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This is a feature of common law, and in particular the American legal system. In most European countries an appeal leads to an automatic stay of execution, unless the judge expressly ordered immediate execution.
State Rules of Civil Procedure
In New Jersey, the posting of a bond is not required to appeal a decision. However, if the party wishes to stay a judgment during the appeal, a motion must be made with the Superior Court, and the Court can require the posting of a bond or cash deposit under R.2:9-5. The same rule applies in Delaware under the State Constitution as well as the court rules.
Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure, Rule 7, provides that "except in cases involving custody of children," an appellant may obtain a stay on a lower court judgment and all other further proceedings by filing a supersedeas bond in the Superior Court. ARCAP 7(a)(1).
The supersedeas bond amount fluctuates as it is based on state regulations and case specifics. In California, for instance, the supersedeas bond amount must be 150% of the judgment amount, whereas in Florida, the amount may include two years of statutory interest for those fees.
In the State of Florida, the amount of a supersedeas bond is limited to no more than $50 million per appellant.
Obtaining a supersedeas bond may appear to be judicial red tape; however, it serves the best interest of the defendant and plaintiff. The appellant uses a supersedeas bond to stay the execution of the judgment, meaning appellant does not have to pay the full amount of the judgment until the appellate court makes a ruling and then only if the ruling is to affirm the judgment. A surety bond also replaces the need for collateral. The plaintiff, or party whom the money judgment is awarded, is fully protected by the bond and ensured payment.
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