During the past year, Cobb County Superior Court has handed out approximately $750,000 in restitution to crime victims from the past three decades. The money had been forgotten until a court clerk recently discovered it.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has the story.
The chief deputy clerk of Cobb County Superior Court, Elva Dornbusch, was the one who discovered the forgotten account. Cobb County is using an internet database that provides current available contact information to locate those who are owed the funds. While, 4,100 people and businesses have received phone calls concerning restitution money owed to them, the court is still trying to locate around 800 more. Some of the money comes from cases that stem back to the 1980s, and many of the victims have since moved or gone out of businesses making the search difficult.
Those who are owed restitution still have a few more months to reclaim their money; however, funds that are not claimed will be turned over to the state. A state law requires unclaimed victim restitution money to go to the crime victims emergency fund which has raised over $400,000 since 2007. The fund helps crime victims with hospital bills, funerals, and other expenses. Money that was collected more than five years ago automatically goes into the fund. However, Dornbusch made the effort to find as many victims as possible before turning the money over to the state.
Our firm has helped crime victims recover restitution, both in criminal cases and civil lawsuits throughput Georgia, and we appreciate the efforts of this clerk to locate and compensate victims of crime. I’ll bet there are a lot of crime victims in Cobb County that appreciate her, too.
Pate & Brody is an accomplished Georgia law firm with offices in Atlanta, Macon and Madison. Our lawyers are dedicated to pursuing justice for crime victims, people who have been defrauded by deceptive business practices, or injured through the fault of others. Our lawyers have been recognized on the list of Georgia’s “Super Lawyers”, and included among Georgia’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend Magazine.