Release With and Without Sureties and Deposits
A surety takes on the role of "civilian jailer of the accused". They are responsible to ensure the accused's attendance at court and ensure they abide by their conditions. The public interest and its faith in the bail system requires them to act promptly and faithfully in their duties.
Section 515(2) permits the judge release the accused on either an undertaking (515(2)(a)) or a recognizance with conditions (515(2)(b) to (e)).
Release on undertaking with conditions, etc.
(2) Where the justice does not make an order under subsection (1), he shall, unless the prosecutor shows cause why the detention of the accused is justified, order that the accused be released
- (a) on his giving an undertaking with such conditions as the justice directs;
- (b) on his entering into a recognizance before the justice, without sureties, in such amount and with such conditions, if any, as the justice directs but without deposit of money or other valuable security;
- (c) on his entering into a recognizance before the justice with sureties in such amount and with such conditions, if any, as the justice directs but without deposit of money or other valuable security;
- (d) with the consent of the prosecutor, on his entering into a recognizance before the justice, without sureties, in such amount and with such conditions, if any, as the justice directs and on his depositing with the justice such sum of money or other valuable security as the justice directs; or
- (e) if the accused is not ordinarily resident in the province in which the accused is in custody or does not ordinarily reside within two hundred kilometres of the place in which he is in custody, on his entering into a recognizance before the justice with or without sureties in such amount and with such conditions, if any, as the justice directs, and on his depositing with the justice such sum of money or other valuable security as the justice directs.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 515; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), ss. 83, 186; 1991, c. 40, s. 31; 1993, c. 45, s. 8; 1994, c. 44, s. 44; 1995, c. 39, s. 153; 1996, c. 19, ss. 71, 93.3; 1997, c. 18, s. 59, c. 23, s. 16; 1999, c. 5, s. 21, c. 25, s. 8(Preamble); 2001, c. 32, s. 37, c. 41, ss. 19, 133; 2008, c. 6, s. 37; 2009, c. 22, s. 17, c. 29, s. 2; 2010, c. 20, s. 1; 2012, c. 1, s. 32; 2014, c. 17, s. 14; 2015, c. 13, s. 20.
An accused can be released in the following circumstances:
- personal undertaking without conditions (515(1))
- personal undertaking with conditions (515(2)(a))
- recognizance with conditions and without surety or deposit (515(2)(b))
- recognizance with conditions and with surety without deposit(515(2)(c))
- recognizance with conditions without surety with deposit (515(2)(d))
- recognizance with conditions with surety and deposit (515(2)(e))
Without Surety or Deposit (515(2)(a),(b))
With Surety (515(2)(c))
With Deposit (515(2)(d))
The purpose of 515(2)(d) has been described as adding "some flexibility into this situation by permitting an accused with some personal resources to gain his/her own release".
Section 515(2)(d) has been read down to exclude the phrase, "with the consent of the prosecutor", allowing the judge to release the accused on cash bail.
- Gary Trotter, The Law of Bail in Canada, 2nd ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 1999) at p. 248
- R v Saunders, 2001 BCSC 1363 (CanLII)
With Surety and Deposit (515(2)(e))
The circumstances described in s. 515(2)(e) is the only case where the accused can be released with both a surety and cash deposit. This form of release is designed to be the most secure as it requires both forms of commitment.
Part of this section as been found unconstitutional for violating s. 11(e) of the Charter. The effect is to read out the portion of the provision that reads "if the accused is not ordinarily resident in the province in which the accused is in custody or does not ordinarily reside within two hundred kilometres of the place in which he is in custody". 
R v Folkes, 2007 ABQB 624 (CanLII), at para 17
- Folkes at para 27
- Folkes at para 40
- Folkes at para 39
It is not always necessary to have the surety to appear in court.
The surety and accused continue to be bound by the recognizance after every court appearance until the completion of the matter.
R v Brooks, 2001 CanLII 28401 (ON SC)
see s. 763, 764
Amount of Deposit
Under s. 515(2)(d), a cash bail can be required from the accused. It may only be returned to the accused who deposited.
The "test for financial security is whether the pledge will bind the conscience of the surety and the accused". This is irrespective of whether the amount would cause "mere hardship and loss" or "total financial calamity".
The constitutional right to bail requires that the amount of security needed for bail should not "be set so high as to amount to a detention order". The bail judge has an obligation to make inquiries "into the ability of the accused to pay".
A surety has the obligations of a jailer in the community.
It will usually be a relative, friend, or neighbour of the accused. Generally, it should not be someone who is:
- someone with a criminal record,
- a co-accused in a outstanding charge, or has unrelated criminal charges
- a person not resident in the jurisdiction,
- acting as a surety for someone else,
- receiving financial compensation for being a surety
The surety is to render the accused back into the custody of the court once he has lost ability or desire to control the accused compliance with the conditions of release.
See R v Scosky (1955) 114 CCC 294(*no link)
Where a surety no longer wishes to be responsible as a surety for the accused, he may render surety under s. 766(1) and 767 to have the accused rendered into custody thus relieving him of his obligations.
The surety ceases to be bound once the accused in committed into custody by s. 764(2).
Render of accused by sureties
766. (1) A surety for a person who is bound by recognizance to appear may, by an application in writing to a court, justice or provincial court judge, apply to be relieved of his obligation under the recognizance, and the court, justice or provincial court judge shall thereupon issue an order in writing for committal of that person to the prison nearest to the place where he was, under the recognizance, bound to appear.
(2) An order under subsection (1) shall be given to the surety and on receipt thereof he or any peace officer may arrest the person named in the order and deliver that person with the order to the keeper of the prison named therein, and the keeper shall receive and imprison that person until he is discharged according to law.
Certificate and entry of render
(3) Where a court, justice or provincial court judge issues an order under subsection (1) and receives from the sheriff a certificate that the person named in the order has been committed to prison pursuant to subsection (2), the court, justice or provincial court judge shall order an entry of the committal to be endorsed on the recognizance.
Discharge of sureties
(4) An endorsement under subsection (3) vacates the recognizance and discharges the sureties.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 766; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203.
Render of accused in court by sureties
767. A surety for a person who is bound by recognizance to appear may bring that person into the court at which he is required to appear at any time during the sittings thereof and before his trial and the surety may discharge his obligation under the recognizance by giving that person into the custody of the court, and the court shall thereupon commit that person to prison until he is discharged according to law.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 701.
When a surety renders under s. 766 or 767 and the accused is then committed to prison under s. 767(2), only then is the recognizance vacated and the surety completely discharged. In this circumstance, s. 767.1 does not apply and would not permit re-release with a new surety under the same terms.
Application of judicial interim release provisions
769. Where a surety for a person has rendered him into custody and that person has been committed to prison, the provisions of Parts XVI, XXI and XXVII relating to judicial interim release apply, with such modifications as the circumstances require, in respect of him and he shall forthwith be taken before a justice or judge as an accused charged with an offence or as an appellant, as the case may be, for the purposes of those provisions.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 703; R.S., c. 2(2nd Supp.), s. 14.
After the surety has rendered and the accused is taken back into custody, s. 769 requires a new bail hearing for any future release.
- s. 764(3)
R v Mott, 2013 ONSC 1768 (CanLII) at para 46
Mott at para 46
Mott at para 46
Forfeiture of Deposit
Applications for forfeiture of recognizances
762. (1) Applications for the forfeiture of recognizances shall be made to the courts, designated in column II of the schedule, of the respective provinces designated in column I of the schedule.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 696.
Default to be endorsed
770. (1) Where, in proceedings to which this Act applies, a person who is bound by recognizance does not comply with a condition of the recognizance, a court, justice or provincial court judge having knowledge of the facts shall endorse or cause to be endorsed on the recognizance a certificate in Form 33 setting out
- (a) the nature of the default;
- (b) the reason for the default, if it is known;
- (c) whether the ends of justice have been defeated or delayed by reason of the default; and
- (d) the names and addresses of the principal and sureties.
Transmission to clerk of court
(2) A recognizance that has been endorsed pursuant to subsection (1) shall be sent to the clerk of the court and shall be kept by him with the records of the court.
Certificate is evidence
(3) A certificate that has been endorsed on a recognizance pursuant to subsection (1) is evidence of the default to which it relates.
Transmission of deposit
(4) Where, in proceedings to which this section applies, the principal or surety has deposited money as security for the performance of a condition of a recognizance, that money shall be sent to the clerk of the court with the defaulted recognizance, to be dealt with in accordance with this Part.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 770; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203; 1997, c. 18, s. 108.
Proceedings in case of default
771. (1) Where a recognizance has been endorsed with a certificate pursuant to section 770 and has been received by the clerk of the court pursuant to that section,
- (a) a judge of the court shall, on the request of the clerk of the court or the Attorney General or counsel acting on his behalf, fix a time and place for the hearing of an application for the forfeiture of the recognizance; and
- (b) the clerk of the court shall, not less than ten days before the time fixed under paragraph (a) for the hearing, send by registered mail, or have served in the manner directed by the court or prescribed by the rules of court, to each principal and surety named in the recognizance, directed to the principal or surety at the address set out in the certificate, a notice requiring the person to appear at the time and place fixed by the judge to show cause why the recognizance should not be forfeited.
Order of judge
(2) Where subsection (1) has been complied with, the judge may, after giving the parties an opportunity to be heard, in his discretion grant or refuse the application and make any order with respect to the forfeiture of the recognizance that he considers proper.
Judgment debtors of the Crown
(3) Where, pursuant to subsection (2), a judge orders forfeiture of a recognizance, the principal and his sureties become judgment debtors of the Crown, each in the amount that the judge orders him to pay.
Order may be filed
(3.1) An order made under subsection (2) may be filed with the clerk of the superior court and if an order is filed, the clerk shall issue a writ of fieri facias in Form 34 and deliver it to the sheriff of each of the territorial divisions in which the principal or any surety resides, carries on business or has property.
Transfer of deposit
(4) Where a deposit has been made by a person against whom an order for forfeiture of a recognizance has been made, no writ of fieri facias shall issue, but the amount of the deposit shall be transferred by the person who has custody of it to the person who is entitled by law to receive it.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 771; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 168; 1994, c. 44, s. 78; 1999, c. 5, s. 43.
Levy under writ
772. (1) Where a writ of fieri facias is issued pursuant to section 771, the sheriff to whom it is delivered shall execute the writ and deal with the proceeds thereof in the same manner in which he is authorized to execute and deal with the proceeds of writs of fieri facias issued out of superior courts in the province in civil proceedings.
(2) Where this section applies, the Crown is entitled to the costs of execution and of proceedings incidental thereto that are fixed, in the Province of Quebec, by any tariff applicable in the Superior Court in civil proceedings, and in any other province, by any tariff applicable in the superior court of the province in civil proceedings, as the judge may direct.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 706.
Committal when writ not satisfied
773. (1) Where a writ of fieri facias has been issued under this Part and it appears from a certificate in a return made by the sheriff that sufficient goods and chattels, lands and tenements cannot be found to satisfy the writ, or that the proceeds of the execution of the writ are not sufficient to satisfy it, a judge of the court may, upon the application of the Attorney General or counsel acting on his behalf, fix a time and place for the sureties to show cause why a warrant of committal should not be issued in respect of them.
(2) Seven clear days notice of the time and place fixed for the hearing pursuant to subsection (1) shall be given to the sureties.
(3) The judge shall, at the hearing held pursuant to subsection (1), inquire into the circumstances of the case and may in his discretion
- (a) order the discharge of the amount for which the surety is liable; or
- (b) make any order with respect to the surety and to his imprisonment that he considers proper in the circumstances and issue a warrant of committal in Form 27.
Warrant to committal
(4) A warrant of committal issued pursuant to this section authorizes the sheriff to take into custody the person in respect of whom the warrant was issued and to confine him in a prison in the territorial division in which the writ was issued or in the prison nearest to the court, until satisfaction is made or until the period of imprisonment fixed by the judge has expired.
Definition of “Attorney General”
(5) In this section and in section 771, “Attorney General” means, where subsection 734.4(2) applies, the Attorney General of Canada.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 773; 1995, c. 22, s. 10.
Change of Surety
Where a surety no longer wishes to be responsible as a surety for the accused and there is a suitable substitution available, the surety will render surety under s. 766(1) and 767, but rather than render the accused into custody, the court may substitute the previous surety with a new one under s. 767.1. The new surety is in place once he has signed the recognizance.
Substitution of surety
767.1 (1) Notwithstanding subsection 766(1) and section 767, where a surety for a person who is bound by a recognizance has rendered the person into the custody of a court pursuant to section 767 or applies to be relieved of his obligation under the recognizance pursuant to subsection 766(1), the court, justice or provincial court judge, as the case may be, may, instead of committing or issuing an order for the committal of the person to prison, substitute any other suitable person for the surety under the recognizance.
Signing of recognizance by new sureties
(2) Where a person substituted for a surety under a recognizance pursuant to subsection (1) signs the recognizance, the original surety is discharged, but the recognizance and the order for judicial interim release pursuant to which the recognizance was entered into are not otherwise affected.
R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 167.