- Section 1:GENERALLY
- Section 2: DOCKET RECORDS OR BOOKS
- Section 3: TRUST FUND RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS BOOK
- Section 4: OPERATING ACCOUNT BOOKS AND RECORDS
- Section 5: DIARY OF DAILY ACTIVITIES
- Section 6: RECORDS RETENTION AND DISPOSAL
- Section 6-1: Generally
- Section 6-2: Application and Definitions
- Section 6-3: Procedure for Conversion of Manual Records into Electronic Form
- Section 6-4: Procedure for Disposition of Marshal's Records Pursuant to NYC Marshals Records Retention Schedule
- Section 6-5: Requirements for Surrender of a City Marshal's Manual Records Upon Termination of Office
Section 1: GENERALLY
Section 1-1: Mandatory Conversion to Computerized Records
Pursuant to § 1609 of the New York City Civil Court Act and Joint Administrative Order 453 of the Appellate Divisions for the First and Second Judicial Departments, every marshal must keep a record of all his or her official acts in a manner prescribed by the Department of Investigation. With the publication of this Handbook, the Department is mandating the use of computerized recordkeeping by all marshals. As detailed below, any marshals who currently use manual records may convert to computerized recordkeeping in two phases, if necessary:.
1. As of January 1, 2014, all marshals’ offices that have not previously implemented an approved comprehensive computerized record-keeping system must institute a practice of converting and storing all manual records electronically. All manual records regularly received by a marshal’s office, e.g., mailing manifests, affidavits of service, court orders, executions and other such documents, must be scanned or otherwise converted into electronic form on a regular basis, and the electronic copies must be stored in a manner that includes a reliable data backup system, in accordance with § 6 of this chapter. Manual records created by the marshal’s office, e.g., invoices, receipts, listings of seized vehicles, inventories, records of auction sales and other such documents, must also be scanned or otherwise converted into electronic form and stored, unless the marshal’s computer system is capable of reproducing an identical copy, including the date and time of the original record. Manual records that are kept by the marshal’s office in bound books, e.g., docket books, must be scanned or otherwise converted into electronic form as soon as practicable after all required entries have been made. Stored electronic documents must be searchable by the marshal’s docket number, the court’s index number, and the name of the debtor or tenant. After they have been scanned or otherwise converted and stored electronically in accordance with the provisions of this chapter (see § 6), manual records may be disposed of, i.e., destroyed, with the exception of certain original court orders and documents that may need to be submitted to the Department in connection with an investigation or other request. See §§ 6-1 and 6-3(a) of this chapter for details on these exceptions.
For older manual records that have not been converted and stored electronically, marshals should consult the NYC Marshals Records Retention Schedule (the “Schedule”) then in effect to determine the date on which each such manual record may be disposed of pursuant to § 6-4 of this chapter. The Schedule as of the effective date of this Handbook can be found in the Appendix.
Before a marshal leaves office and surrenders his or her records to the Department, all remaining manual records in the marshal’s office that are eligible for conversion to electronic form must be converted and stored electronically and the manual records must then be disposed of in accordance with § 6 of this chapter
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2. As of January 1, 2015, all marshals must have instituted a comprehensive system of computerized record-keeping. All information previously maintained in bound books, as described in § 1-2 below, must be maintained in a computerized system. A marshal may choose to utilize a system that has been designed specifically for use by city marshals or to develop and configure a system that meets all applicable requirements. Before being utilized, each marshal’s system must be approved by the Department. In order to obtain approval, a marshal must submit to the Director of the Bureau of City Marshals a system design describing a comprehensive plan which must include, at a minimum, a detailed description of the following:
a. information to be retained by the computerized records;
b. hardware with complete technical specifications;
c. software, including user manuals;
d. electronically-stored and hard-copy reports (e.g. docket pages and reports);
e. standards for archival record-keeping and back-up;
f. hardware and software security features; and
g. identification of each authorized user.
The Department will consider and evaluate each system design to determine its capability in relation to the marshal's workload and the Department's ability to audit all transactions. Marshals are encouraged to propose a computerization scheme that incorporates potential for future growth.The marshal must obtain prior written approval of the system design by the Department before entering into a contract with any person or business entity to computerize the marshal’s records pursuant to this section. Failure to obtain such prior written permission shall be grounds for disciplinary action.
Any agreement between a marshal and a vendor or a consultant with respect to computerization of a marshal's records must provide for full, unrestricted access by the Department to all data, software, and hardware used or maintained in connection with the marshal's official activities. In addition, any such agreement must provide for a perpetual license for the Department to operate, at its offices, all software necessary to carry out the Department's investigative and supervisory responsibilities with respect to city marshals. All such software and updates shall be provided to the Department free of charge on or before the dates they are used on the marshal's computer system. The Department's access and use of all such data, software, and hardware, shall be for the sole purpose of enabling the Department to carry out its investigative and supervisory responsibilities with respect to city marshals.
If a marshal proposes a computerized system that requires hardware and software not then in use at the offices of the Department, he or she shall bear the costs to acquire, install, configure, and maintain, at the Department's offices, the hardware and software necessary for the Department to carry out its investigative and supervisory responsibilities.
The Department reserves the right at any time to issue standards regarding any aspect of computerization of a marshal's records. City marshals must make the hardware, software, and documentation immediately available to the Department at any time.
The software must be designed to record, at a minimum, the information that was required to be recorded in the manual records previously approved by the Department. Each record must be clearly annotated with headings which show the content, source, date, time (where material), and other appropriate identifying information.
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3. Phase-in Period for New Marshals.
Any marshal whose first term commences after the effective date of this Handbook shall have two (2) years from the start of his or her term to comply with the requirements of numbered paragraph 2 of Section 1-1 of this chapter.
Section 1-2: Manual Records
Marshals who have not yet converted to approved computerized record-keeping must maintain a set of bound books, including a Trust Fund Cash Receipts and Disbursements Book, a Property Execution Docket Book, a Landlord and Tenant Docket Book, an Income Execution Docket Book, a Notice of Petition and Petition Docket Book, and a Miscellaneous Docket Book. Prototypes for the docket pages which must be used may be obtained from the Bureau of City Marshals. Furthermore, every marshal must maintain a record of his or her operating expenses.
As described above, if a marshal is still utilizing a system of manual record-keeping, by January 1, 2014 he or she must have instituted a system for scanning or otherwise converting all manual records that the marshal receives or creates into electronic form on a regular basis. By January 1, 2015, the marshal must have converted to a comprehensive system of computerized record-keeping. Where the marshal performs a low volume of a particular category of work, he or she may utilize a computerized record-keeping system supplemented by a docket book for that category of case, as described in Section 1-3 of this chapter.
Section 1-3: Low Volume Docket Books
A marshal who receives a low volume of a particular type of court order or mandate for enforcement may continue to maintain a record of that category of case in a bound docket book in lieu of the full computerization of that category of case records that would otherwise be required by numbered paragraph 2 of Section 1-1 of this chapter, so long as the marshal maintains an index of those cases in computerized form searchable by the marshal’s docket number, the court’s index number, and the name of the debtor or tenant. A marshal’s volume of a particular category of case will be considered low for purposes of this section if it does not exceed the number of cases set forth below:
a. for property executions, other than PVO seizures, 100 cases per year;
b. for PVO seizures performed for other marshals, 600 cases per year;
c. for landlord and tenant cases, 600 cases per year;
d. for income executions, 100 cases per year;
e. for serving petitions and notice of petitions, 500 cases per year;
f. for utility meter seizures, 600 cases per year.
A marshal’s Trust Fund Cash Receipts and Disbursements Book may also be kept as a bound book if its entries do not exceed one bound receipts book and one bound disbursements book per year. As noted in Section 1-1, once all entries are complete, these docket books and all other manual records associated with these cases must be scanned or otherwise converted to electronic form and retained in accordance with Section 6 of this chapter.
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Section 1-4: Requirements
Marshals are reminded that all official computerized records, books, manual records, and bank accounts are public records and, as such, are subject to unannounced inspections by the Department of Investigation or anyone designated for that purpose by the Commissioner of Investigation or the Appellate Divisions. These records must be in the marshal's office or accessible for unannounced inspection by the abovementioned persons at all times. The Department of Investigation may take into its custody any or all of the official records of a city marshal, including any and all electronic data, for the purpose of inspecting them.
All sums, including fees and expenses, received by city marshals in connection with the performance of their official duties must be entered in the computerized record or in the Cash Receipts Book as well as in the appropriate docket record or book. All expenses must be documented with receipted bills or invoices that have been converted into electronic form.This documentation is also part of a marshal's official records and, as such, shall be available at all times for inspection by the Department of Investigation.
All manually created docket books must be labeled with the marshal's name and the number of the first and last docket page included in that volume. The cash books and check stub books for a marshal's bank accounts must bear the marshal's name and the inclusive dates of entries. All labeling must be done with a black marking crayon on the spine of each book.
The following sections set out the basic requirements for maintaining proper records in computerized or book form, though the marshal is reminded that after January 1, 2015, books will no longer be acceptable and computerized record-keeping will be mandatory. It is imperative that all entries be posted promptly and in complete detail. A marshal must fully detail any erroneous entry. A single line should be drawn in pen or pencil through all such entries. Do not erase, white-out, cross out or blot out these entries or erroneous entries on the report of any computerized record. Entries must be cross‑referenced whenever appropriate. No letters, paper, or other memoranda may be attached to any page of an official record book, except for inventories prepared while executing a warrant.
Upon resignation or termination from office, every city marshal shall surrender to the Department of Investigation all official records. All manual documents not eligible for destruction under the Schedule must be converted to electronic form in accordance with § 6 of this chapter and surrendered to the Department in electronic form, including, but not limited to cash books, docket books, files, checkbooks, bank statements, and cancelled checks. (See § 6 of this chapter.)
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Section 2: DOCKET RECORDS OR BOOKS
Section 2-1: General Instructions
Each matter received by the marshal shall be entered into the docket records or the docket book as soon as practicable but no later than twenty-four (24) hours after its receipt by the marshal. Each matter shall be assigned a permanent identification docket number. Docket numbers must be assigned in the sequence in which cases are entered. The docket books are bound books with pages numbered in sequence. Each book shall contain an accurate and up‑to‑date alphabetical index. The docket pages or records must reflect in detail all actions taken with respect to a particular matter and all financial transactions, including cash deposits into and withdrawals from the trust fund bank account. All docket books and records must contain all of the information required on each page.
Money entries in the docket books or records must correspond to money entries in the cash books or the cash receipts and disbursement records (see § 3‑1 of this chapter). The docket books or records must indicate the exact amount of undistributed funds in the trust fund bank account at any given time. Checks or EFTs disbursed from any trust account must be recorded simultaneously in the Trust Fund Disbursement Book or in the trust disbursement records. Any checks which are voided must be voided individually, and a notation of the voiding must be made in the appropriate docket book or record. Any adjustment in the cash book or the cash receipts or disbursement records made as the result of a bank reconciliation must also be reflected in full detail in the appropriate docket book or record entry. Failure to take these steps will result in an incorrect computation (e.g., an overstatement) of the amount available to a marshal from the trust account as fees. Expenses and fees must be listed or recorded and explained in full detail.
The following are some common errors found by the Department of Investigation when auditing marshals' manually created books:
insufficient detailing of entries;
failure to record fees;
failure to record dates of receipts;
failure to cross-reference entries into the cash book records;
failure to record disbursements;
failure to record and detail expenses; and
failure to record details of show cause orders received.
Section 2-2: Cross-Referencing Docket Records or Books
All docket pages or records shall provide a space or a field in which each marshal must supply the name of any other marshal who takes part in the execution of a judgment relating to that particular docket book page or record, whether it be an income execution, property execution, or landlord and tenant matter. In addition to the name of the other marshal(s), the other marshal(s)’ docket number(s) must also be entered in the appropriate place. Furthermore, the property and income execution docket pages or records shall provide a place in the upper right hand side of the page (labeled “Cross Ref. Docket Number”) or a field in which the marshal must cross‑reference any of his or her own property or income execution docket pages which are pertinent to the judgment entered on the original docket page.
Moreover, any warrant issued to one marshal but executed by another marshal must be properly cross‑referenced by docket number in the landlord and tenant docket book or docket record, and the name of the marshal who executes the warrant must be indicated in the appropriate place (e.g., “or executed by Marshal _________________”) Conversely, the marshal who executes the warrant must enter the name of the marshal from whom the warrant was received in the area or field which states “Warrant issued to Marshal __________________”) or in such other record as the Department authorizes.
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Section 2-3: Poundage
A marshal is entitled to poundage of five percent (5%) of the sum collected by virtue of an execution or an order of attachment. A marshal is entitled to poundage upon the total amount collected, including fees and expenses.
Poundage shall be computed at five percent (5%) of the sum due and actually collected, including fees, expenses, and interest, except in cases where a settlement is made after the levy or where the execution order is vacated.
Where a settlement between the parties is made after the marshal serves the execution
or after he or she levies, the marshal is entitled to poundage upon the judgment or the settlement amount, whichever is less. Where an execution is vacated or set aside after levy, the marshal is entitled to poundage upon the value of the property levied upon; not exceeding
the amount specified in the execution, and the court may order the liable party to pay this amount to the marshal.
To be entitled to poundage, a marshal must have taken some action in furtherance of the collection of the judgment (e.g., served an execution or collected money by virtue of an execution).
Specific actions that entitle the marshal to poundage are set forth in CPLR § 8012.
The judgment debtor is responsible to pay poundage, unless there is a settlement agreement that otherwise apportions the poundage fee between the judgment debtor and creditor or a court determines which party is responsible.
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Section 2-4: Calculating Interest
Every money judgment shall bear interest from the date of its entry by the Court.
Interest for judgments rendered after 1981 is calculated at the rate of nine
percent (9%) per annum from the time the judgment is entered.
Interest may be computed as collections are made on the declining balance
of the judgment. An exact computation is quite simple and based on the exact number of days since the last collection. Interest may be calculated by using the following formula:
Interest = Unpaid principal judgment balancex .09 x the number of days since last collection
Under no circumstances shall interest be assessed in advance.
Section 2-5: Property Execution Docket Record or Book
All actions taken in connection with property executions must be recorded in the property execution docket record or book. The information called for on each docket page or in each docket record field must be provided. All entries need to be legible, complete, and must accurately reflect the status of the matter. It is essential that a detailed inventory of personal property levied upon is recorded. General statements such as “sufficient property to satisfy the judgment” are not acceptable. If a settlement is made between the judgment creditor and the judgment debtor, the details of the settlement must be provided in the docket record or on the docket page.
The financial section of the docket record or page must contain the details of all money transactions in the matter concerned. This information must agree with corresponding entries in the trust fund record or cash book. Fees and expenses received in advance, in addition to those which are later billed, must be entered in the summary section of the docket record in a field entitled “advances,” or in the box labeled “advances” on the receipt side of the docket page. When the collection is eventually made by the marshal, any expenses received must be refunded to the attorney or plaintiff from the proceeds collected. After the appropriate entry has been made for the expenses collected from the proceeds of a sale, the refund entry must be made in the appropriate field or place (labeled “Refund to attorney/plaintiff for advances...,” etc.)
After a marshal has made his or her last collection by virtue of a particular execution, a footing must be made in both the receipts and disbursements columns or the receipts and disbursements must be added by the computer, and the summary section must be completed. Totals “to marshal” and “to attorney/plaintiff” plus taxes, if any, should equal the total amount of receipts. The total “to attorney/plaintiff” should equal the total amount in the disbursements column. If New York State sales tax has been collected, this amount should be entered in the field or box labeled “Distribution of all monies received.” The total amount in the trust column of the receipts in the trust record or on the trust side of the page should equal the total amount of disbursements on the disbursement record or the disbursement side of the page.
Marshals are required to collect sales tax on all sales, except where the purchaser presents a resale tax certificate, and to accurately record the amount of any tax paid.
The property execution record or page provides a field or place for the purchaser's name and address and proof submitted by him. Marshals are prohibited from transferring any property at a marshal's sale to any person who does not present some valid form of identification (e.g., driver's license).The type of proof submitted and the identifying number on the proof must be indicated on the docket record or page. Marshals conducting sales for PVO are required to keep a copy of the Bid Report.
On the lower left hand corner of the docket page, the notation “garnishee (if other than debtor)” is found; or, a field entitled “garnishee (if other than debtor) shall be included on each docket record. In the adjacent space provided or in an adjacent field, a marshal must indicate the name of the garnishee if he or she is someone other than the debtor (e.g., the name and address of the bank in the event that a levy has been made on a bank account.)
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Section 2-6: Income Execution Docket Record or Book
All actions taken in connection with income executions must be recorded in the income execution docket record or book. All entries must be legible, complete, and must accurately reflect the status of the matter. Fees and expenses received in advance from an attorney or plaintiff (including filing fees) must be entered in the box on the receipt side of the page or in the field labeled “Advance Fees.” Additionally, this amount must be entered at the time of receipt in the summary section of the page, on the right hand side, under the caption or in a field entitled “Received from attorney/plaintiff.” The balance of fees due to the marshal and received from the debtor or from the employer (e.g., the debtor's salary), such as service, levy, or mileage fees, should be entered when received in the appropriate area of the summary section. A running total of monies received and paid must be reflected in the receipts and disbursements columns or reports generated weekly.Proper entries into the docket book or record for “n.g.” (“not good”) or voided checks must be made.
When the totals “to marshal” and “to attorney/plaintiff” (in the summary section) plus taxes, if any, are added, the grand total should equal the total amount collected and noted in the record book on the receipts side of the page (including the advances entered in the appropriate box). Thus, a footing or summary section should be kept for each docket record or page to detail, at the termination of the collection, whether the judgment was satisfied or unsatisfied. The total amount “to attorney/plaintiff,” in the summary section, should equal all remittances received and recorded, or the footing representing the total of all remittances in the disbursements column. Where it is necessary to make a refund to the debtor, this amount should be entered in the field or summary section next to the caption “Over-collection refunded.” Therefore, in the case of an over-collection, the sum of the over-collection plus the total “to attorney/plaintiff” should equal the total remittance, which is recorded in the docket book in the disbursements column.
Over-collections must be refunded within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the overage.Where the judgment debtor cannot be located, the funds must be turned over to the City of New York (see Chapter XII, § 3‑5).
The total amount of statutory fees retained by the marshal may never exceed forty ($40) dollars. Where both stages of the income execution are served, advances received from the attorney or plaintiff in excess of fifteen ($15) dollars must be refunded to the attorney or the plaintiff, and an entry must be made in the summary section in the appropriate field place (labeled “Refund to attorney/plaintiff”).
If a single judgment is collected through more than one type of execution, the docket numbers must be cross‑referenced in all records.
The terms of any settlement made between the judgment creditor and the judgment debtor must be detailed on the proper docket record or page.
Section 2-7: Landlord and Tenant Docket Book
All data relating to landlord and tenant actions must be entered on the appropriate docket record or page, and all information on the docket record or page must be provided. All entries must be accurate, complete, up‑to‑date, and reflect the present status of the matter.
The receipt of every warrant to remove a tenant in possession of real property must be detailed in the docket record or book. The fee received for obtaining and entering a warrant must also be recorded in the docket record or book. It is impermissible to maintain a subsidiary record or ledger for recording the receipt of warrants. If a warrant is not used, indicate that disposition by noting “not used” in the remarks section of the record or by checking the “not used” (“N.U.”) box on the docket page.
A marshal is required to record in the record or book the names of all persons present during the eviction or legal possession, including: the landlord and landlord’s representatives, police officers, together with their badge numbers and precinct; and any movers and laborers.
All fees and expenses received must be recorded in the docket record or in the financial section of the docket page and must be deposited into the trust fund bank account. Any expenses incurred must be described in detail in the docket record or on the appropriate line of the docket page. Marshals are required to document all expenses incurred with invoices, which are part of marshals' official books and records and which must be retained for inspection by the Department of Investigation.
When a payment is received and entered in the docket record or book, the date of the corresponding entry in the trust receipt record or book must also be noted in the docket record or book. The date noted in the docket record or book must be the date the money was actually received (not the date posted to the docket record or book). Fees and expenses must be traceable to the trust fund cash receipts record or book by the exact date of receipt. If there is a lump sum entry in the cash record or book, supporting invoices must show all details which would appear in the cash book if they had been entered individually. The supporting documents must be retained by the marshal and remain on hand available for examination at all times.
A marshal must maintain subsidiary accounts payable records or a bound subsidiary accounts payable ledger if he or she hires a moving company to assist in an eviction. A separate page or record must be used for each mover hired. The entries in this field or ledger must be sufficiently detailed to enable an examiner to trace the item to a specific docket record or page. In addition, payments from landlords or their attorneys for moving expenses must be traceable to the trust fund cash receipts record or book and payments to the mover must be traceable to the trust fund cash disbursements record or book or the operating fund cash record or book, depending on which account is drawn upon for payment.All invoices must be filed in the sequence in which they were recorded. The files must be in good order to insure easy verification by an examiner. The balance due to the mover at any given time must be clearly indicated. The marshal is required to use licensed and bonded movers at all times.
For each check or EFT issued to a moving company, the marshal must indicate in the appropriate disbursements record the docket number and individual amount due for every eviction covered by that check or EFT. Indicate the same information on the corresponding field in the docket record or check stub.
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Section 2-8:Notice of Petition and Petition Docket Record or Book
All notices of petition and petitions which are submitted to a marshal's office for service shall be entered in the notice of petition and petition record or book. There shall be a separate record kept, or a separate line on each page must be completed for each notice of petition and petition. All information called for by the manual record book must also be supplied in the docket record.For all cases where a warrant of eviction is requisitioned, each notice of petition and petition must be cross-referenced by docket number or page number and line in the appropriate section of the landlord and tenant docket record or book.
Section 2-9: Miscellaneous Docket Record or Book
All miscellaneous functions performed by city marshals for which no other docket book or record has been specifically designated shall be recorded in the Miscellaneous Docket, or “M” record or book. Thus, for example, actions to recover chattels and orders of attachment shall be entered into the M record or book. Like the previous docket records or books, the M record or book must contain all necessary information where appropriate, and the entries must be accurate, up‑to-date and complete.
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Section 3: TRUST FUND RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS RECORD OR BOOK
Section 3-1: Explanation of Cash Record or Book Entries
All financial transactions involving the receipt or disbursement of trust fund monies must be recorded in the trust fund cash record, or in ink or felt tipped pen in the trust fund cash book. Abbreviations of information recorded or written are not acceptable. The following is intended to clarify what entries are to be made in the Trust Fund Cash Receipts and Disbursements Record or Book:
Field Title or
- Date: Enter the date of receipt in this column. All amounts received should be recorded and deposited immediately.
- Docket: Enter the docket page number of the case involved. If a payment is received on an invoice rendered by the marshal covering several dockets, record the number of the invoice and the word "invoice." Enter the inclusive numbers of those dockets covered by the invoice in the "Title of Action" column.
- Title of Action: Enter the plaintiff's name and the debtor's name, e.g., John Jones v. Mary Smith.
- Received From: Enter the name of the person from whom the funds were received. No abbreviations or codes may be used.
- Total Amount Received: Enter the total amount received at any one time in connection with action taken and indicate whether the receipt is cash or check. "Initial deposits" must be entered here.
- Fees: Enter that portion of the total amount received at any one time that represents statutory fees and poundage.
- Trust Payable: Enter that portion of the total amount received at any one time that is to be paid to the plaintiff or his attorney.
- Expenses (Reimbursed or Advanced: Enter the amount received from the plaintiff, defendant, or attorney for expenses incurred in the enforcement of the court mandate. All expenses, including advertising and postage costs, are entered in this column.
- Trust Sales Tax: Enter the amount of the sales tax collected. Proceeds of all sales, including sales tax, must be deposited into the Trust Fund Bank Account.
- Miscellaneous: Enter the amount of any unidentified funds or any funds initially deposited by the marshal in this column. Note details in the "Remarks" column.
- Amount of Deposit/Date of Deposit: Enter in these columns the date of deposit and the total amount of the deposit made into the trust fund bank account. This should equal the total amount recorded on the bank deposit receipt for the date of the entry.
- Remarks: Enter any information with respect to unidentified funds, initial deposits, or adjusting entries.
All "n.g." (not good) checks should be recorded in the cash receipts book in red ink. If a check is later honored, it should be recorded as a new entry. All "n.g." checks must be reflected in the docket books.
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Field Title or
- Date: Enter the date of issuance of the check. This date should correspond to the date on the check. Remember that no post-dated checks may be issued by the marshal.
- Docket Number: Enter the docket number for which the check or EFT is issued.
- Remitted To: Enter the name of the person to whom the check or EFT is payable. No abbreviations are permissible.
- Check Number: Enter the number of the check. Checks must be issued and entered in numerical order.
- Total Amount Disbursed: Enter the amount for which the check is drawn.
- Fees: Enter the amount of any check or EFT issued to the marshal as fees. Remember that all fees must be deposited into the marshal's operating account.
- Trust Payable: If the check or EFT drawn covers payments on more than one docket, indicate the amount of the total attributable to each docket number.
- Expenses (Reimbursed or Advanced): Enter the amount of any check or EFT issued to the marshal or vendor for expenses recovered.This should correspond to the amount entered in the “Expense” field or column on the Receipts page.
- Trust Sales Tax: Enter the amount of any check or EFT issued to the State of New York for payment of the sales tax collected, and held in trust.
- Miscellaneous: Enter any miscellaneous amounts here.
- Remarks/Bank Reconciliation: Enter here any pertinent information with respect to disbursements and/or the monthly bank reconciliation.
Marshals are reminded that all payments by a city marshal must be madeby check or electronic funds transfer. All checks or EFTs issued (including void checks) must be entered in the cash disbursement record or book in numerical or, in the case of EFTs, chronological order.
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Section 3-2: Voided Checks
- If a check must be voided before it is issued, take the following steps to account for the voided check:
- Write the word "void" on the check stub and indicate the reason for voiding the check.
- If applicable, tear off and discard the part of the check designated for the marshal's signature and staple the check to the stub.
- Record the check number, in number sequence, in the cash disbursements record or book and write “void” in the field or column headed “Remitted To.”
- To void a check which is outstanding, take the following steps:
- Stop payment on the check.
- Enter every detail of the voided check in the cash disbursements record or in red ink in the cash disbursements book. This is a new entry; by making it, the marshal is, in effect, offsetting the original entry. Under no circumstances should two or more checks be voided together. Each check must be entered individually, and the particular reason for voiding it must be recorded. Make the necessary corresponding entries in the proper docket record or book.
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Section 3-3: Unclaimed Funds
If a check is outstanding for over six (6) months, and the payee cannot be located, the amount of the check is to be categorized as an “unclaimed” fund. Under no circumstances do these funds belong to the marshal. Unclaimed funds denoted as such for at least one (1) year are to be transferred on or before March 15th each year to the New York City Department of Finance, accompanied by the prescribed form that you may obtain from the Bureau of City Marshals as part of the Annual Financial Statement.
Section 3-4: Unidentified Funds
An “unidentified” item is a check, EFT, money order, or currency sent under a remitter's name that is legible and unrecognized by the marshal, or illegible and untraceable to any debtor. If efforts to find the remitter fail, the item should be described as “unidentified.” Funds that remain unidentified for at least one (1) year must be reported to the Department of Finance using a form which may be obtained from the Bureau of City Marshals.
Under no circumstances are unidentified funds to be omitted from the daily deposit or delayed pending identification. Record in the cash receipts record or book all pertinent data, such as the name of the bank on which the instrument was drawn, the check, EFT or money order number, the date, and the name of the sender or any legible part thereof.
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Section 3-5: Accounting for Unclaimed and Unidentified Funds
All unclaimed and unidentified funds must be accounted for in the following way:
- Stop payment on and void any unclaimed check which has remained outstanding longer than six (6) months. Each check must be
- voided individually,
- detailed fully in the trust fund cash disbursement book,
- posted into the docket book, and
- designated in the docket book as an unclaimed fund.
- In a field specifically set off for this purpose, or in the back of the trust fund cash book in a special section, list all unclaimed or unidentified funds on hand. On the schedule or list of unclaimed funds, include all pertinent data, such as the title of the action, the index number, the county and court, and the attorney for the plaintiff. On the schedule or list of unidentified funds, indicate the name of the sender or any legible part thereof, or the description “illegible,” the date, the number of the check or money order or the designation “Currency,” and the amount.
- To transfer unclaimed and unidentified funds denoted as such for at least one (1) year, draw on the trust fund bank account a check or EFT payable to the “New York City Commissioner of Finance” for the total amount of unclaimed and unidentified funds.
- Enter the total amount of the check or EFT issued to the New York City Commissioner of Finance in the “trust amount disbursed” field or column of the trust fund cash disbursement record or book and each individual unclaimed or unidentified amount in the “trust payable” field or column. Enter the docket number or word “unidentified” in the field or column headed “docket page number.” Do not neglect to post into the docket record or book the number and date of the check or EFT issued to the Department of Finance and the amount included in that check or EFT which corresponds to the particular unclaimed items.
- Forward the check or EFT and schedules to the New York City Department of Investigation together with the annual financial statement on or before March 15th each year.
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Section 3-6: Lump Sum Entries
No lump sum entries may be recorded in the cash record or book unless they are supported and explained in detail in the subsidiary record or bound book or by the invoices (see below). This subsidiary is considered an integral part of the cash record or book and must be maintained in accordance with the requirements for the primary trust fund cash book. It is not permissible to utilize a loose-leaf binder to record information which supports trust fund cash book entries.
In the alternative, instead of using a bound subsidiary book, the marshal may bind invoices in a loose-leaf binder. The invoices must:
- be numbered sequentially;
- contain the docket numbers to which the funds received will be allocated; and
- be filed or bound in sequence (NOT BY DATE); and
- be maintained permanently by the computer in the exact form in which the hard copies were issued to the recipients. .
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Section 3-7: Marshal's Invoices and Receipts
City marshals shall bill clients in writing, which may be delivered by electronic transmission, for all fees and reimbursable expenses within thirty days of performing the service described in CPLR § 8011 or incurring a reimbursable expense pursuant to CPLR § 8013(c). When a marshal bills clients for fees and expenses, the invoices used must be printed or created as an electronic document with sequential numbers and must be completed in detail, including the billing date, invoice number, docket numbers of the matters concerned, the date service was performed, specific services rendered, and the amount due. The standard invoice form that provides for the inclusion of this information may be obtained from the Bureau of City Marshals.
Codes on the form identify the service rendered. If a paper invoice is issued, it must be printed at least in duplicate with a “customer copy” and an “office copy,” which must be maintained permanently by the computer in the exact form in which the hard copies were issued to the recipients. Upon receipt of payment, the office copy of the invoice, if maintained in a separate invoice file, must be annotated to show the amount of the payment and the date payment was received. Receipt of payment pursuant to an invoice must be recorded in the trust fund cash record or book. In the field or on the receipts page in the column headed “Docket,” enter the appropriate invoice number and the word “Invoice.” (See also § 3 1 of this chapter.)
Invoices may not be used out of sequence, and those on which mistakes have been made and which are not used must be properly voided and filed. When supplies of the forms are replenished, serialization must begin at the number following the last number of the previous order. No number may be used more than once. Where a marshal creates invoices using an approved computerized recordkeeping system, each invoice must have a unique number, which must be assigned in the order in which they are created.
Furthermore, whenever a marshal or an employee issues or electronically transmits a sequentially numbered receipt for monies, the receipt must contain the following information: date of receipt, the title and docket number of the matter concerned, the service performed, and the amount received. A copy of an acceptable receipt form may be obtained from the Bureau of City Marshals. Marshals must either use these forms or similar forms that contain all the required information. If a paper receipt is issued, the form must be printed at least in duplicate, with a “customer copy” (provided to the customer) and an “office copy” which is maintained in permanently by the computer in the exact form in which the hard copies were issued to the recipients.
As with all forms used by city marshals, both the invoice and receipt form or electronic transmission must contain the marshal's name, badge number, address, and telephone number.
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Section 3-8: Month-End Closing Receipts and Disbursements
At the end of each month, marshals are required to prepare, in their cash disbursements book, a closing statement which includes the following information:
- Total amount received for the month. The total in the amount field or column must equal the sum of the totals in all the other field or columns on the receipt side.
- Monthly bank charge. This should be entered in the disbursements book in the "total amount disbursed" column and the "fee" column.
- Total amount disbursed for the month. The total amount disbursed must equal the sum of the totals in all other fields or columns in the disbursements book.If there is a difference, the error should be located and corrected.
The month-end closing statement should be recorded in the manner set forth in the chart below:
Trust Amount Owing
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Section 3-9: Bank Reconciliation
A bank reconciliation in good form and detail must be recorded in ink in the trust fund disbursements book each month. No adjusting entries may be made without good reason and full disclosure. Any adjustments must be posted to the docket books, when appropriate.
Reconciliation is an analysis of two sets of related data, the purpose of which is to: (1) prove they are the same or equal, or (2) isolate and identify the elements of difference between them.In a bank reconciliation, the two related sets of data are found in the cash book and the bank statement.The cash receipts and disbursements records (which may be called the "book") and the bank statement (called the "bank") presumably reflect the same transactions and data. In fact, however, their balances are seldom the same. The bank reconciliation determines why they are not the same and also serves as a basis for correcting any errors in either or both.
The following are items which may require adjustments when preparing a bank reconciliation:
- Outstanding checks: Checks which were issued by the marshal but not cleared by the bank before the bank statement was prepared. The balance per the bank must be reduced by the amount of the outstanding checks. Outstanding checks must be fully detailed with the date, number, and amount of each individual check.
- Unclaimed funds: See above, Chapter XII, §3-3.
- Deposits in transit: Funds received on the last day of the month and recorded that day but not deposited until the following month. These must remain distinct from the new month's receipts. Thus, a marshal must prepare separate deposit slips for those which were received in the new month. The amount of the deposit in transit is added to the bank balance to reconcile the bank balance with the cash record or book balance.
- Bank service charges: Various charges made by the bank, which are entered on the bank statement. These charges normally appear on the bank statement.Bank charges on “N.G.” (not good) checks may be recouped from the judgment debtor.If this is done, they are treated in the same manner as other expenses charged to the debtor.If the marshal pays any bank charge, it is treated as a cost of operation. The amount of this operating expense should be entered on the last line of the month's disbursements record in the field or column entitled “Total Amount Disbursed” and “Fees.”
- Adding machine tapes, deposit slips, bank advice slips: Copies or carbons of any adding machine tapes which are submitted with deposit slips must be attached to the appropriate deposit slip carbons, and both must be retained in the mailing envelope with the bank statement and cancelled checks returned each month by the bank. Similarly, bank advice slips must be retained. In addition, write the date and year on the front of the mailing envelope, and file in proper sequence.
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Section 3-10: Adjusting Entries
A marshal shall not make unexplained adjusting entries in the cash record or book. Under no circumstances will unexplained adjusting entries into the cash record or books be permitted.
If an entry is made to correct the cash record or book, every docket affected must also be corrected. In addition, the title of the action and the reason for the entry must be indicated in the cash record or book. The marshal will be required to explain any undetailed adjusting entries in the cashbook made by the marshal or the marshal’s accountant or bookkeeper. A marshal bears full responsibility for the accuracy of his or her books and records.
Section 3-11: Sixty-Day Credit Limit
In accordance with good business practice, marshals should make reasonable efforts to collect all fees and expenses within thirty (30) days of the invoice date (See § 3-7, above) and shall not extend credit to any client for a period longer than sixty (60) days from the invoice date. Marshals shall advise this Department in writing of the name of, and the amount due from, any individual, firm, or company that fails to pay fees or reimbursable expenses within sixty days. The failure to make good faith efforts to collect fees and reimbursable expenses within a reasonable time can be the equivalent of waiving fees and expenses. Pursuant to Joint Administrative Order 453, § (3)(e), marshals may not waive fees without specific written authorization of the Commissioner of Investigation.
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Section 3-12: Funds Held Over Thirty Days
All monies received in garnishment proceedings shall be turned over to the judgment creditor or his or her attorney within thirty (30) days. In the event that the creditor or the creditor’s attorney requests that the marshal retain funds received for a longer period of time or until a fixed sum is reached, the marshal should obtain and keep in the marshal’s files written authorization for such retention from the appropriate party.
Section 3-13: Amounts Owing From Trust Fund
Each month, the marshal must prepare a schedule of amounts owing from each trust fund bank account. A sample form may be obtained from the Bureau of City Marshals.
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Section 4: OPERATING ACCOUNT BOOKS AND RECORDS
Section 4-1: Generally
All marshals' fees and expenses, after being drawn from the trust account, must be deposited into a separate bank account, to be known and designated as an operating account, e.g., John Jones, City Marshal‑Operating Account. All payments to cover operating costs must be disbursed from this account. The marshal shall not co-mingle the money in this account with any other funds. Under no circumstances is the marshal permitted to pay personal expenses from this account. Reimbursed expenses, such as moving costs, towing, advertising, etc., are not to be considered as operating expenses.
In addition to the bound books required for the trust account, it is recommended that a marshal use a separate bound book for his record of operations. Thus, he may designate one section to contain the general journal, the general ledger, the record of operating cash receipts and disbursements, the record of petty cash, and payroll records of individual earnings. The marshal may also use a section of this book to record the analysis of the trust fund bank accounts.
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Section 4-2: Requirements for Operating Account Cash Book
- The cash receipts section of the operating account cash book must be set up to reflect the exact source of the deposit.
- Each check issued to a moving company must reflect, on both the check and the corresponding check stub, the individual amount included for each eviction and the landlord and tenant docket number pertaining thereto.
- Headings in the cash disbursements section should include separate columns for all overhead and operating expenses, such as salaries, payroll taxes, postage, stationery, utilities, and reimbursed expenses, such as moving, towing, advertising, etc.
- A bank reconciliation in good form and detail must be recorded in ink in the operating book at the end of each month. This reconciliation should follow the formula discussed above, in §3-9.
- A sufficient balance must be maintained in the operating bank account to cover all taxes withheld from employees, in addition to other taxes payable and amounts due to creditors.
- A petty cash book must be set up to reflect daily out-of-pocket disbursements made by the marshal.
- If a marshal regularly uses any moving, towing, or trucking company or any other vendor, an accounts payable subsidiary must be used. A separate page for each vendor, including moving companies involved in landlord and tenant work, should be maintained and should reflect the individual amounts of invoices, dates of payments, check numbers, etc. In addition, a file must be maintained wherein all invoices are retained in good order for examination by the Department of Investigation.
- Reimbursed expenses are not to be considered a cost of operations.
- Payroll records must be kept in good order. Records of individual earnings (941, WRS 2, W 2, and W 4 forms and payroll tax returns) must be available to the Department of Investigation for inspection at any time.
- A record of payments to each individual process server must be maintained. Such record is to include the server's name, address, telephone number, and license number.
All legal costs in connection with the activity of a city marshal must be supported by an invoice from the attorney, which includes the title of the action, the marshal's docket number, and all other pertinent details.
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Section 5: DIARY OF DAILY ACTIVITIES
Every marshal is required to keep a diary of his or her daily activities. In this diary, the marshal must record, in chronological order, all locations visited, the times of such visits, the names of the people contacted, a summary of action taken, and the docket number of the cases involved. This diary shall be kept as a computerized record, and shall be open to inspection by the Department of Investigation.
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Section 6: RECORDS RETENTION AND DISPOSAL
Section 6-1: Generally
As set forth in Section 1 of this chapter, the Department has mandated that as of January 1, 2014, any marshal who has not previously implemented an approved, comprehensive computerized record-keeping system must institute a practice of converting and storing all manual records electronically, i.e., converting manual records into electronic form, in accordance with § 6-3 below.
This section also establishes a records retention schedule and procedures for the electronic conversion and disposal of marshals’ manual books and records. The Schedule, which may be found in the Appendix, specifies how long each kind of record must be retained. If a manual book or record is older than the specified time period, the marshal may dispose of it in accordance with the procedure in § 6-4 below without converting it into electronic form.
Electronic records that have been created as copies of manual records or as part of a comprehensive computerized record-keeping system must also be retained for the period of time set forth in the Schedule for the corresponding category of manual record. After that period has passed, an electronic record may be retained or deleted by the marshal in accordance with the procedure in § 6-4 below.
Nothing in this chapter shall relieve a marshal of the obligation to preserve all relevant records in the marshal’s custody or control that are responsive to a request for records or information from the Department, or that are relevant to any investigation by the Department of which the marshal is aware. A marshal's violation of this provision shall be grounds for disciplinary action. In addition, it is the marshal’s sole responsibility to maintain and preserve such records as may be required by law, including but not limited to, records relating to taxes, business expenses, employment, insurance, litigation, and other matters that may relate to the marshal’s operation of his or her office, and nothing in this section or the Schedule shall relieve a marshal of any such obligation.
Section 6-2: Application and Definitions
(a) This section shall apply to the records of all marshals. No record, whether it exists in manual, computerized or electronic form, shall be destroyed or disposed of except as provided by this section.
(b) The term "manual record" as used in this section means any document, book, paper, check, photograph, tape, sound recording, or any other tangible material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by a marshal or marshal’s office pursuant to law or in connection with a marshal’s official activities but does not include computerized or electronic records. Extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference are not manual records as used in this section and may be disposed of at the marshal’s discretion.
(c) The terms “computerized record” and “electronic record” as used interchangeably in this Handbook mean a copy of a manual record or other data, made or received by a marshal or marshal’s office pursuant to law or in connection with a marshal’s official activities, evidencing any act, transaction, occurrence, or event, produced and/or stored electronically in a computer and capable of being accurately reproduced, but do not include any manual record printed out or otherwise generated in tangible form by a computer.
(d) The term “marshal’s records” refers collectively to all manual, computerized and electronic records maintained by a marshal.
(e) The term “closing date” as used in this section means the date of the last entry in the marshal’s record.
(f) Guidelines for determining whether a document or record must be retained by virtue of this section:
(i) Records named and described in the NYC Marshals Records Retention Schedule in the Appendix, as it may be updated from time to time, including official correspondence in tangible or electronic form, e.g., e-mail, sent or received by the marshal pursuant to law or court order in the course of the marshal’s official duties, are “marshals’ records” subject to this section.
(ii) Other correspondence and documents, including but not limited to notes, memoranda, non-official correspondence and e-mail, and extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference are not “marshals’ records” subject to this section. Paper documents, tangible materials, and electronic files that are not “marshals’ records” subject to this section may be retained or disposed of by the marshal based upon the marshal’s judgment and determination of whether and for how long they are needed.
Section 6-3: Procedure for Conversion of Manual Records into Electronic Form
As discussed in § 1-1(1) of this chapter, effective January 1, 2014, marshals who have not previously instituted a computerized record-keeping system will be required to convert manual records that they receive, create or maintain the regular course of business to electronic records through proven, reliable technologies and processes. After a marshal converts a manual record to an electronic record through electronic scanning or a process that stores an exact image or the full content of any writing, entry, print or representation and which does not permit additions, deletions, or changes without leaving a record of such additions, deletions, or changes, and the marshal determines that the converted record serves for all purposes as a complete, true and accurate copy, front and back, or equivalent of the manual record and that no statute, regulation, or decision or order of a court requires the marshal to preserve the manual record after such conversion, the marshal may dispose of and destroy the manual record without further notification to the Department subject to the conditions set forth in subparagraphs (a)-(f) below:
(a) The document shall not be disposed of and destroyed if it is an order or mandate issued directly and impressed with an official seal by the court that must be executed and returned to court by the marshal (if the party entitled to enforcement of the order has relinquished that right, and the marshal is not required to return the order to the court, e.g., an unused warrant of eviction, the document may be converted to an electronic copy, and the paper document may then be destroyed).
(b) Any destruction and disposal of a marshal’s manual records shall be by cross-cut shredder or such other lawful method that the marshal determines and certifies is equivalent, or superior, to cross-cut shredding for purposes of preventing access to the information in the record by other persons.
(c) The converted record shall be stored electronically in such a manner as to be (1) secure from loss, degradation, and unauthorized access, (2) readily accessible to the marshal, the Department, court personnel, and anyone else authorized to inspect a City marshal’s records under applicable law, and (3) readily locatable through a simple search using any one of the following terms: (a) a party’s last name, (b) the marshal’s docket number, (c) the court index number, and (d) the date (year and month) of the transaction, occurrence, or activity recorded in the record.
(d) The converted record shall be stored electronically and securely in at least two separate locations at all times, at least one of which is a reliable data backup system through and into which the marshal’s data is copied from the marshal’s computers and servers to one or more storage devices, such as an external hard drive, network-attached storage device, DVD, CD, USB/flash drive, tape, or remote server over the internet at least once per week.
(e) No bound docket book that serves as the marshal’s official record of any official act, transaction, occurrence, event, or other activity required to be entered therein may be disposed of or destroyed under this section unless and until the marshal has completed his or her official action and made all required entries in the docket book with respect to all mandates required to be recorded therein, including but not limited to all financial transactions and the return of the mandate to the court or issuing party where required, and the complete docket book has been converted to a computerized or electronic record in accordance with this section.
(f) No bound trust fund cash receipts or disbursements book that serves as the marshal’s official record of any official financial transaction, occurrence, event, or other activity required to be entered therein may be disposed of or destroyed under this section unless and until the marshal has made all required entries in such book and the complete book has been converted to a computerized or electronic record in accordance with this section.
Section 6-4: Procedure for Disposition of Marshal’s Records Pursuant to NYC Marshals Records Retention Schedule
(a) A marshal who intends to dispose of (1) manual records that have not been converted to electronic form and stored as such, and/or (2) electronic records, shall make a written notification of the marshal’s intention to dispose of such records to the Director of the Bureau of City Marshals on a properly completed Notification of Intended Disposal of City Marshal’s Records form (“Notification Form”) provided for such purpose by the Department. The Notification Form, sworn to and signed personally by the marshal, shall describe in appropriate detail, in accordance with the Schedule, as updated from time to time, the records to be disposed of, specifying the Record Series Number, Record Name, and Related Records, if applicable, as reflected on the Schedule, the docket numbers, if applicable, and the closing dates of the records that the marshal intends to dispose of. The Notification Form shall specify the date of intended disposal, which shall not be sooner than 10 business days following the date the Notification Form is received by the Department. The marshal shall be responsible to obtain confirmation of the date on which the Department receives the Notification Form.
(b) Each and every Notification Form for the intended disposal of a City marshal’s records shall comply with the Schedule in effect on the date the Notification Form is submitted to the Department. The Notification Form shall contain the marshal’s sworn statement of the following: (1) the records described therein are eligible for disposal under the Schedule; (2) the records are no longer required for the current operation of the marshal’s office and are of no further administrative, legal or fiscal value to the marshal’s office or the public; and (3) no record that is related or relevant to pending litigation that has been made known to the city marshal is included.
(c) Provided that the Department has not instructed otherwise, the records listed in a properly completed Notification Form signed and certified by the marshal may be disposed of by the marshal as provided by this section not sooner than 10 business days following the date such Notification Form is received by the Department.
(d) Any destruction and disposal of a marshal’s manual records shall be by cross-cut shredder or such other lawful method that the marshal determines and certifies is equivalent, or superior, to cross-cut shredding for purposes of preventing access to the information in the record by other persons. Any destruction and disposal of a marshal’s computerized or electronic records shall be achieved using secure file deletion software or such other lawful method that the marshal determines is equivalent, or superior, to secure file deletion software for purposes of preventing access to the information in the record by other persons.
Section 6-5: Requirements for Surrender of a City Marshal’s Manual Records Upon Termination of Office
(a) Marshals must convert all eligible manual records to computerized and electronic records and dispose of all eligible manual records in accordance with this section well in advance of a planned or reasonably foreseeable termination of office.
(b) Manual records surrendered to the Department under Joint Administrative Order 453 § 3, this Handbook, or any other applicable Directive must be organized, boxed, and labeled, on the exterior of the boxes, in accordance with the Schedule, including but not limited to, the most recent closing date of the manual records in the box, and in accordance with any additional instructions of the Department, and must be delivered to the storage location designated by the Department, at the expense of the marshal. In accordance with the Department’s mandate set forth in § 1-1 of this chapter, after January 1, 2014, manual records will no longer be accepted by the Department for storage.
(c) The Department will not accept any manual record of any City marshal past the applicable destruction date on the Schedule applicable thereto unless ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction. It is the responsibility of the marshal to dispose of all manual records eligible for destruction under the Schedule and in accordance with this section.
Marshals are advised that the scope of the obligation to preserve records in anticipation of litigation is a complex and evolving area, subject to interpretation by the State and federal courts. See, e.g., Pension Comm. of the Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v. Banc of Am. Sec., LLC, 685 F. Supp. 2d 456, 466 (S.D.N.Y. 2010) (holding that persons who reasonably anticipate that their electronic records may be relevant to an impending litigation must suspend their routine destruction and place a “litigation hold” on the relevant records).
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