The following materials provide a general outline of the process for obtaining funds in closed cases. Each case, however, will have its own particular set of facts and circumstances that will indicate how that case ought to be handled, so the following process might not apply to every case or indeed any particular case. It is only a broad, general description of what someone applying for closed case funds might want to consider doing.
Determine whether the amount of funds being held in your own case is worth the time and expense of this process, and then decide whether you ought to hire an attorney to assist you or whether you are going to continue this process on your own. Remember that the funds balance shown might not be due to you at all or all of it might be yours to collect. We cannot tell you this. It is for the Judge assigned to your case to make that determination.
If you are proceeding on your own, you must prepare an “Application for the Distribution of Excess Funds” in which you state your claim for whatever funds you think that you are entitled to. You must follow court rules concerning the form and content of this Application. When completed, you must file this Application in Room 315 of the Court House at the Civil Case Cost Desk.
You must also serve a copy of your Application on every party in your case. The names of these parties and their mailing addresses (or the names and addresses of their attorneys if they were represented) can be found in the Case Docket. You will have to find the Case Docket papers in Room 315 of the Court House (older cases will have to be pulled on microfilm or from the records Center if stored off-site) or from the Web site (generally, for cases initiated after January 1, 1988). It is mandatory that you serve all parties copies of your Application or your case might not be heard in court.
After filing your Application and serving copies on the other parties, you must also obtain a hearing date from the Magistrate’s Office, located in Room 585 of the Court House. That office can provide you with whatever information is needed to obtain a hearing date. That office will notify the other parties in your case of the scheduled hearing date.
Prepare your case for presentation to the Judge on the scheduled hearing date. You must basically explain to the Court why you are entitled to any funds and if so, how much of the excess funds on hand. You will also have to show that the other parties in the case were sent a copy of your Application and had the opportunity to appear and contest your receipt of funds. Some other parties may be present that day and may indeed contest your receipt or make their own claims for funds. When you come to Court bring with you a written “Order of Distribution of Excess Funds” for the Judge to sign. You will need to look at other similar Orders to see what you should include in this Order.
The Courtroom Clerk handling your case will file your signed Order for Distribution. It is usually filed and processed the same or next day. A check for the ordered distribution of funds will generally be available to you within three (3) days of the date that your Distribution Order has been filed and docketed. You can personally pick up this check at the Civil Case Cost Desk in Room 315 of the Court House or it can be mailed to you at the address you indicate on your initial Application. If you appear in person, please bring a photo identification document with you. We require proof of who you are before we will release this check.
If you are not going to retain the services of an attorney to help you process your claim for the distribution of excess funds, you can get additional help as to the required forms from the Clerk of Courts. Please Note: These are standardized, suggested forms and may not fit the needs of your case or any particular case. The Clerk of Courts is offering these forms as a convenience to the public and does not directly or indirectly warrant, represent or guarantee users that they are the correct or adequate forms. The forms needed for each case will have to be decided upon by the party submitting them.
The standardized Motion and Notice of Hearing and a recommended Order are available in Room 315 of the Courthouse, 1000 Main Street, at the Civil Issue Desk and online by directly downloading from the following links:
Pick up the Motion and Notice of Hearing, complete the form as much as possible and take it to Room 585 of the Courthouse, which is the Magistrate’s Office, to obtain a hearing date and time for your Motion.
Insert the hearing information into the Motion form, where indicated, then go back to Room 315 of the Courthouse to the public computer corridor to get an on-line copy of your docket, where you will be able to get the name(s) and address(es) of the parties to whom you will have to mail copies of the Motion and Notice of Hearing. Insert these names into the Motion and file the Motion, with at least one extra copy (for you to keep for your records and to use for a mailing reference) at the Issue Desk in Room 315 of the Courthouse.
You must then mail a copy of the Motion and Notice of Hearing to every person listed in the Appearance Docket for your case and this mailing should be completed by the date you put in the Certification of Service portion of your Motion.
You should then prepare whatever materials you think that you might need for your hearing (such as paid receipts, lien releases, and the like).
Attend your hearing as scheduled and bring with you the prepared, standardized Order that you picked up at the Issue Desk, which you can give to the Court at your hearing. Depending on whether and to what extent the Court agrees with your claim, your work is completed in this matter. If you have been successful, you can pick up a check for the full or at least part of your claim. If you have been unsuccessful, there are additional procedures to follow that are outside the scope of this program. You might need legal counsel to pursue these additional procedures.
NOTE: Further information about the Excess Fund Process and cases with excess funds may be obtained by calling (513) 946-5661 during normal business hours.