About the Court Funds Office
The Court Funds Office deals with:
- the assets of people who are under the age of 18
- the assets of people whose affairs are under the control of the court – for example people who, under the Mental Health Order 1986, are unable to manage their property and financial affairs
- cases where the owner of the assets cannot be identified
The Court Funds Office can also:
- hold funds which are the subject of proceedings in any of the courts of Northern Ireland
- manage and investigate unclaimed money in court
- hold some bail monies
Who the office helps and how
The Court Funds Office helps people involved in civil litigation in the courts throughout Northern Ireland. It provides banking services for those they help and, where necessary, forwards cases for investment advice to the court-appointed stockbrokers.
Types of funds dealt with by the Courts Funds Office
There are a number of different types of funds that can be dealt with by the Court Funds Office on behalf of minors or people whose affairs are under the control of the court.
Awards made to children
When money is paid into court for the benefit of a minor, the Court Funds Office will hold and invest these funds until the minor’s 18th birthday.
Funds held for people with disabilities
The Court Funds Office also holds monies and investments for people who are unable to manage their own financial affairs.
In such cases, the Court Funds Office acts under the direction of the Master (Care and Protection), a member of the judiciary of Northern Ireland assigned to protect the interests of people with a disability. The Master is assisted by the Office of Care and Protection.
The Office of Care and Protection provides an investment service dependent on the individual’s needs and, where necessary, forwards files to the court-appointed stockbrokers for investment advice.
The Court Funds Office is also responsible for maintaining and managing unclaimed money in court.
This includes money into court which has not been claimed after a reasonable time or where the rightful owner cannot be found.
Litigation is when one party sues another party through the County Court or the High Court.
In such cases, money may be lodged into court by the defendant’s representative before settlement. The Court Funds Office will hold this money until authorised to release the funds by Court Order or Notice of Acceptance (High Court cases only).
More information about how the Court Funds Office invests funds in court held on behalf of a minor or a person under a disability can be found on the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals website.