How do I stop being someone's surety?

As you should be aware, a surety is essentially a 'jailer' out of jail. When someone is released from bail court with conditions and under the supervision of a 'surety', the surety has promised to enforce the terms of the recognizance of bail and backed up that promise with a financial pledge.

Quite simply, if the accused person breaks any of the release conditions, commits any more offences or gives the surety reason to believe that they might do so, the accused person faces more charges, re-incarceration and a dramatically-reduced likelyhood of being let out of jail on bail again.

The justice system does not stop there. The surety, now may face an 'estreatment hearing' where they stand to lose whatever monetary sum they pledged when they promised to keep the accused out of trouble and to make sure they attend court.

If you have signed someone out of custody as their 'surety' and find yourself unable to control them, unable to enforce the court rules or unable to meet your obligations as their surety, you need to take immediate steps to remove your liability for them and their actions before you place yourself in jeopardy of losing the money you pledged.

To remove yourself as a surety, you need to attend the local Justice of the Peace's office with your surety documentation and ask to be removed as surety. No further questions will be asked of you. The Justice of the Peace will issue a document that relieves you of your responsibilties once you have delivered it to your local Police service. That document gives the Police an authority to arrest the person who was on bail and bring them back to bail court where they can attempt a new release with a new surety.

For matters in Simcoe County, you can call their offices at (705) 739-6584 Mon-Fri 9am-12 noon, 1pm-4pm or visit them at the Barrie Provincial Court building 75 Mulcaster St, Barrie, ON L4M 3P2.

For more information see the Ministry of the Attorney General website: www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/pubs/sureties.asp