The Brief - September 2015

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The Brief

Vol. 11, No. 8                                                                                 September 2015


Don’t you hate forgetting where you left that $500?

The Clerk’s office is holding appeals cost bonds that were never addressed in court orders. Until this year, cost bonds were a regular occurrence in civil appeals. As cases made their way between levels of courts, the cost bonds got overlooked when the rest of the case reached final disposition. Without an order directing the Clerk to return the bond to the person or entity that posted it, the bonds must sit and wait.

If you or your clients posted an appeal bond in any case, it’s worth checking the record to see if funds are still on hold. A motion and proposed order to the court directing the Clerk to disburse the bond will clear our books and get the money back where it came from. Please ensure your draft orders specify the amount of the bond, the name the Clerk should write on the disbursement check, and where to send the money. As a reminder, the rule that required cost bonds on appeal was repealed on 1/1/2015. The Clerk now requires a court order to accept a cost bond on appeal.

Wrestling with restitution

For those who practice criminal law, it is important to make sure victim restitution is accurately documented throughout the case. For example, if the court orders restitution in a specific amount to a specific victim, the order needs to match any restitution ledger the adult probation department prepares and any provisions of a plea agreement.

Sometimes plea agreements state the defendant will pay a specific sum of money to a victim but that agreement never gets translated to a court order. When restitution is paid through the Clerk’s office, the Clerk only has authority to distribute funds to those who are identified as a victim in a court order. As a result, if payment will be through the Clerk, the Clerk needs an order specifying how to distribute it. Information in plea agreements is not entered into the Clerk’s financial systems because they are not signed orders.

Commercial court pilot

The commercial court pilot is underway. If your case qualifies, make sure to include the words “commercial court assignment requested” on the initial complaint’s caption and check the box on the civil filing cover sheet. The court manages the cases in the pilot to promote expeditious and efficient resolution of disputes. To review related administrative orders and experimental civil rule of procedure 8.1 defining commercial court cases, see