Clerk’s office starting to send out refund checks

Even as the legal wrangling over former Iberia Parish Clerk of Court Michael Thibodeaux’s conviction on 14 felony counts last month continues, current Clerk of Court David Ditch is taking steps to rectify the issues that led to Thibodeaux’s indictment and subsequent conviction.

Ditch said Thursday that the clerk’s office is starting to send out refund checks totalling some $362,000 to litigants who put up funds for advance court costs that were not spent. That figure includes more than $47,000 in funds that were included on a list of funds for which Thibodeaux had created replacement checks and transferred funds into the office’s operations account.

Chief Deputy Clerk of Court Ryan Huval printed out a list of those 334 checks in 2012, then provided it along with other documents he had saved for years to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor after he was fired in November 2015 to kick off the auditor’s probe of the Iberia Clerk of Court office that resulted in Thibodeaux’s indictment.

“I am proud of our staff members for the dedication they have shown over the last three weeks as they do everything possible to put faith and trust back into our institution,” Ditch said.

Ditch also announced that the office entered into a contract with Tyler Technologies to allow for the e-filing of civil documents. That process would eliminate the need for advance funds to be held, as lawyers and litigants would be able to pay any fees as documents are filed.

For more information on the service, and other e-filing opportunities, contact the Iberia Parish Clerk of Court at 365-7282.

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