Code Section Group

Civil Code - CIV

DIVISION 3. OBLIGATIONS [1427 - 3273.16]

  ( Heading of Division 3 amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 160, Sec. 14. )


  ( Part 4 enacted 1872. )

TITLE 13. SURETYSHIP [2787 - 2856]

  ( Heading of Title 13 amended by Stats. 1939, Ch. 453. )

ARTICLE 4. Liability of Sureties [2806 - 2811]
  ( Heading of Article 4 amended by Stats. 1939, Ch. 453. )


A suretyship obligation is to be deemed unconditional unless its terms import some condition precedent to the liability of the surety.

(Amended by Stats. 1939, Ch. 453.)


A surety who has assumed liability for payment or performance is liable to the creditor immediately upon the default of the principal, and without demand or notice.

(Amended by Stats. 1939, Ch. 453.)


Where one assumes liability as surety upon a conditional obligation, his liability is commensurate with that of the principal, and he is not entitled to notice of the default of the principal, unless he is unable, by the exercise of reasonable diligence, to acquire information of such default, and the creditor has actual notice thereof.

(Amended by Stats. 1939, Ch. 453.)


The obligation of a surety must be neither larger in amount nor in other respects more burdensome than that of the principal; and if in its terms it exceeds it, it is reducible in proportion to the principal obligation.

(Amended by Stats. 1939, Ch. 453.)


A surety is liable, notwithstanding any mere personal disability of the principal, though the disability be such as to make the contract void against the principal; but he is not liable if for any other reason there is no liability upon the part of the principal at the time of the execution of the contract, or the liability of the principal thereafter ceases, unless the surety has assumed liability with knowledge of the existence of the defense. Where the principal is not liable because of mere personal disability, recovery back by the creditor of any res which formed all or part of the consideration for the contract shall have the effect upon the liability of the surety which is attributed to the recovery back of such a res under the law of sales generally.

(Amended by Stats. 1939, Ch. 453.)


Any party required to give a bond undertaking or other obligation may agree with his surety for the deposit of any money and assets for which the surety is responsible with a bank, savings bank, safe deposit, or trust company authorized by law to do business as such, or other depository approved by the court or a judge thereof, if such deposit is otherwise proper, for the safekeeping of such money and assets and in such manner as to prevent the withdrawal of any or all such money and assets without the written consent of the surety, or an order of court or a judge thereof, made on such notice to the surety as the court or judge may direct. Such agreement shall not in any manner release, or change the liability of, the principal or surety as established by the terms of the bond.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 37.)

CIVCivil Code - CIV4.