§36-8-10. Custody by state; recovery by holder; defense of holder.

(a) In this section, payment or delivery is made in “good faith” if:

(1) Payment or delivery was made in a reasonable attempt to comply with this article;

(2) The holder was not then in breach of a fiduciary obligation with respect to the property and had a reasonable basis for believing, based on the facts then known, that the property was presumed abandoned: Provided, That no fiduciary shall be deemed to be in breach of a fiduciary obligation for purposes of this section by virtue of paying or delivering property to the administrator prior to the expiration of the period for holding unclaimed or abandoned property contained in the instrument under which such fiduciary is acting; and

(3) There is no showing that the records under which the payment or delivery was made did not meet reasonable commercial standards of practice.

(b) Upon payment or delivery of property to the administrator, the state assumes custody and responsibility for the safekeeping of the property. A holder who pays or delivers property to the administrator in good faith is relieved of all liability arising thereafter with respect to the property.

(c) A holder who has paid money to the administrator pursuant to this article may subsequently make payment to a person reasonably appearing to the holder to be entitled to payment. Upon a filing by the holder of proof of payment and proof that the payee was entitled to the payment, the administrator shall promptly reimburse the holder for the payment without imposing a fee or other charge. If reimbursement is sought for a payment made on a negotiable instrument, including a traveler’s check or money order, the holder must be reimbursed upon filing proof that the instrument was duly presented and that payment was made to a person who reasonably appeared to be entitled to payment. The holder must be reimbursed for payment made even if the payment was made to a person whose claim was barred under §36-8-19(a) of this code.

(d) A holder who has delivered property other than money to the administrator pursuant to this article may reclaim the property if it is still in the possession of the administrator, without paying any fee or other charge, upon filing proof that the apparent owner has claimed the property from the holder.

(e) The administrator may accept a holder’s affidavit as sufficient proof of the holder’s right to recover money and property under this section.

(f) If a holder pays or delivers property to the administrator in good faith and thereafter another person claims the property from the holder or another state claims the money or property under its laws relating to escheat or abandoned or unclaimed property, the administrator, upon written notice of the claim, shall defend the holder against the claim and indemnify the holder against any liability on the claim resulting from payment or delivery of the property to the administrator.

(g) Property removed from a safe deposit box or other safekeeping depository is received by the administrator subject to the holder’s right to be reimbursed for the cost of the opening and to any valid lien or contract providing for the holder to be reimbursed for unpaid rent or storage charges in an amount not to exceed $150. The administrator shall reimburse the holder after the property has been claimed and returned to the apparent owner using funds in the Unclaimed Property Fund.

Bill History For §36-8-10