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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ind. Courts - "Audit Reveals Questionable Practices In Small Claims Court: Funds Possibly Misappropriated, Auditors Say "

WRTV6's Kara Kenney reported last evening. Here are a few quotes. This is also a video:

INDIANAPOLIS -- A recently released audit from the State Board of Accounts revealed questionable money handling and possible illegal activity inside the Center Township Small Claims Court in Indianapolis.

The report, which covers activity from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2010, was released at the same time as a Supreme Court Task Force investigation already underway in all nine small claims courts in Marion County.

Auditors said they found that the Center Township Small Claims Court collected fines and fees from taxpayers, but failed to disperse $1,931,438 worth to the state of Indiana, Marion County and Center Township.

According to the audit, "The court has only disbursed one check to the state of Indiana since 2006."

Generally, the funds are used for drug and crime prevention programs and to keep the judicial system running.

Deputy Examiner with the State Board of Accounts Paul Joyce said the practices are in violation of state law, RTV6's Kara Kenney reported.

“It's the law. They're violating the law the Legislature set into place," Joyce said.

The State Board of Accounts also found the court hanging on to hundreds of thousands of dollars in judgment checks owed to taxpayers.

According to the audit, “The small claims outstanding check list at December 31, 2010, totaled $294,466. The court did not have procedures established to notify individuals who were entitled to payment. The court did not mail judgment checks to the individuals they were due.”

The story also links to the State Board of Accounts audit of the Center Twp. Division of the Marion County Small Claims Court, filed 3/15/12.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 21, 2012 09:28 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts