General Property Bond Information

In order to meet the requirements of Penal Code section 1298 regarding the posting of a property bond, the applicant must provide County Attorney with the following documentation:

  1. A Short Form Deed of Trust and Assignments of Rents with the "Court Executive Officer of the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo" named as the trustee and the County of San Mateo named as the beneficiary. This form is easily available at all title companies and most stationery stores. The Deed of Trust must be signed by all owners of the real property in question and their signatures must be notarized. If the real property has been placed in a trust, then all trustees of said trust must sign the Short Form Deed of Trust and Assignment of Rents, and you must also provide the County Attorney’s Office with copies of all supporting trust documentation relevant to the real property.

The following address should be placed in the top left-hand corner of the Deed (where it reads, “When Recorded Mail To”) along with the property's Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) and the Criminal Case Number,

        Superior Court, County of San Mateo

        Clerk of the Court, Criminal Division

        400 County Center , 4th Floor

        Redwood City, CA  94063

NOTE:   If, after submitting your documentation to the County Attorney’s Office for review, your proposed real property is approved for use as bail in lieu of cash or bond, then you must record the Short Form Deed of Trust and Assignment of Rents in the County Recorder's Office where the property is located and a copy of the recorded Deed of Trust must be included with your documentation to the Court.  

  1. A Promissory Note signed by the owner(s) of the real property in question promising to pay to the County of San Mateo the amount of bail in the event that the defendant fails to make all court-required appearances in the particular criminal action or any succeeding action. This document is not recorded.
  2. A Title Report or a Preliminary Title Report or a Lot Book Guarantee. A Title Report or Preliminary Title Report must be from a California title company.  If it is a Lot Book Guarantee, it must contain information regarding all judgments and liens which may have been recorded against the property. Most Lot Book Guarantees do not make references to judgments and liens. Commonly, they only contain information about loans against the property. A Title Report, Preliminary Title Report, or Lot Book Guarantee that is more than three months old will NOT be accepted.  Property profiles are NOT acceptable. If there is a negative amortized mortgage against the subject real property then the Title Report, Preliminary Title Report, or Lot Book Guarantee must be accompanied by the two most recent mortgage statements. In most cases this type of encumbrance on the property will not be acceptable. All property taxes must be paid.
  3. An Appraisal of the subject property which must be prepared by an appraiser who is certified by the State of California Office of Real Estate Appraisers.   The appraiser's license number be included on the appraisal report.   The appraisal must be no more than six (6) months old.   Penal Code section 1298 requires that the equity in a piece of real property pledged as bail must be at least twice the amount of the bail.   More than one piece of real property may be used to meet this requirement.
  4. Proof of Fire Insurance:  Fire insurance is required covering the replacement value of any structures or other improvements on the property.  If the property is a single family dwelling a copy of the declaration page of a homeowner's policy is acceptable proof of insurance.  If the property is a condominium, the declarations page of the policy for the condominium complex will be required.  


What to Do After Property Bond is Approved

Provide all documents to the County Attorney’s Office located on the 6th floor of the Hall of Justice and Records, 400 County Center in Redwood City.  County Attorney represents the County's interest in accepting real property in lieu of cash bail or bail bond and may object to the posting of a real property bond.   County Attorney will review the paperwork and will prepare a Memorandum to the Court as to whether the County finds that the documentation is adequate to support a property bond.  An Order Admitting Defendant to Bail will be prepared by the County Attorney’s Office if all appropriate documentation has been submitted and the subject property has been approved.  Depending on the complexity of the documentation provided the review process can take a few days to complete. Please allow adequate time if your proposed property bond is in anticipation of a hearing date or holiday weekend.

After the Property Bond is approved and the Memo is signed by Deputy County Attorney:

  1. Go to the Presiding Judge on the second floor with the paperwork from the County Attorney’s Office. The Presiding Judge will sign the ORDER ADMITTING DEFENDANT TO BAIL.
    [Note: the Presiding Judge will only be available to do this during the Law and Motion Calendar, Tuesday through Friday from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm.
  2. The ORDER ADMITTING DEFENDANT TO BAIL and other documents will be picked up by one of the clerks from the Criminal Clerk’s office. The Order will be filed by the Criminal Clerk’s Office.
  3. Proceed to the Criminal Clerk’s Office on the 4th floor to obtain two (2) CERTIFIED COPIES of the filed Order.
  4. Bring one Certified Copy of the Order to the Maguire Correctional Facility located at 300 Bradford Street, Redwood City, CA  for Defendant’s release.

(rev:  September 2013)