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Have you have received a letter from the King County Clerk's Office notifying you that the Court's Registry may have unclaimed property (money or funds) that belong to you?  If so, the following are general instructions created to help you verify that you are the rightful owner of the funds and the step to complete the process to receive an order of disbursement.

If you believe the Clerk is holding funds belonging to you, the following are an outline of the next steps:

  • Complete and file with the clerk's office, a Motion to Disburse Funds. In this document clearly explain to the court why the funds should be disbursed to you and provide any supporting documentation.
  • Fill out a proposed Order to Disburse Funds. Send a copy of the motion and proposed order draft to all other parties in the case.
  • Complete the Declaration of Mailing of Motion and Order to Disburse Funds and file this with the clerk's office.

After waiting the required period of time to receive a response from any other party:

  • If no response, submit the documents and no reply information to the court via Ex Parte via the Court.
  • If an objection is received, file a Notice of Court Date - Ex Parte for the court to hear oral argument.

For more information, review the FAQs below and the Clerk's Unclaimed Property General Instructions document .

Frequently Asked Questions

Unclaimed property refers to money or funds that have being held by the Superior Court Clerk’s Office for an extended period of time.  All funds that are deposited with the Superior Court Clerk’s Office are placed in a holding account referred to as “the court’s registry” until the funds are eligible to be disbursed. Funds are considered unclaimed if they have been in the court’s registry for more than two years.
You are receiving a letter because you were either an involved party or an attorney to a Superior Court case that has unclaimed funds. The letter does not necessarily determine ownership of the unclaimed funds, it is meant to serve as a notice of the unclaimed funds and prompt any necessary action by the recipients. It is up to the recipient(s) of the letter to take the proper steps to claim the funds.
The unclaimed property letter will provide guidance on how you can claim these funds. If the letter states that you need to provide address documentation, then follow the instructions in the letter to send the proper documentation to the Superior Court Clerk’s Office. If the letter states that you need to obtain a court order (referred to as an Order to Disburse), please follow the instructions in the Unclaimed Property Standard Forms & Instructions.
The Clerk’s Office cannot provide legal advice. It is your decision if you wish to hire or seek legal advice from an attorney. Court orders can be obtained with or without legal counsel.
The length of the process varies, there is no specified time frame that the Clerk’s Office can provide. There are different factors that can affect the length of the process including whether or not proper documentation was submitted.
Yes, please provide written notice to the Clerk’s Office if you are in the process of getting an Order to Disburse so we can make sure the money doesn’t get turned over as unclaimed property.
If you wish to claim the funds, please respond by the deadline indicated on your letter. This will ensure that the Clerk’s Office has sufficient time to process your documentation or signed court order.
If the funds are for restitution, they will be turned over to the County Treasurer in late October. If the funds are non-restitution related, they will be turned over to the Washington State Department of Revenue in late October.
Yes, you can still claim the funds but it may take longer for the funds to be paid to you. If the unclaimed funds are for restitution, you can contact the Accounting section at the Clerk’s Office at 206-477-0812. If the unclaimed funds are non-restitution related, you can contact the Department of Revenue by visiting their website at http://ucp.dor.wa.gov/.
Examples of unclaimed funds are restitution owed to a victim in a criminal case, surplus money from a trustee’s sale, garnishments, child or spousal support, criminal bail, civil bonds, investment earnings, and civil judgment payments.
You can contact the Clerk's Disbursements section at 206-477-0813.