How to Be a Surety at Brampton Court


If a person is arrested and held overnight they will be brought to Court the next morning for a bail hearing. In Brampton, ordinary bails go to courtroom 101 and sometimes 102. Youth Court bails and drug bails go to courtroom 206 on the second floor. The bail courts are in the area of the building near the Red pin on the map.

The person arrested will probably need one or more Sureties to sign for them before they can get out. A Surety is usually a close friend or family member that is a wage earner, owns real estate, and has no criminal record. The Surety often promises that the accused person will live in their household.

Being a Surety is a heavy responsibility. You act as the individual's jailor and control their movements and activities. You supervise their obedience to the conditions set by the Justice of the Peace. You bring the individual to their court attendances and monitor their counselling. If they even hint at breaching conditions of their bail you have an obligation to bring them back to Court, attend at the Justice of the Peace office and put them back in jail. If you don't turn them in you may lose the amount you have pledged.

If you are willing to be a Surety you should attend Court early in the morning following arrest. If the family doesn't already have a lawyer hired you should attend at 8:30 a.m. at the Legal Aid bail office in Room 111 near courtrooms 103 and 104 (Green pin on map). They will need to know the value of the real estate you own and the outstanding amounts of principal owing on your mortgages to determine the equity that you have in your home or other property.

In Bail court the Justice of the Peace will want to know the likelihood that the arrested person will come to Court when required. Your assurances that you will bring them personally and stay with them during Court attendances may help. That will be much more difficult if the person has a history of missing Court dates or not complying with court orders. Some offences give rise to a reverse onus on the accused to prove why he or she should be let out.

The Justice of the Peace will also be concerned about the likelihood that the person will get into further trouble after release on bail. Your assurances that you know their reputation is sound may be helpful in convincing the Court that it should have no concerns on this secondary ground. Guilt or innocence of the accused, exaggeration or not by the complainant or police are not at issue on a bail hearing. Forward-looking protection of the public is the concern.