Finance Unit Frequently Asked Questions


What forms of payment does the court accept?

The court accepts payments made by cash, checks, money orders, cashiers checks, credit and debit cards at the front counter, (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover), and wire deposits for large amounts only. Please call the Finance Department at 415-522-4621 for wire instructions. A court order for deposit is required.

How should the check be made payable?

Please make checks payable to “Clerk, U.S. District Court.” Write your case number and any other reference number or information on your check so that we can properly apply your payment. Make sure that you have entered all the required information (correct payee name, amount, date, your signature, all corrections initialed, etc.) on your check before mailing to our office to avoid having your check returned to you for missing information.

Where should I send my check?

You may mail your check to any of the following offices:

U.S. District Court
450 Golden Gate Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
U.S. District Court
1301 Clay St., Suite 400S
Oakland, CA 94612
U.S. District Court
280 South First St., Rm 2112
San Jose, CA 95113

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Who do I call to find out my outstanding balance for criminal debt (special assessment, restitution, fine)?

Please call the Finance Department at 415-522-4621 for the principal amount owed. You will need to call the U.S. Attorney's Financial Litigation Unit at 415-436-6970 to find out how much interest and/or penalty amounts might have been assessed on the balance that is due. The Clerk's Office is not able to calculate interest or penalty amounts.

Who do I contact to inquire about a restitution payment due to me?

Please call the Finance Unit at (415) 522-4621 for the status of payments.

Who do I contact to notify about a change of address for restitution checks due to me?

Please send a letter, fax or e-mail to us with the case title and number to the Finance Unit at U.S. District Court, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102, fax (415) 522-2150, or e-mail at

What do I need to do to change the payee's name on a restitution check due to marriage, divorce, death, next of kin, etc?

Submit to the court a request with supporting documentation to have your name changed. If approved, the court will issue a court order authorizing the name change.  If funds have been transferred to Treasury's unclaimed funds accounts, please follow the instructions on our Unclaimed Funds section and submit the applicable forms to the Finance Unit.

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How is the money that is deposited with the court for criminal bonds and other registry funds invested?

The money is used to purchase Treasury securities through the Bureau of Public Debt that will be held at Treasury, in an account in the name and credit of the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Please refer to General Order 31 (.pdf) “In the Matter of Court Registry Funds” for additional information.

How do I get my money which was posted for a criminal bond returned to me?

A court order to return the funds or to exonerate the bond is required to release the criminal bond.  Unless otherwise ordered, the money will be returned to the person(s) named on the Affidavit of Owner of Cash Security form completed at the time the money was posted. Please refer to General Order 55 (.pdf) “Bond Exoneration and Return of Property” for more information.

How can I get a reconveyance for my property which was posted to the court to secure bail?

A court order to reconvey the property or to exonerate the bond is required to release the lien from the property. If there is no such court order, please contact defense counsel to obtain one. Once a court order has been obtained, please submit a completed Reconveyance form to the Finance Department for signature. It is the responsibility of the property owner to record the signed Reconveyance form at the recorder's office where the property is located. Please refer to General Order 55 “Bond Exoneration and Return of Property” for additional information.

Why did I receive a 1099-INT form?

A 1099-INT form is mailed in January of each year to each recipient who received at least $10 of interest income from the court in the prior year.  The interest income is from money deposited in the court's registry for criminal bonds, interpleader funds, and other cases pending the outcome of the litigation.  Additional information about the 1099-INT form can be found on the IRS website at,-Interest-Income.

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