Jefferson County – Court and Trust (2022-C&T-6)

Issued Date
November 23, 2022

[read complete report – pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether County officials have established appropriate controls to safeguard and account for court and trust funds for the period January 1, 2019 through September 7, 2022.


Pursuant to a court order, certain assets may be provided to the court and then delivered to the County Treasurer (Treasurer) for safekeeping. Payments made pursuant to court orders commonly involve surplus money from foreclosures and contract disputes resulting in a mechanic’s lien. These actions are recorded in the County Clerk’s office when payments are deposited as required by court order. Additionally, in certain circumstances, funds from estates are entrusted to the Treasurer for safekeeping by order of the Surrogate’s Court. Together, the Treasurer, County Clerk and Surrogate’s Court must develop sound procedures and processes which, when implemented properly and consistently, provide a system of internal controls to account for and safeguard these funds.

Key Findings

  • We found the Treasurer generally established adequate procedures, maintained appropriate records and properly reported court and trust funds and abandoned property.
  • However, the Treasurer did not provide the depository (bank used to hold court and trust money) with an itemized list of each court action and other required information.
  • We found the records maintained by the County Clerk and Surrogate’s Court were up to date and complete and we noted no material discrepancies.

Key Recommendations

The Treasurer should:

  1. The Treasurer should ensure court and trust actions are properly communicated to the bank and that a depository report is maintained and submitted to the Treasurer and OSC annually.