Chautauqua County – Court and Trust (2020-C&T-1)

Issued Date
April 24, 2020

[read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

Determine whether County officials have established appropriate controls to safeguard and account for court and trust funds for the period January 1, 2017 through February 11, 2020.


The County Director of Finance, County Clerk and Surrogate’s Court are responsible for maintaining up-to-date and complete records for court and trust funds and abandoned property. Pursuant to New York State Finance Law, the Director is required to submit a report on an annual basis to the State Comptroller accounting for all money, securities and other properties deposited to court and ordered into her custody.

Key Findings

  • The records maintained by the Director of Finance were generally up-to-date and complete. We also found the Director of Finance established adequate procedures, maintained appropriate records and properly reported the condition of court and trust funds to the State Comptroller as prescribed by statute.
  • We identified 90 actions totaling $4,405 that improperly remained in the Director of Finance’s custody that should have been turned over to the State Comptroller as abandoned property.
  • The County Clerk is not maintaining appropriate court and trust fund records.

Key Recommendations

  • The Director of Finance should ensure that all money deemed abandoned property is paid to the State Comptroller in a timely manner.
  • The County Clerk should maintain a court and trust fund register as required by law.