These monies are a portion of the excess funds found in the Court’s bank account after Buckner took office November 1, 2012.
Three categories make up the amount due the County.
The primary underpayment of money is due to a miscalculation of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) funds from 2008-2012. ADR is a program which consists of differing methods of resolving conflicts without going to court. In this case, more monies were collected in the name of ADR than were statutorily allowed (the maximum fee is $7 per civil case), and were held in the Court’s bank account.
The monies outside of the $7 should have been distributed into county coffers on a monthly basis. The total ADR funds that will be transferred to Murray County Government are $193,196.50.
Additionally, remittances to the county for other purposes of $6,056.70 were collected, yet not paid to Murray County Government for 2008-2012.
Thirdly, excess deposits over five years old were also found, and are considered to be abandoned property per Georgia statute O.C.G.A. 44-12-193. The monies amounted to $43,457.10.
Buckner stated, “It is a good day for our Court to have accountability for these monies, and to distribute them responsibly.”
The remaining $35,000 will remain in the Magistrate Count account for designated expenditures.