Find and claim money in a court account
You can find and claim money you’re entitled to from a civil court in England and Wales if it has not been claimed.
This could be money paid to or awarded by a court (for example to settle a court case) to you or to someone whose estate you’re entitled to claim.
Money paid to a civil court in England and Wales is held in a Court Funds Office account. It’s classed as unclaimed if both:
- Court Funds Office has been unable to contact anyone entitled to the money
- there has been no activity on the account for over 10 years
The rules are different for unclaimed money held by courts in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Check there’s money you could be entitled to
Search online for unclaimed court accounts or call the Court Funds Office helpline.
Court Funds Office helpline
Telephone: 0300 0200 199
Find out about call charges
If you get a call from a someone offering to claim money on your behalf for a fee, it will not be from Court Funds Office because they do not charge a fee.
Get information to prepare your claim
Write to Court Funds Office to find out:
- the amount of money in the account
- the court that the money was originally paid to
To help them identify the account, include the information you already know, for example:
- a print-out of results from your search of unclaimed accounts
- the account name or number
- the name of the court case the money was from
- the court that dealt with the case
- who the money was paid to court for
- who paid the money to court
- any relevant dates - such as when the court case was held
When you ask for the information, you’ll need to include both of the following:
- evidence that the money could belong to you or someone you’re responsible for or representing, such as copies of a will or grant of administration, birth, death or marriage certificates, census records or a court order (ask the court that issued it for a copy)
- evidence of your identity, for example copy of your driving licence or passport
Send your letter and evidence to Court Funds Office. You’ll get a reply by letter.
Court Funds Office
Find out how your personal information will be stored and used.
Make a claim
Use the information to make your claim to the court that the money was originally paid to. Contact the court to find out how.
Each court has its own processes, but typically you’ll need to:
- provide evidence that you’re entitled to the money - or you’re representing the person who is
- pay a fee
The court will decide if you’re entitled to the money and order Court Funds Office to make a payment to you if your claim is successful.
You’ll usually receive the money within 3 months.
If the court does not have the original paperwork
The court may not be prepared to consider your claim if it no longer has the paperwork from the case.
Make your claim to the Senior Master (a judge from the King’s Bench Division of the High Court) instead. You’ll need to:
- fill in a witness statement to support your claim
- contact the King’s Bench Division
King’s Bench Division
Telephone: 020 3936 8957
Find out about call charges
King's Bench Division
The Royal Courts of Justice