The Court Order to Deposit Settlement Funds from a Minor Child’s Injury Settlement Must Be Immediately Completed

As briefly explained in other article postings or blogs on this website, in California, when the court orders that settlement funds to be received by a minor must be deposited in a financial institution (FDIC-insured bank or the like) and not disbursed without further order of the court, the order must include a provision that a certified or filed endorsed copy of the order must be delivered to a manager at the financial institution where the funds are to be deposited, and that a receipt from the financial institution must promptly be filed with the court, acknowledging receipt of both the funds deposited and the court order for deposit of funds, pursuant to California Probate Rule 7.953(a). Time is of the essence with the court order to deposit the funds for the benefit of the injured minor child.

Typically the court order will declare that the minor can have full access to his or her settlement funds when he or she reaches the age of eighteen years without further order from the court. The minor who becomes an adult on his or her eighteenth birthday can then go into the bank where his or her funds are deposited, bringing along proof of his or her age, and have full access to the settlement funds.

To sum up, the check must go in quickly - if the injury lawyer delays too long, then the court will call a hearing known as an "Order to Show Cause" on why it is taking too long.  There can be reasonable things that happen to cause a delay too.  One time, I had a mother who was the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) who could not open a bank account in California because she was in the "Chex System." For whatever reason, one bank put out a warning that she is a bank risk to open a bank account. So I had to motion the court to appoint her sister (the child's aunt as the GAL). 

Legal Research for the above FAQ:  See Scrunton v. Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd., (1995) 39 CA4th at 1607, 46 CR2d at 644. 133Goldberg v. Super. Ct. (Bankhead) (1994) 23 CA4th at 1383, 28 CR2d at 615-616 (a fee dispute between child’s parents, and a chiropractor).

Mark Blane
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San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer | California Car Accident Attorney