- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
- Date Filed: 03-11-2015
- Case #: 12-17828
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Senior District Judge Huck for the Court; Circuit Judges Schroeder and Silverman
- Full Text Opinion
A group of property owners in California (collectively “Plaintiffs”) brought suit against the California State Controller, Betty Yee. Plaintiffs challenged California’s Unclaimed Property Law (“UPL”), which conditionally transfers unclaimed property to the State of California rather than private financial institutions. The California Legislature amended the UPL following Taylor v. Westly (Taylor I)I. Then, in Taylor v. Westly (Taylor III), the court held that the notice procedures in the amended UPL do not violate a property owner’s due process rights. Plaintiffs argued the notice procedures “as applied” by Controller Yee, before and after unclaimed property is transferred to the state, was a violation of the Plaintiffs’ due process rights. However, the district court dismissed these claims. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit reviewed whether the Controller made “reasonable efforts” under the UPL to notify property owners that their property was about to be transferred to the state. The panel rejected the Plaintiffs’ argument that the Controller failed to establish a notification program under section 1531.5 of the UPL that would work with other government entities to locate owners of unclaimed property before the transfer. The panel explained that section 1531.5 refers to steps the Controller can take to notify property owners after a transfer. The panel also rejected the property owner’s argument that the Controller was in violation of the UPL by using third party companies to administer the UPL. Additionally, the panel found that property owners still needed to bring the case before a lower court. AFFIRMED.