New legislation was introduced in the State of Oklahoma regarding civil litigation cases. The new law is labeled HB 1603 and caps appeal bonds in civil litigation cases at $25 million. Present legislation caps the surety bond for these cases at 100% of the judgment, exclusive of interest and expenses. The present law allows judgment debtors that can demonstrate that they will undergo considerable financial damage, as stated in the law, by having to attain the appeal bond, can have the surety bond quantity decreased. HB 1603 states that subject to these conditions, the surety bond is capped at $25 million.
Additionally, for cases concerning the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, the present cap has been modified so that the surety bond quantity can be equivalent to 10% of the net worth of the judgment debtor. The present law already capped the surety bond quantity at 100% of the judgment, excluding interest and expenses, or $25 million, whichever is less. HB 1603 caps the surety bond for tobacco cases at the least of these three quantities. The new law became active on November 1st, 2009.