Code Section Group

Code of Civil Procedure - CCP


  ( Part 3 enacted 1872. )


  ( Title 10 added by Stats. 1951, Ch. 1708. )

CHAPTER 5. Escheat Proceedings [1410 - 1431]

  ( Chapter 5 added by Stats. 1951, Ch. 1708. )

ARTICLE 3. Escheat Proceedings in Decedents’ Estates [1420 - 1424]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1951, Ch. 1708. )


(a) At any time after two years after the death of any decedent who leaves property to which the state is entitled by reason of it having escheated to the state, the Attorney General shall commence a proceeding on behalf of the state in the Superior Court for the County of Sacramento to have it adjudged that the state is so entitled. The action shall be commenced by filing a petition, which shall be treated as the information elsewhere referred to in this title.

(b) The petition shall set forth a description of the property, the name of the person last in possession thereof, the name of the person, if any, claiming the property, or portion thereof, and the facts and circumstances by virtue of which it is claimed the property has escheated.

(c) Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall make an order requiring all persons interested in the estate to appear and show cause, if any, within 60 days from the date of the order, why the estate should not vest in the state. The order must be published at least once a week for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in the County of Sacramento, the last publication to be at least 10 days prior to the date set for the hearing. Upon the completion of the publication of the order, the court shall have full and complete jurisdiction over the estate, the property, and the person of everyone having or claiming any interest in the property, and shall have full and complete jurisdiction to hear and determine the issues therein, and render the appropriate judgment thereon.

(d) If proceedings for the administration of the estate have been instituted, a copy of the order must be filed with the papers in the estate. If proceedings for the administration of any estate of the decedent have been instituted and none of the persons entitled to succeed thereto have appeared and made claim to the property, or any portion thereof, before the decree of final distribution therein is made, or before the commencement of a proceeding by the Attorney General, or if the court shall find that the persons as have appeared are not entitled to the property of the estate, or any portion thereof, the court shall, upon final settlement of the proceedings for the administration of the estate, after the payment of all debts and expenses of administration, distribute all moneys and other property remaining to the State of California.

In any proceeding brought by the Attorney General under this chapter, any two or more parties and any two or more causes of action may be joined in the same proceedings and in the same petition without being separately stated, and it shall be sufficient to allege in the petition that the decedent left no heirs to take the estate and the failure of heirs to appear and set up their claims in any proceeding, or in any proceedings for the administration of the estate, shall be sufficient proof upon which to base the judgment in any proceeding or decree of distribution.

(e) If proceedings for the administration of any estate have not been commenced within six months from the death of any decedent the Attorney General may direct the public administrator to commence the same forthwith.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 62, Sec. 26. Effective January 1, 2004.)


Whenever the Attorney General is informed that any estate has escheated or is about to escheat to the state, or that the property involved in any action or special proceeding has escheated or is about to escheat to the state, the Attorney General may commence an action on behalf of the state to determine its rights to the property or may intervene on its behalf in any action or special proceeding affecting the estate and contest the rights of any claimant or claimants thereto. The Attorney General may also apply to the superior court or any judge thereof for an order directing the county treasurer to deposit in the State Treasury all money, and to deliver to the Controller for deposit in the State Treasury, all other personal property, in the possession of the county treasurer, which may become payable to the State Treasury pursuant to Section 7643 of the Probate Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1199, Sec. 9. Operative July 1, 1989, by Sec. 119 of Ch. 1199.)


The court, upon the information being filed, and upon application of the Attorney General, either before or after answer, upon notice to the party claiming the estate, if known, may, upon sufficient cause therefor being shown, appoint a receiver to take charge of such estate, or any part thereof, or to receive the rents, income and profits of the same until the title of such estate is finally settled.

(Added by Stats. 1951, Ch. 1708.)


All persons named in the information may appear and answer, and may traverse or deny the facts stated therein at any time before the time for answering expires, and any other person claiming an interest in such estate may appear and be made a defendant, by motion for that purpose in open court within the time allowed for answering, and if no such person appears and answers within the time, then judgment must be rendered that the State is the owner of the property in such information claimed.

If any person appears and denies the title set up by the State, or traverses any material fact set forth in the information, the issue of fact must be tried as issues of fact are tried in civil actions.

If, after the issues are tried, it appears from the facts found or admitted that the State has good title to the property in the information mentioned, or any part thereof, judgment must be rendered that the State is the owner and entitled to the possession thereof, and that it recover costs of suit against the defendants who have appeared and answered.

In any judgment rendered, or that has heretofore been rendered by any court escheating property to the State, on motion of the Attorney General, the court must make an order that such property, unless it consists of money, be sold by the sheriff of the county where it is situate, at public sale, for cash, after giving notice of the time and place of sale, as may be prescribed by the court in such order; that the sheriff, within five days after such sale, make a report thereof to the court, and upon the hearing of such report, the court may examine the report and witnesses in relation thereto, and if the proceedings were unfair, or if the sum bid disproportionate to the value, or if it appears that a sum exceeding said bid, exclusive of the expense of a new sale, may be obtained, the court may vacate the sale, and direct another to be had, of which notice must be given, and the sale in all respects conducted as if no previous sale had taken place. If an offer greater in amount than that named in the report is made to the court in writing by a responsible person, the court may, in its discretion, accept such offer and confirm the sale to such person, or order a new sale.

If it appears to the court that the sale was legally made and fairly conducted and that the sum bid is not disproportionate to the value of the property sold, and that a sum exceeding such bid, exclusive of the expense of a new sale, cannot be obtained, or if the increased bid above mentioned is made and accepted by the court, the court must make an order confirming the sale and directing the sheriff, in the name of the State, to execute to the purchaser or purchasers a conveyance of said property sold; and said conveyance vests in the purchaser or purchasers all the right and title of the State therein.

The sheriff shall, out of the proceeds of such sale, pay the cost of said proceedings incurred on behalf of the State, including the expenses of making such sale, and also an attorney’s fee, if additional counsel was employed in said proceedings, to be fixed by the court, not exceeding 10 percent on the amount of such sale; and the residue thereof shall be paid by said sheriff into the State Treasury.

(Added by Stats. 1951, Ch. 1708.)


If, in any proceeding had under this title, the judgment or decree distributes or vests unclaimed property or any portion thereof to or in the State of California and the distributing or vesting clause contains words otherwise creating a trust in favor of certain unknown or unidentified persons as a class, such judgment or decree shall vest in the State of California both legal and equitable title to such property; saving, however, the right of claimants to appear and claim the property, as provided in this title.

(Added by Stats. 1951, Ch. 1708.)

CCPCode of Civil Procedure - CCP3.