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Related to recognizance: recognisance, own recognizance


A recorded obligation, entered into before a tribunal, in which an individual pledges to perform a specific act or to subscribe to a certain course of conduct.

For example, an individual who owes money might enter into a recognizance whereby she agrees to satisfy the debt.

In Criminal Law, an individual who has been found guilty of an offense can be mandated to enter into a recognizance whereby she agrees to keep the peace in the future. An individual who has been accused but not yet convicted of a criminal offense may be allowed to go free prior to the trial without being required to post a bail bond. The accused individual provides the court with a formal written statement, which declares that his failure to appear will precipitate payment to the court of a specifically indicated sum of money. This is known as a release on one's own recognizance, or personal recognizance.


noun acknowledgment, assurance, avowal, bond, commitment, guaranty, obligation, promise, security, surety, warranty
See also: binder, compromise, concession, contract, guaranty, identification, recollection, remembrance, specialty


a bond given by an offender to obey a judgment or keep the peace.

RECOGNIZANCE, contracts. An obligation of record entered into before a court or officer duly authorized for that purpose, with a condition to do some act required by law, which is therein specified. 2 Bl. Com. 341; Bro. Ab. h.t.; Dick. Just. h.t.; 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 90.
     2. Recognizances relate either to criminal or civil matters. 1. Recognizances in criminal cases, are either that the party shall appear before the proper court to answer to such charges as are or shall be made against him, that he shall keep the peace or be of good behaviour. Witnesses are also required to be bound in a recognizance to testify.
     3.-2. In civil cases, recognizances are entered into by bail, conditioned that they will pay the debt, interest and costs recovered by the plaintiff under certain contingencies. There are also cases where recognizances are entered into under the authority and requirements of statutes.
     4. As to the form. The party need not sign it; the court, judge or magistrate having authority to take the same, makes a short memorandum on the record, which is sufficient. 2 Binn. R. 481; 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 90; 2 Wash. C. C. R. 422; 9 Mass. 520; 1 Dana, 523; 1 Tyler, 291; 4 Vern. 488; 1 Stew. & Port. 465; 7 Vern. 529; 2 A. R. Marsh. 131; 5 S. & R. 147; Vide generally, Com. Dig. Forcible Entry, D 27; Id. Obligation, K; Whart. Dig. h.t. Vin. Ab. h.t.; Rolle's Ab. h.t.; 2 Wash. C. C. Rep. 422; Id. 29; 2 Yeates, R. 437; 1 Binn. R. 98, note 1 Serg. & Rawle, 328 3 Yeates, R. 93; Burn. Just. h.t. Vin. Ab. h.t.; 2 Sell. Pract. 45.

References in periodicals archive ?
34) Offenders were then brought before the Justices and either prosecuted by indictment, committed to a house of correction, or asked to enter into a recognizance, depending upon the circumstances.
At his arraignment in Western Worcester District Court in East Brookfield on Tuesday he was released on personal recognizance.
Bayala was released on personal recognizance after being arraigned on the first charge.
and charged with failure to appear upon recognizance.
Grandinetti on personal recognizance at the request of Assistant District Attorney Terry J.
Dika on her own recognizance and ordered her to turn in her passport to the Probation Department and to not drive until her license has been reinstated.
Boutin on personal recognizance after a bail hearing yesterday requested by Mr.
About 70 percent of so-called non-Mexican illegal immigrants captured along the southern border of the United States are released on their own recognizance to appear at a future deportation hearing, Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Dunlap, who had a total of seven children in the Toyota Corolla when she was stopped on the Antelope Valley Freeway on May 20, is free on her own recognizance.
Renaud was arraigned Tuesday at Dudley District Court and released on personal recognizance.
She was released on her own recognizance the following afternoon and is scheduled to appear next month in court.
on two warrants for failure to appear upon recognizance.