Occasionally, the entire amount advanced is not used up during the life of the suit. As of November 4, 2016, the clerk of court had refunded to the public unused costs totaling $33,633,867.65 (since 1988). The clerk of court’s office issues refunds 1) upon request, 2) at the conclusion of the case, and 3) upon the case being inactive 5 years.
Pursuant to La. R.S. 13:843.1, the clerk of court provides a refund of any unused balance remaining in the clerk’s advance deposit fund on a particular case not later than 90 days after receipt of written verification of final termination of a civil suit. Written verification of the final termination of a civil suit is an order or judgment dismissing the case. By law, if there is no order or judgment of dismissal in the record of the case, a refund may not be issued.
Before the clerk of court issues a refund, a deputy clerk performs an examination of the suit’s docket ledger to ensure that all charges were applied appropriately and according to law. As the clerk of court is the fiduciary for collection of civil court costs, he must pay 10 or more government agencies certain proceeds from civil advance deposits. Suit balances reflected on JeffNet and in the clerk’s civil docket information system typically need adjustment before a refund check may be issued; figures presented there are an estimate of funds remaining on account. Refund checks are issued monthly to the attorney of record for each litigant or the party whom advanced the funds for the suit.
You may read The New Orleans’ Advocate’s February 18, 2014 article regarding the clerk’s refund initiative here: http://www.theadvocate.com/news/neworleans/8405168-148/story.html
Call (504) 364-2912 if you have any questions about civil case refunds and billing.