Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV


  ( Title 8 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 206. )

CHAPTER 6. Provisions Relating to Trial Courts [71043 - 71386]

  ( Heading of Chapter 6 amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 75, Sec. 122. )

ARTICLE 10. Uniform Accounting System for Courts [71380 - 71386]
  ( Heading of Article 10 amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 931, Sec. 307. )


The Controller shall establish, supervise, and maintain trial court revenue distribution guidelines, including a program to audit the accuracy of distributions as provided by law, to ensure that all fines, penalties, forfeitures, and fees assessed by courts, and their collection and appropriate disbursement, shall be properly accounted for and distributed. The trial court revenue distribution guidelines shall apply to superior courts, counties, including counties’ probation departments, central collection bureaus, and any other agencies or entities having a role in this process.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 703, Sec. 17. (AB 2881) Effective January 1, 2017.)


Such system may provide for bank accounts for each municipal court, in which money received by such court may be deposited and disbursed as provided therein, and for such records, reports, and procedures as the Controller may deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 931, Sec. 309. Effective September 28, 1998.)


Every judge of a superior court, or the clerk of any such court, who willfully fails to keep accounts pursuant to the system or to account for the money paid into and disbursed by the court pursuant to the system established by the Controller pursuant to this article is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 784, Sec. 356. Effective January 1, 2003.)


The system established pursuant to this article may provide for the deposit of all money collected by superior courts in the county treasury, for disbursement from it, and for the audit of such accounts by the county auditor.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 784, Sec. 357. Effective January 1, 2003.)


This article shall supersede any conflicting provisions of law existing on September 22, 1951.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 206.)


(a) Each superior court shall adopt a written policy, consistent with rules adopted by, or trial court financial policies and procedures authorized by, the Judicial Council under subdivision (a) of Section 77206, governing the acceptance of checks and money orders in payment of any fees, fines, or bail deposits. The policy shall permit clerks to accept checks and money orders under conditions that tend to assure their validity.

(b) A court shall accept a personal check, bank cashier’s check, or money order for payment of any fee or fine, or for a deposit of bail for any offense that is not declared to be a felony, provided the check or money order meets the criteria established in subdivision (a). However, no court shall be required to accept a check in excess of three hundred dollars ($300) from a defendant in custody as a deposit of bail for any alleged violation of the Penal Code.

(c) The acceptance of a check pursuant to this section constitutes payment of the obligation owed to the payee public agency to the extent of the amount of the check as of the date of acceptance.

(d) If any check offered in payment pursuant to this section is returned to the payee without payment, a reasonable charge for the returned check not to exceed the actual costs incurred may be imposed to recover the processing and collection costs. This charge may be added to, and become part of, any underlying obligation other than an obligation that constitutes a lien on real property, or a different method of payment for that payment and future payments by that person may be prescribed. If the costs are incurred by the county, the charges imposed for a returned check shall be retained by the treasurer of the county and be deposited in the county general fund. If the costs are incurred by the court, the charges imposed for a returned check shall be distributed to the court under Section 68085.1.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 75, Sec. 123. Effective July 19, 2005. Operative January 1, 2006, by Sec. 156 of Ch. 75.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV10