Code Section Group

Code of Civil Procedure - CCP

PART 3. OF SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS OF A CIVIL NATURE [1063 - 1822.60]

  ( Part 3 enacted 1872. )

TITLE 10. UNCLAIMED PROPERTY [1300 - 1615]

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

CHAPTER 8. Property in Custody of Federal Officers, Agencies, and Departments [1600 - 1615]
  ( Chapter 8 added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1801. )

1600.
  

It is the policy of this State:

(a) To discover property in the custody of officers, departments, and agencies of the United States, which property is unclaimed by owners whose addresses are known or presumed to be in this State;

(b) To provide a procedure for judicial determination of the right of the State to receive custody of such unclaimed property; and

(c) To authorize expenditure of state funds to pay the proportionate cost of the State in discovering such unclaimed property and to hold the United States harmless against claims concerning such property when delivered to the custody of the State in accordance with this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1801.)

1601.
  

As used in this chapter:

(a) “Unclaimed property” means any tangible personal property or intangible personal property, including choses in action in amounts certain, and all debts owed or entrusted funds or other property held by any federal agency or any officer or employee thereof, whether occasioned by contract or operation of law or otherwise, except bonuses and gratuities, which has remained unclaimed by the owner for:

(1) Twenty years from the date of maturity or call for payment, if arising from transactions under the public debt; or

(2) Twenty years after the last transaction concerning principal or interest, if deposits in the postal savings system; or

(3) Five years after the property first became payable, demandable, or returnable, if arising from any other transaction.

(b) “Owner” means any person, including his or her legal representative, who has or had a legal or equitable interest in unclaimed property. The owner shall be conclusively presumed to be the person to whom unclaimed property was or is payable or returnable according to the records of the United States Government. If two or more persons are interested in the property, and the extent of their respective interests is unknown, it shall be presumed that their interests in such property are equal.

(c) “Person” includes any individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, unincorporated association, or other legal entity.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1010, Sec. 64. Effective January 1, 1995.)

1602.
  

The Controller is authorized to enter into agreements establishing the time and manner for payments of this State’s proportionate share of the actual and necessary cost incurred by the United States in examining records and reporting information to this State as such share of such cost shall be determined pursuant to federal law. Said agreements may provide for single payments at stated times over a period of years. The State Controller shall make all payments at the time and in the manner provided in said agreements.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1801.)

1603.
  

The State hereby undertakes to hold the United States harmless against any claim concerning property delivered to the custody of the State in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. In the event an action or proceeding on such claim is brought against the United States the Attorney General shall intervene therein. The State consents to suit by such claimant in such contingency and any defense in favor of the United States shall be available to and urged by the State.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1801.)

1604.
  

(a) All unclaimed intangible property, together with all interest and other increments accruing thereto, is subject to delivery to this state if the last known address of the owner is in this state. If the last known address of an owner is in this state, any other owner’s address which is unknown shall be presumed to be in this state. If the last known addresses of owners are in this state and in one or more other states, the addresses of other owners whose addresses are unknown shall be presumed to be within this state if the federal agency having custody of the unclaimed property initially acquired possession in this state. If the records of the United States do not disclose the address of any owner of unclaimed property, such address shall be presumed to be within this state if the federal agency having custody of such property initially acquired possession in this state. All addresses presumed to be within this state are presumed to be within the County of Sacramento. For the purposes of this chapter, it shall be presumed that the situs of unclaimed intangible property is in this state if the last known or presumed address of the owner is in this state.

(b) All unclaimed tangible property is subject to delivery to this state if the federal agency having custody of the unclaimed property initially acquired possession in this state.

(Amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 356.)

1605.
  

The Governor shall certify to the Comptroller General or other proper officer of the United States that the law of this State provides effective means whereby the United States shall be compensated at reasonable times for this State’s proportionate share of the actual and necessary cost of examining records and for reporting information and whereby the United States shall be held harmless in the event of claim for property delivered to this State in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

Such certification shall be made on the thirtieth day of June next following the effective date of any federal statute requiring such certification.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1801.)

1606.
  

On the thirtieth day of June next following the date of certification by the Governor, and annually thereafter, the Controller shall request the Comptroller General or other proper officer of the United States to report all previously unreported information relating to unclaimed property as determined by that officer pursuant to federal law.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1801.)

1607.
  

When a report is received from the Comptroller General or other proper officer of the United States, the Controller shall prepare and forward a copy thereof to the clerk of the superior court of each county within this state and the clerk shall post a copy at the courthouse for a period of 60 days. Any person asserting an interest in property mentioned in the report may elect to claim against the United States under the laws of the United States, in which event and within 90 days following the date of initial posting by the clerk the person shall notify the Controller of the asserted interest and intention to so claim. The Controller shall omit the property from any claim by the state until such time as the asserted interest may be finally determined against the claimant. The interest may not thereafter be asserted against the state.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 62, Sec. 27. Effective January 1, 2004.)

1608.
  

The expiration of any period of time specified by statute or court order, during which an action or proceeding may be commenced or enforced to obtain payment of a claim for funds or delivery of property shall not affect the right of this State to acquire possession of unclaimed property in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1801.)

1609.
  

Within 120 days following the date of initial posting by the clerk of the superior court, the Attorney General shall commence a proceeding by filing a petition to determine the state’s right to custody of all property mentioned in such report and unclaimed within the time and in the manner provided by Section 1607. The proceeding shall be commenced and heard in the superior court in the County of Sacramento and venue shall not be affected by the provisions of Section 401, Code of Civil Procedure.

The petition shall name as respondents all persons known to have been interested and “all persons unknown claiming any title or interest in or to the property described or referred to in the petition.” If the records of the United States fail to disclose with reasonable certainty the identity or number of owners or claimants of specific funds or other personal property, or the extent of their interests therein, such persons may be designated and described as a class, to wit, as “all unknown owners or claimants to the funds or property mentioned in or affected by ____,” and, as the case may be, the petition shall identify and set forth the court actions or proceedings to the credit of which such funds or other property are held, or the accounts or other identifying references under which they are carried upon the records of the United States. The petition shall describe or refer to the property, and may include one or more items, as the Attorney General may be advised, without prejudice to his right to commence subsequent proceedings relating to other items not included. The petition shall also state the name of the owner and his last address as known or as presumed under this chapter, and shall set forth the facts and circumstances by virtue of which it is claimed that such funds or property are subject to custody by the state. Any number of respondents may be joined whether they reside in the same or different counties, and any number of causes of action may be joined and need not be separately stated.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 784, Sec. 85. Effective January 1, 2003.)

1610.
  

No summons or other process shall issue to direct the appearance and answer of a respondent. Commencing within five days after filing petition, notice of the proceeding shall be published once each week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation published within the County of Sacramento. At the time the notice is first published, a copy of the petition and notice shall be posted at the courthouse in the county where each defendant was last known or presumed to have had an address. Such petition and such notice shall remain posted for 45 days. The notice of proceeding shall advise that the State seeks custody of unclaimed property held by the United States. The names but not the addresses of the respondents shall be contained in the notice with a statement that such persons are believed to live or to have lived within the State and are believed to be or to have been owners of the unclaimed property. The notice shall not contain a description of the unclaimed property but shall advise that such description together with the last known or presumed addresses of owners may be determined by examining the petition filed in the proceeding. The petition and its place of filing shall be sufficiently identified and described. The notice shall advise that persons claiming an interest must answer the petition within the time prescribed by law, which time shall be stated, if they elect to pursue their claims against the United States, otherwise their rights to property shall be preserved subject to delayed delivery as provided by law. The notice shall advise that Section 1611, Code of Civil Procedure, should be consulted for the time, form, and costs of an answer.

The notice shall be deemed completed 45 days after the date of first publication, whereupon the court shall have full and complete jurisdiction over the property described in the petition and not claimed within the time or in the manner provided in Section 1611, and shall have full and complete jurisdiction to determine the right of the State to custody and to render an appropriate judgment therefor.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1801.)

1611.
  

Any person, whether or not named in the petition, may within 15 days after completion of notice respond to the petition by answer describing the property, asserting an interest as owner or successor, and declaring an intention to claim the same from the United States under the laws of the United States. Such answer shall not be filed unless accompanied by the sum of ten dollars ($10) for deposit in court, and no other answer or response shall be filed by or on behalf of a claimant. The court shall strike from the petition and dismiss from the proceeding all property described in the answer. The funds on deposit shall be transmitted by the court to the Controller and shall be received for deposit in the abandoned property account in the Unclaimed Property Fund as total reimbursement for costs and services expended on behalf of the claimant. Such dismissal shall be without prejudice to a subsequent petition should it appear that the claimant is not entitled to the property, and the interest asserted in said answer shall not thereafter be asserted against the State.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1801.)

1612.
  

Within 20 days following expiration of time for filing answer under Section 1611, the Attorney General shall apply to the court for a judgment relating to all property set forth in the petition and not claimed by answer. The court shall find that such property appears to be or to have been owned by persons residing within this State and remains unclaimed by such persons. The court shall declare that the property, which shall be described, is subject to custody of the State and shall be delivered to and received by the State of California to be retained until such time as it may be claimed pursuant to law.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1801.)

1613.
  

The Controller shall request delivery or payment of all unclaimed property described in the judgment declaring the right of the State to receive custody of such property. The request shall be accompanied by a certified copy of said judgment and shall be directed to such officer, agency, or department of the United States as may be designated for such purposes by federal law. The Controller shall furnish receipts for all property delivered or paid.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1801.)

1614.
  

Property received under this chapter shall be deposited or sold by the State Controller as though received under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 1500) of this title. Property received under this chapter shall not be subject to claim within two years following the date upon which it is paid to or received by the state. Thereafter, claims shall be made in the manner provided in Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 1500) of this title.

(Amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 356.)

1615.
  

All money in the abandoned property account in the Unclaimed Property Fund is hereby continuously appropriated to the State Controller without regard to fiscal years, for expenditure in accordance with this chapter for the following purposes:

(a) For payment of the proportionate costs of this State pursuant to the terms of any contract entered with the United States;

(b) For payment of sums necessary to indemnify the United States for losses occasioned by claims to property delivered to the custody of this State.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1801.)

CCPCode of Civil Procedure - CCP