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Disbursements and Unclaimed Property

Disbursements of Court Registry Funds

The Superior Court Clerk’s Disbursement Department may only release funds deposited into the Clerk's Trust Fund / Registry of the Court if there is a signed court order filed with the Clerk's Office. The Clerk's Office releases funds only by check and only to parties identified on the order. Checks are available on Friday afternoons.

Per RCW 2.32.090 and the laws of the State of Washington, the Disbursements Clerk may not give legal advice. For assistance with filing an order with the court to release funds, please check with an attorney or other legal resource.

Unclaimed Property in the Court's Registry

If you received a letter from the King County Clerk's Office stating that the Court's Registry may have unclaimed property (money or funds) that belong to you, you will need to verify that you are the rightful owner of the funds to get an order of disbursement.

If you believe the Clerk is holding funds belonging to you:

Required Documents:

  • Motion to Disburse Funds with the Clerk's Office. Clearly explain to the court why the funds should be disbursed to you and provide any supporting documentation.
  • Proposed Order to Disburse Funds.
  • Declaration of Mailing of Motion and Order to Disburse Funds.

File these forms with the Clerk's Office. For filing instructions, click HERE.

Send a copy of the documents to all other parties in the case.

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

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

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Questions about receipt of payments

If you have questions regarding receipt of a payment based on a filed court order instructing the Clerk of Court to release funds, please contact the Disbursement Department at 206-477-0813. You may also call to arrange for personal pick-up of a check.

Frequently Asked Questions - Disbursements and Unclaimed Property

The Clerk’s Office can only release funds held in the Clerk's Trust Fund (Registry of the Court) as directed by a signed court order and only to the person(s) named in the order.  In certain cases a judge or commissioner may instruct the Clerk to send a disbursement check to the attorney, on behalf of the recipient.

For help filing an order with the court to release funds, please contact an attorney or other legal service.  The clerk's office is prohibited from giving legal advice.

The funds must be in the court registry and your disbursement order must be received by Wednesday of the normal five day work week to ensure that your disbursement check will be printed in that same week’s batch. The Clerk's practice is to mail checks, via US mail, every Friday at 1:30 pm.

If you would like confirmation that your disbursement check will be printed and sent out this week, you may call our office at 206-477-0813 to confirm.  When you call please be prepared to provide both your name and your case number.

Checks can also be made available for pick-up on Fridays, in the Seattle Courthouse Clerk's Office location, if we are given advance notice of your intent to do so.

Please contact the Clerk’s Office at 206-477-0812 for restitution cases and 206-477-0813 for civil case disbursements to confirm a disbursement payment was sent. Please be prepared to provide your name and case number.

To update your address of record, follow the instruction HERE.

We can re-issue a disbursement check once the original is returned to us by USPS and stamped invalid address.  If the original check is not returned to the Clerk’s Office, you will be charged a stop payment fee of $35.00 and the Clerk will re-issue the disbursement check once we receive an official address update.

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.

Yes, there are links to the standard forms on this page. Other forms can be found on the Clerk's Forms page.

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.

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.