Are you owed restitution on a criminal case? Have you previously served as a juror? Have you posted a cash bond? All of these scenarios and more may entitle you to either payment by the Clerk’s Office or a refund of money you have previously deposited.

However, if you have moved or your correct address is not on file with us, we are unable to get your money to you.

In accordance with Florida Statute 28.246, the Clerk of Court is responsible for collecting and disbursing court ordered funds. These disbursements can be to other government agencies, or in some cases they can be disbursed to individuals. Depending on the type of disbursement, and in most cases, if a check we mailed is returned to us with a bad address, it is held in our vault for a year. After one year the payment is considered dormant.

Pursuant to Florida Statute 717, the Clerk of Courts must report that year’s dormant or unclaimed funds by April 30 each year to the Florida Department of Financial Services. After these funds have been disbursed, they become available to claim on the state’s website, www.FLTreasureHunt.gov. This website is very user-friendly, and the best part is that by putting your name and information into their search database, you are able to look for unclaimed funds in all 67 of Florida’s counties, simultaneously. As of this past April 30, we disbursed $49,215.33 for the year to the Florida Department of Financial Services.

In the meantime if you are expecting funds from the court, please make sure to keep the Clerk’s Office notified of any address changes. One quick phone call or email and we can update our records to ensure you receive your money in a timely manner. If you are the victim in a case and are owed restitution, please have the defendant’s name available, as this is how we reference cases when looking them up. As always, if you have any questions about unclaimed property, please contact me at nadia.daughtrey@desotoclerk.com and I will be happy to help you.

In other news around the Clerk’s Office:

Our 3rd Annual Passport Fair was held last month and it was an enormous success! With the assistance of my amazing passport clerks, we processed 94 applications in just four short hours!

Our next breakfast fundraiser will be (tomorrow), May 24 beginning at 8:30 a.m. All proceeds benefit our local Guardian Ad Litem Christmas gift program. The cost is a donation of $5 per plate and some of the finest cooks in DeSoto county work right here in the Clerk’s Office!

We will be closed (Monday) May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.

Nadia Daughtrey is Clerk of Courts for DeSoto County .^p

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