Ads Not Enough to Warn of Unclaimed Property

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Ads that read “You May Be Owed Money!” and invite readers to check a state-run Web site aren’t enough to protect property owners’ rights to unclaimed assets, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a trial judge to issue an injunction requiring California to change its notification procedure, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The case’s lead plaintiff had 52,000 shares of Intel seized after going three years without cashing dividend checks or otherwise communicating with Intel.

The Chronicle reports that among those listed on the state-run Web site as unlocated property owners who “shouldn’t have been hard to find” include Angelina Jolie, Kobe Bryant and Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

The opinion said the U.S. Constitution requires notification before assets are seized.

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