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Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Minor Issue

If settlement checks were sent to class members who made a claim, but were returned or never cashed, wouldn't CCP 1500, et seq. come into play and the funds escheat to the State? Thus, only remaining funds for which claims were never made is subject to section 384.

Kimberly A. Kralowec

It sounds like no one made that precise argument. However, on page 12 of the opinion, the court describes "escheat to the government" as one of "several methods of fluid recovery" authorized by the Supreme Court in the Levi Strauss case. Under Levi Strauss, the trial court has discretion to select the most appropriate method of distribution.

Also, it may be that section 384, as the more specific statute, would take precedence over an escheat statute of general application. The Court of Appeal cited that principle of statutory interpretation when holding (slip op. at 14) that the plaintiffs' motion to amend the judgment to permit the residual fund to be distributed to charity was not untimely under Code of Civil Procedure section 473(b). The court noted that secgtion 384 "does not include any time limit within which relief must be sought" and, as the more specific statute, "takes precedence" over section 473.

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