Here's my best response based on your presumably hypothetical fact pattern: 1. Yes, a petition can be filed against the clerk and the agency that employed him at the time of distribution. 2. It is up to the court to decide whether you have sufficiently alleged a claim upon which relief (in law or equity) can be granted. 3. It's my understanding that once an estate distribution has been made, the personal representative (private or state-appointed) has no right to request that it be returned. This is why private fiduciaries who administer estates for a living have bond premiums! 4. If the clerk made an erroneous distribution while acting as an agent of the state, the state may be found liable if the act was within the scope of the clerk's employment. (You don't want to sue the clerk personally -- that's not where the money is). 5. Absent evidence that the distribution was faulty, there is no claim. Was there a testamentary instrument or did the heirs take under the laws of intestacy? These facts must be determined/analysed.