exercised only in accordance with bail schedules promulgated by the Administrative Office of the Courts or the municipal court judge.

  • (b) Bail Revisions. A municipal court judge may modify bail or any other condition of pre-trial release on any non-indictable offense at any time during the course of the municipal court proceedings.

Note: Source-Paragraph (a): R. (1969) 7:5-3; paragraph (b): R. (1969) 7:5-1, 3:26-2(c). Adopted October 6, 1997 to be effective February 1, 1998; paragraphs (a) and (b) amended July 10, 1998, to be effective September 1, 1998.

7:4-3. Form and Place of Deposit; Location of Real Estate; Record of Recognizances, Discharge and Forfeiture

  • (a) Deposit of Bail. A defendant admitted to bail shall, together with the sureties, if any, sign and execute a recognizance before the person authorized to take bail or, if the defendant is in custody, the person in charge of the place of confinement. The recognizance shall contain the terms set forth in R. 1:13-3(b) and shall be conditioned upon the defendant's appearance at all stages of the proceedings until the final determination of the matter, unless otherwise ordered by the court. The total recognizance may be satisfied by more than one surety, if necessary. Cash may be accepted, and in proper cases, within the court's discretion, the posting of security may be waived. A corporate surety shall be one approved by the Commissioner of Insurance. A corporate surety shall execute the recognizance under its duly acknowledged corporate seal, and shall attach to its bond written proof of the corporate authority and qualifications of the officers or agents executing the recognizance. Real estate offered as security for bail for non-indictable offenses shall be approved by and deposited with the clerk of the county in which the offense occurred and not with the municipal court administrator.

  • (b) Limitation on Individual Surety. Unless the court for good cause otherwise permits, no surety, other than an approved corporate surety, shall enter into a recognizance if there remains any previous undischarged recognizance or bail that was undertaken by that surety.

  • (c) Real Estate in Other Counties. Real estate owned by a surety located in a county other than the one in which the bail is taken may be accepted, in which case the municipal court administrator of the court in which the bail is taken shall certify and transmit a copy of the recognizance to the clerk of the county in which the real estate is situated, and it shall be there recorded in the same manner as if taken in that county.

  • (d) Record of Recognizance. In municipal court proceedings, the record of the recognizance shall be entered by the municipal court administrator or designee in the manner required by the Administrative Director of the Courts to be maintained for that purpose.

  • (e) Record of Discharge; Forfeiture. When any recognizance shall be discharged by court order on proof of compliance with the conditions thereof or by reason of the judgment in any matter, the municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator shall enter the word "discharged" and the date of discharge at the end of the record of such recognizance. When any recognizance is forfeited, the municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator shall enter the word "forfeited" and the date of forfeiture at the end of the record of such recognizance and shall give notice of such forfeiture by ordinary mail to the municipal attorney, the defendant and any surety or insurer, bail agent or agency whose names appear in the bail recognizance. Notice to any insurer, bail agent or agency shall be sent to the address recorded in the Bail Registry maintained by the Clerk of the Superior Court pursuant to R. 1:13-3. When real estate of the surety located in a county other than the one in which the bail was taken is affected, the municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator in which such recognizance is given shall immediately send notice of the discharge or forfeiture and the date thereof to the clerk of the county where such real estate is situated, who shall make the appropriate entry at the end of the record of such recognizance.

  • (f) Cash Deposit. When a person other than the defendant deposits cash in lieu of bond, the person making the deposit shall file an affidavit or certification explaining the lawful ownership thereof, and on discharge, such cash shall be returned to the owner named in the affidavit or certification, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

  • (g) Ten Percent Cash Bail. Unless otherwise specified in the order setting the bail, bail may be satisfied by the deposit in court of cash in the amount of ten percent of the amount of bail fixed together with defendant's executed recognizance for the remaining ninety percent. No surety shall be required, unless specifically ordered by the court. If a ten percent bail is made by cash owned by one other than the defendant, the owner shall charge no fee for the cash deposited, other than lawful interest, and shall submit an affidavit or certification with the deposit detailing the rate of interest, confirming that no other fee is being charged, and listing the names of any other persons for whom the owner has deposited bail. A person making the ten percent deposit who is not the owner, shall file an affidavit or certification identifying the lawful owner of the cash, and, on discharge, the cash deposit shall be returned to the owner named in the affidavit or certification, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

Note: Source - R. (1969) 7:5-1, 3:26-4. Adopted October 6, 1997 to be effective February 1, 1998; subsection (e) amended December 8, 1998 to be effective January 15, 1999; caption amended, and paragraphs (e), (f), and (g) amended July 28, 2004 to be effective September 1, 2004.

7:4-4. Justification of Sureties

Every surety, except an approved corporate surety, shall justify the proposed property by affidavit, which shall include a description of the property, any encumbrances, the number and amount of other recognizances and undertakings for bail entered into by the surety and remaining undischarged, if any, and all of the surety's other liabilities. No recognizance shall be approved unless the surety thereon shall be qualified.

Note: Source-R.R. (1969) 7:5-1, 3:26-5. Adopted October 6, 1997 to be effective February 1, 1998.

7:4-5. Forfeiture

  • (a) Declaration; Notice. On breach of a condition of a recognizance, the court may forfeit the bail on its own or on the prosecuting attorney's motion. If the court orders bail to be forfeited, the municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator shall immediately forfeit the bail pursuant to R. 7:4-3(e) and shall send notice of the forfeiture by ordinary mail to the municipal attorney, the defendant, and any non-corporate surety or insurer, bail agent, or bail agency whose names appear on the bail recognizance. Notice to any insurer, bail agent, or bail agency shall be sent to the address recorded in the Bail Registry maintained by the Clerk of the Superior Court pursuant to R. 1:13-3. The notice shall direct that judgment will be entered as to any outstanding bail absent a written objection seeking to set aside the forfeiture, which must be filed within 75 days of the date of the notice. The notice shall also advise the insurer that if it fails to satisfy a judgment entered pursuant to paragraph (c) of this rule, and until satisfaction is made, it shall be removed from the Bail Registry and its bail agents and agencies, guarantors, and other persons or entities authorized to administer or manage its bail bond business in this State will have no further authority to act for it, and their names, as acting for the insurer, will be removed from the Bail Registry. In addition, the bail agent or agency, guarantor, or other person or entity authorized by the insurer to administer or manage its bail bond business in this State who acted in such capacity with respect to the forfeited bond will be precluded, by removal from the Bail Registry, from so acting for any other insurer until the judgment has been satisfied. The court shall not enter judgment until the merits of any objection are determined either on the papers filed or, if the court so orders, for good cause, at a hearing. In the absence of a written objection, judgment shall be entered as provided in paragraph (c) of this rule, but the court may thereafter remit it, in whole or part, in the interest of justice.

  • (b) Setting Aside. The court may, upon such conditions as it imposes, direct that an order of forfeiture or judgment be set aside in whole or in part, if required in the interest of justice.

  • (c) Enforcement; Remission. If a forfeiture is not set aside, the court shall, on motion, enter a judgment of default for any outstanding bail, and execution may issue on the judgment. After entry of the judgment, the court may remit the forfeiture in whole or in part in the interest of justice. If, following the court's decision on an objection pursuant to paragraph (a) of this rule, the forfeiture is not set aside or satisfied in whole or in part, the court shall enter judgment for any outstanding bail and, in the absence of satisfaction thereof, execution may issue thereon.

Judgments entered pursuant to this rule shall also advise the insurer that if it fails to satisfy a judgment, and until satisfaction is made, it shall be removed from the Bail Registry and its bail agents and agencies, guarantors, and other persons or entities authorized to administer or manage its bail bond business in this State will have no further authority to act for it, and their names, as acting for the insurer, will be removed from the Bail Registry as provided in paragraph (a) of this rule. A copy of the judgment entered pursuant to this rule is to be served by ordinary mail on the municipal attorney, and on any surety or any insurer, bail agent, or bail agency named in the judgment. Notice to any surety or insurer, bail agent, or bail agency shall be sent to the address recorded in the Bail Registry. In any contested proceeding, the municipal attorney shall appear on behalf of the government. The municipal attorney shall be responsible for the collection of forfeited amounts.

Note: Source - R. (1969) 7:5-1, 3:26-6. Adopted October 6, 1997 to be effective February 1, 1998; paragraph (a) caption and text amended, and paragraphs (b) and (c) amended July 28, 2004 to be effective September 1, 2004.

7:4-6. Exoneration

When the condition of the recognizance has been satisfied or its forfeiture has been set aside or remitted, the court shall exonerate the obligors and release any bail. A surety may be exonerated by a deposit of cash in the amount of the recognizance or by a timely surrender of the defendant into custody.

Note: Source-R.R. (1969) 7:5-1, 3:26-7. Adopted October 6, 1997 to be effective February 1, 1998.

7:4-7. Place of Deposit

Bail in non-indictable matters given in the municipal court shall be deposited with the municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator. At the surety's discretion, bail may also be deposited with the person in charge of the place of confinement where the defendant is in custody, and that person shall then transmit the bail to the appropriate municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator for deposit in accordance with this rule.

Note: Source-R.R. (1969) 7:5-2. Adopted October 6, 1997 to be effective February 1, 1998.

7:4-8. Bail after Conviction

When a sentence has been imposed and an appeal from the judgment of conviction has been taken, the trial judge may admit the appellant to bail within 20 days from the date of conviction or sentence, whichever occurs later. Bail after conviction may be imposed only if the trial judge has significant reservations about the appellant's willingness to appear before the appellate court. The bail or other recognizance shall be of sufficient surety to guarantee the appellant's appearance before the appellate court and compliance with the court's judgment. Once the appellant has placed bail or filed a recognizance, if the appellant is in custody, the trial court shall immediately discharge the appellant from custody. The court shall transmit to the vicinage Criminal Division Manager any cash deposit and any recognizance submitted.

Note: Source-R.R. (1969) 7:5-4. Adopted October 6, 1997 to be effective February 1, 1998; amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.
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