CHAPTER 426

FORMERLY SENATE BILL NO. 685

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 & 2

AN ACT TO AMEND SUBCHAPTER IV, CHAPTER 11, TITLE 12, DELAWARE CODE AND VOLUME 58, DELAWARE LAWS, CHAPTER 329 RELATING TO ESCHEATS OF PROPERTY.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Subsection (a), Section 1198, Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, relating to the definition of "person" is amended by striking the words "a corporation doing business" appearing immediately following the word "person" in the first line thereof, and by inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"a corporation organized or created under the laws of this state, or a corporation doing business"

Section 2. Subsection (d), Section 1198, Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, relating to the definition of the term "holder" is amended by inserting immediately after the word "entity" and preceding the word "doing" appearing on line six thereof the following:

"incorporated or created under the laws of this State or"

Section 3. Section 1198, Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended by striking subsection "k" and subsection "1" in their entirety.

Section 4. Section 1199, Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended to read in its entirety as follows:

§ 1199. Reports by holders of abandoned property

(a) Every holder of funds or other property, tangible or intangible, deemed abandoned under this subchapter shall file with the State Escheator, on or before June thirtieth of each year, as of

December thirty-first next preceding, a report, in duplicate, with respect to such property. The report shall be verified and shall include:

(1) The name, if known, and last known address, if any, of each person appearing from the records of the holder to be the owner of any property deemed abandoned under this subchapter;

(2) The nature and identifying number, if any, or description of the property and the amount appearing from the records to be due, except that items of value under fifty dollars ($50.00) each may be reported in aggregate;

(3) The date when the property became payable, demandable, or returnable, and the date of the last transaction with the owner with respect to the property; and

(4) Other information which the State Escheator may prescribe.

(b) Upon written request the State Escheator may grant an extension of time with respect to the date for filing the report.

(c) The requirements of this section for filing an annual report shall not apply to municipal corporations or counties and the fiscal officers thereof.

(d) Verification, if made by a partnership, shall be executed by a partner; if made by an unincorporated association or private corporation, by an officer; and if made by a public corporation, by its chief fiscal officer.

(e) If the person holding property deemed abandoned is a successor to other persons who previously held the property for the owner, or if the holder has changed his name while holding the property, he shall file with his report all prior known names and addresses of each holder of the property.

(f) (1) With respect to any stock or other certificate of ownership, or any dividend, profit, distribution, interest, payment on principal, or other sum held owing by a corporation or other business association for or to a shareholder, certificate holder, member, bondholder, or other security holder, the initial report

filed under this section shall include all such items of property deemed abandoned under the provisions of this subchapter without limitation as to time.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (1) above, the initial report shall include all such items of property which, under the provisions of this subchapter, would have been deemed abandoned on the effective date of this subchapter had this subchapter been in effect on January 1, 1964.

Section 5. Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended by striking Section 1200 in its entirety and by adding a new section designated Section 1200 to read as follows:

§ 1200. Notice and publication of lists of abandoned property

(a) Within 30 days after receiving the report of abandoned property required by Section 1199, the State Escheator shall cause to be published a notice entitled: "Notice of Names and Persons appearing to be Owners of Abandoned Property".

(b) Such notice shall be published at least once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper in the County in this state in which is located the last known address of any person to be named in the notice. If no address is listed or if the address is outside this state, the notice shall be published in the County in which the holder has his principal place of business. If the holder has no principal place of business in this State then notice shall be published in the County of New Castle.

(c) The published notice shall contain the names in alphebetical order and last known addresses, if any, of persons listed in the report; a brief description of the property; a statement that if proof of claim is not presented by the owner to the holder within 60 days from date of publication the abandoned property shall be paid to or placed in the custody of the State Escheator, to whom all further claims must thereafter be directed.

(d) The State Escheator shall not be required to publish in such notice items of value under fifty dollars ($50.00) each.

Section 6. Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended

by striking Section 1201 in its entirety, and by adding a new section to be designated Section 1201 to read as follows:

§ 1201. Payment or delivery of abandoned property

Ninety days after filing the report required by Section 1199, every holder of abandoned property shall pay or deliver to the State Escheator all abandoned property specified in the report, except that if the owner establishes his right to receive the abandoned property to the satisfaction of the holder within the 90-day period specified in Section 1200 or if it appears that for some other reason the reported abandonment is erroneous, the holder need not pay or deliver the property, which will no longer be deemed abandoned, to the State Escheator, but in lieu thereof shall file a verified written explanation of the proof of claim or other reason.

Section 7. Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended by striking Section 1202 in its entirety, and by adding a new section to be designated Section 1202 to read as follows:

§ 1202. Periods of limitation not a bar

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 money or recovery of property, shall not prevent the money or property from being deemed abandoned property, nor affect any duty to file a report required by this subchapter or to pay or deliver abandoned property to the State Escheator.

Section 8. Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new section at the end thereof to be designated Section 1203 to read as follows:

§ 1203. Relief from liability

The payment or delivery of property to the State Escheator by any holder shall terminate any legal relationship between the holder and the owner and shall release and discharge such holder from any and all liability to the owner, his heirs, personal representatives, successors and assigns by reason of such delivery or payment, regardless of whether such property is in fact and in

law abandoned property, and such delivery and payment may be pleaded as a bar to recovery and shall be a conclusive defense in any suit or action brought by such owner, his heirs, personal representatives, successors and assigns, or any claimant against the holder by reason of such delivery or payment.

Section 9. Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new section to the end thereof to be designated Section 1204 to read as follows:

§ 1204. Sale of abandoned property

(a) All abandoned property, other than money, delivered to the State Escheator under this subchapter shall be sold or disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Section 1143, Subchapter II of this Chapter.

(b) All sales of property made by the State Escheator under this chapter shall pass absolute title to the purchaser. The State Escheator or the Secretary of State shall execute all documents necessary to complete the transfer of title.

Section 10. Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new section to the end thereof to be designated Section 1205 to read as follows:

§ 1205. Deposit of funds

(a) All funds received by the State Escheator under this subchapter, including the proceeds of sale under Section 1204, shall forthwith be paid and deposited into the General Fund of the State.

(b) All disbursements for expenses, claims, storage, etc., made or authorized by the State Escheator in connection with the administration of this subchapter shall be paid by the Secretary of Finance upon presentation of a signed voucher by the State Escheator.

Section 11. Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new section to the end thereof to be designated Section 1206 to read as follows:

§ 1206. Claims for abandoned property paid or delivered;

determination of claims, appeals

(a) Any person claiming an interest in any property paid or delivered to the State Escheator under this sub-chapter may file a claim thereto or to the proceeds from the sale thereof with the State Escheator.

(b) The determination of claims and rights of appeal shall be accomplished as prescribed in Section 1146 (b), Subchapter II, of this Chapter.

(c) When property is paid or delivered to the State Escheator under this subchapter, the owner is not entitled to receive income or other increments accruing thereafter.

Section 12. Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new section to the end thereof to be designated Section 1207 to read as follows:

§ 1207. Penalties

(a) Any person who shall fail to render any report required under this subchapter shall pay a civil penalty of $10 for each day such report is withheld, not to exceed $1,000; provided, the State Escheator may waive all or any portion of the penalty if the failure is due to reasonable cause.

() Proceeding to Compel Delivery. If any person refuses to pay or deliver property to the State Escheator as required by this subchapter, the Escheator may bring an action in the Court of Chancery of the county where the holder resides or has his principal place of business to enforce such payment or delivery.

Section 13. Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new section to the end thereof to be designated Section 1208 to read as follows:

§ 1208. Rules and regulations

The State Escheator may make such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this subchapter.

Section 14. Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new section to the end thereof to be designated Section 1209 to read as follows:

§ 1209. Examination of records

Whenever the State Escheator has reason to believe that a person has failed to report property which should have been reported pursuant to this subchapter, the State Escheator may petition the Court of Chancery for an order requiring such person to produce for examination, at a reasonable time and place, such of his books, records or papers as are reasonably necessary for the State Escheator to determine whether a report was required.

Section 15. Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new section to the end thereof to be designated Section 1210 to read as follows:

§ 1210. Effect of laws of other States

This subchapter shall not apply to any property that has been presumed abandoned or escheated under the laws of another state prior to July 13, 1971.

Section 16. Chapter 11, Title 12, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new section to the end thereof to be designated Section 1211, to read as follows:

§ 1211. Property presumed abandoned or escheated under the laws of another state

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subchapter, if specific property which is subject to the provisions of this subchapter is held for or owed or distributable to an owner whose last known address is in another state, such specific property is not presumed abandoned in this State and is not subject to this subchapter if such property may be claimed as abandoned or escheated under the laws of such other state.

Section 17. Amend Volume 58, Delaware Laws, chapter 329 by striking the reference "Subchapter IV" as it appears therein and by substituting therefor "Subchapter V" in each instance.

Section 18. Amend Volume 58, Delaware Laws, chapter 329 by changing the Delaware Code section numbers therein as follows:

§ 1195

to

§

1220

§ 1196

to

§

1221

§ 1197

to

§

1222

§ 1198

to

§

1223

§ 1199

to

§

1224

Section 19. Effective Date. Section 1 and Section 2 shall take effect on July 1, 1972. All remaining sections of this Act shall become effective on the date this Act is enacted into law.

Approved June 15, 1972.