United States District Court - Northern District Court of California

Claudia Wilken, Chief Judge

Richard W. Wieking, Clerk of Court

About Unclaimed Funds

Unclaimed registry funds are funds held by the court for a period of 5 years for an owner or recipient who is entitled to the money but who has failed to claim ownership, who cannot be located, or for whom payment has been returned from a last known address. After 5 years unclaimed registry funds are sent to the U.S. Treasury.  Unclaimed restitution funds are held for a period of 1 year before being sent to the U.S. Treasury.

The federal courts, as custodians of unclaimed funds, are subject to established policies and procedures for holding, safeguarding, and accounting for unclaimed funds. Under 28 U.S.C. § 2042, a party entitled to unclaimed funds may upon petition to the court and upon notice to the U.S. Attorney and full proof of the right thereto obtain an order directing payment to him/her. Proof of notice to the U.S. attorney must be provided to the court before any request for payment is approved.

Review our court’s Unclaimed Funds Ledger to determine whether you are the rightful owner of unclaimed funds. Cases that are sensitive or confidential in nature are not included in this public listing; please contact the Finance Unit if you believe you are entitled to unclaimed funds in a case not listed on the ledger. If you are entitled to unclaimed funds, please follow the procedures on this page to make a claim.

Forms

Application Procedure

  1. Complete the Application for Payment of Unclaimed Funds with included Certificate of Service and Proposed Order, which can be downloaded from this page. Note that the application must be notarized. 
    • If the funds were deposited for joint claimants, both must sign the application.
    • The applicant must have legal standing to make the claim.
    • The Certificate of Service must show that notice of the application has been mailed to the United States Attorney and any other party who may have an interest in the funds pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2042.
    • Submit specific claimant entity requirements as specified below.
    • Complete IRS Form W-9, which can be downloaded from this page. 
    • Make a copy of all documents for your records. Mail Application and all attachments to the Finance Unit, attention Finance Administrator Grace Ligh.

    Specific Claimant Entity Requirements

    1. Owners of Record
      When a claimant contacts a court to request unclaimed funds as owner of record, the claimant must submit a petition to the court requesting the release of the funds. The claimant must provide the following information to the court:
      • A notarized signature of the claimant;
      • The name, address and telephone number of the claimant;
      • The social security or tax identification number of the claimant;
      • Any additional information that the court may require.
    2. Successor Businesses
      When a successor business claimant petitions the court for release of unclaimed funds, the claimant must provide the following information to the court:
      • Proof of identity of the owner of record;
      • A notarized power of attorney signed by an officer of the successor business;
      • A statement of the signing officer's authority;
      • Documentation establishing chain of ownership from the original business claimant;
      • Any additional information that the court may require.
    3. Transferred Claims
      When a successor claimant holding a transferred claim petitions the court for release of unclaimed funds, the successor claimant must provide the following information to the court:
      • Proof of identity of the owner of record;
      • Proof of identity of the successor claimant;
      • Documentation evidencing the transfer of claim;
      • Any additional information that the court may require.
    4. Decedent's Estate (Administrator, Executor, Representative)
      When the owner of record is deceased and the decedent's estate petitions the court for release of unclaimed funds, the decedent's estate must provide to the following information to the court:
      • Proof of identity of the owner of record;
      • Proof of personal identity of the estate administrator;
      • Certified copies of probate documents establishing the representative's right to act on behalf of the decedent's estate;
      • Any additional information that the court may require.
    5. Claimant Representatives* (i.e., funds locators):
      When a representative of the owner of record or successor claimant petitions the court for release of unclaimed funds, the representative must provide the following information to the court:
      • Proof of identity of the owner of record, as required under "Owners of Record" above;
      • A notarized, original power of attorney signed by the claimant on whose behalf the representative is acting;
      • Proof of identity of the representative;
      • Documentation sufficient to establish the claimant's entitlement to the funds;
      • Any additional information that the court may require.

    *Please note: The court has adopted a policy prohibiting the issuance of a check payable solely to a fund locator, even if a power of attorney authorizes it. The court issues one check in the name of the rightful owner of record only or jointly to the owner of record and the fund locator, if authorized by a power of attorney. The court does not make a separate payment to the fund locator to split out its fee or commission.