Special bail


“Persons who undertake generally that if the defendant be condemned in the action, he shall satisfy the debt, costs, and damages . . . or that they will do it for him.” A plaintiff could initiate a civil suit by summons, which simply notified the defendant that the action would be heard by the court on a certain date. Alternatively, if the plaintiff feared that the defendant would flee or otherwise abscond with resources that would cover the damages sought in the suit, an affidavit needed to be filed that stated that the plaintiff was in danger of losing the amount claimed and that the court needed to require the defendant to enter into a recognizance conditioned on appearance at the court for the trial. In Ohio, the law indicated that the amount of the had to be for “double the sum indorsed on the writ,” likely to ensure that defendants, or their sureties, would be able to pay the judgment and costs.