2015 Georgia Code
Title 40 - MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC
Chapter 9 - REPORTING ACCIDENTS; GIVING PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Article 2 - REPORTING ACCIDENTS; GIVING SECURITY FOR DAMAGES
§ 40-9-39 - Custody, disposition, and return of deposit
(a) The department shall place any security deposited with it under this chapter in the general fund of the state treasury. Such security shall be applicable and available only:
(1) For the payment of any settlement agreement covering any claim arising out of the accident upon instruction of the person who made the deposit; or
(2) For the payment of a judgment or judgments for damages arising out of the accident rendered against the person required to make the deposit in an action at law begun not later than one year after the deposit of such security or within one year after the date of deposit of any security following failure to make payments under an agreement to pay.
(b) Upon the expiration of one year from the date of any deposit of security, any security remaining on deposit shall be returned to the person who made such deposit or to his legal representative, if evidence satisfactory to the department has been filed with it:
(1) That no action for damages arising out of the accident for which deposit was made is pending against any person on whose behalf the deposit was made; and
(2) That there does not exist any unpaid judgment rendered against any such person in any such action.
In any case where the depositor shall die while security is on deposit with the department, the commissioner is authorized to return such security to the executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased depositor, or, if there is no executor or administrator and the amount on deposit is $1,000.00 or less, the commissioner is authorized to pay over such deposit to the surviving spouse or heirs at law of the deceased depositor. In any event, no deposit shall be returned unless and until satisfactory evidence has been filed by the person seeking such return, under the same conditions as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection for the filing of such evidence by the depositor.
(c) In any case where, after the expiration of one year from the date of any deposit of security, the commissioner is unable to contact the depositor by mail or receives no response from the depositor, the commissioner shall have a notice printed in the local newspaper in which legal notices are usually printed, in the county of the last known address of the depositor, once each week for four consecutive weeks. Such notice shall specify that the depositor is eligible for the return of the security subject to the provisions of this Code section and shall further specify that, if no response is received from the notice within one year from the date on which the last notice is printed, the security will be deposited in the general fund of the state treasury. If no response to the notice is received by the commissioner, the commissioner shall dispose of the security as provided in this subsection. The cost of the publication shall be deducted from the security on deposit, regardless of whether the security is returned to the depositor or his legal representative or deposited in the state treasury. After such security is deposited in the general fund of the state treasury, the state treasurer is authorized to return such security to the proper person as provided in this Code section as a refund, in the event proof is furnished to the commissioner that such person is the proper person to whom such security should be refunded. The state treasurer shall make no such refund without a certification by the commissioner of the name of the person to whom the refund should be made.
(d) Upon receiving a certificate from the clerk of any court wherein a judgment has been obtained against the person in whose behalf the deposit was made, which certificate shall set forth the parties to the litigation, the time, place, and date of the accident, and the fact that the judgment is unsatisfied of record and that the time for appeal has expired, it shall be the duty of the commissioner to transmit immediately to the clerk of such court any cash security held by the department, to be applied to the satisfaction of the judgment and any accrued interest and court costs. Any additional security over and above the amount required to satisfy the foregoing shall be returned by the department to the depositor.
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