Town of Patterson – Justice Court Operations (2020M-63)

Issued Date
November 06, 2020

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Town of Patterson (Town) Justices collected, recorded, deposited, disbursed and reported all fines and fees in a timely and accurate manner.

Key Findings

Although the Justices accurately collected, recorded and deposited fines and fees, they did not disburse or report all fines and fees in a timely and accurate manner.

  • The Justices did not adequately account for bail, which led to them retaining $14,793 in bail funds that could not be identified by payee.
  • The Court clerks did not return unclaimed exonerated bail totaling $16,287 to the known payees or remit them to the Town.
  • 55 of 100 tickets reviewed were not reported or incorrectly reported to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), or were not submitted to the DMV’s Scofflaw Program.

Key Recommendations

  • Review unidentified bail funds and identify to whom they should be paid.
  • Make a good faith effort to locate the known payees who posted exonerated bails and return the bails to them.
  • Review pending cases listed on monthly and annual DMV reports to ensure their status is accurate in the Court’s and DMV’s records.

Town officials disagreed with certain aspects of our findings and recommendations, but indicated they planned to implement some of our recommendations. Appendix B includes our comments on issues raised in the Town’s response letter.