Officials at the St. Louis Circuit Court are taking steps to identify the rightful owners of money deposited in the court registry.
The registry, which consists of such items as filing fees, court costs and small settlements, contains about $7.6 million.
Last week, state Treasurer Clint Zweifel and Presiding Judge Steven R. Ohmer signed a memorandum of understanding giving the circuit court permission to contract with an accounting firm to identify owners of the money. The agreement also allows the circuit court to use money from the fund to pay the firm.
Reducing the amount of unclaimed property in the court registry was one of the issues Circuit Clerk Jane Schweitzer raised in her campaign for the office.
Schweitzer says she hopes to have a request for bids ready by the end of April.
Once the owners are identified, their names and last known addresses, along with the abandoned money, will be forwarded to the State Treasurer’s Office, according to the agreement.
Ohmer says he hopes the accounting firm can determine how the amount in the registry grew to ensure it doesn’t happen again.