Posting of Realty Bail
Real estate can be posted as surety for bail, however, the following regulations apply:
Property located within the Commonwealth as provided in the PA Rules of Criminal Procedure in Rule 528(D)(3)
A certificate of title must be completed either by an Attorney or by a title search company certifying that the property is unencumbered and valued at least the amount of the bail.
If the property is jointly held, all those named on the deed must sign the bail certificate. Certificate of title needs to be notarized.
Local Rule 527.1. Realty Bail
(A) In cases where realty is posted as bail, the following procedures shall be applied to determine the value of the realty and the equity in it:
(1) The fair market value of the realty shall be established by a written appraisal report prepared by a real estate broker duly licensed in Pennsylvania, within three (3) months of the date of presentation of the report; or by multiplying the assessed value of the realty (land and improvements) by the common level ratio factor prescribed by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue from time to time for transfer tax purposes.
(2) The equity in realty shall be determined by considering the appraisal and a lien
certificate signed by any attorney at law authorized to practice in this Commonwealth, including the solicitor of the Recorder of Deeds, Prothonotary, Tax Claim Bureau, or a duly authorized agent of a title insurance company licensed to do business in Pennsylvania. The certificate must identify all liens against the property and the face amounts thereof. Statements from lienholders about current balances may also be considered.
(B) Certificates and appraisals shall be presented to the District Justice or to the Clerk for determination of the acceptability of the realty for bail purposes. A defendant may appeal any adverse ruling to the Court.
(C) The official with whom bail is posted shall collect a fee to enter and satisfy judgment in an appropriate office in the county in which the realty is situated. Until changed, the fee for judgments in Adams County shall be $32.50. Defendant must produce proof of the fee for any county other than Adams.
(D) If a District Justice accepts such bail, he/she shall transmit the judgment and satisfaction fee and a certified copy of the bail bond to the Clerk's office. In all instances when realty is accepted, the Clerk shall transmit to the Court a certified copy of the bail bond, together with a proposed order directing that judgment be entered against both the defendant and surety in favor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to the use of the County of Adams.
(E) Upon receipt of an order signed by a judge, the Clerk shall transmit a certified copy of the order, the judgment and satisfaction fee, and a certified copy of the bail bond to the appropriate office for entry of judgment.
(F) In Adams County, the appropriate office for entry of judgment shall be the Prothonotary's office.