What is CRIS?
The Court Registry Investment System (CRIS) is an interest-bearing cash management tool administered by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts that provides Clerks with an easy, efficient and safe way to comply with federal requirements concerning the handling of Court Registry Funds.
What are the CRIS objectives?
CRIS has four objectives (listed in order of priority):
- Safety of Principal - The overriding objective of registry cash management is to provide for the maximum protection of principal.
- Sufficient Liquidity - Adequate funds must be available to comply with all court ordered disbursements without endangering principal by surrendering securities before maturity.
- Reduced Administrative Costs - In CRIS, the registry funds are pooled to purchase Treasury securities. The pooling allows the CRIS Fund Manager to make significantly fewer, but larger transactions than would otherwise be possible. This keeps transaction costs to a minimum.
- Market Rate Earnings - The total pool of registry funds earns market rates of return. Registry funds in CRIS are invested in short-term Treasury securities, thus eliminating any need for collateral.
How does CRIS operate?
The CRIS registry funds are pooled and used to purchase U.S. Treasury securities. These securities are held to maturity, and the portfolio is structured so that sufficient securities mature each week to pay out funds for all registry cases settled during the week. Funds are invested in Government Account Series (GAS) securities under the Bureau of Public Debt's Federal Investment Program.
How is money deposited with the Court?
Money sent to the Court for deposit into the Court's Registry Fund requires a court order. Unless otherwise directed, all Registry Funds paid into the Court are deposited with the Treasurer of the United States pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 2041 through depositories designated by the Treasury to accept such deposit on its behalf.
How does money get transferred to CRIS?
The Court order must direct the transfer of the funds deposited into the Court's Registry Fund to the Court Registry Investment System (CRIS) administered by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. The party making the deposit or transferring funds to the Court's registry shall serve the order permitting the deposit or transfer on the Clerk of Court, the Chief Deputy of Administration or the Finance Manager. Money is deposited into CRIS once weekly on Wednesdays.
What is a designated or qualified settlement fund?
A registry account may be a designated or qualified settlement fund only if:
- (1)There has been a settlement agreement in the case;
- (2)The court has entered an order establishing or approving a deposit into the registry as a settlement fund, and
- (3) The liability resolved by the settlement agreement is of a kind described in 26 U.S.C. 468B or 26 C.F.R. 1.468B-1(c).
NOTE: It is the responsibility of the depositing party to identify any registry deposit intended to be a designated or qualified settlement fund.
How do I get monies deposited with the Court released?
A court order is required to disburse funds. The proposed order shall be approved as to form and content by the Clerk and contain the Clerk's endorsement thereon prior to submitting the order to the assigned Judge. If the disbursement includes interest earned while on deposit, IRS Form W-9 is required for each payee. Money is withdrawn from CRIS once weekly on Wednesdays. After the Court receives confirmation, a payment document is processed and a check disbursed, normally within one week.