Florida Senate - 2015                                    SB 1138
       By Senator Brandes
       22-00806A-15                                          20151138__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to unclaimed property; creating s.
    3         717.1382, F.S.; providing for escheatment to the state
    4         of unclaimed United States savings bonds; providing
    5         for judicial determination of escheatment; providing
    6         procedures for challenging escheatment; providing for
    7         deposit of the proceeds of escheatment; creating s.
    8         717.1383, F.S.; providing that a person claiming a
    9         United States savings bond may file a claim with the
   10         Department of Financial Services; providing
   11         limitations on such claim; providing applicability;
   12         providing an effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Section 717.1382, Florida Statutes, is created
   17  to read:
   18         717.1382 United States savings bond; unclaimed property;
   19  escheatment; procedure.—
   20         (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a United
   21  States savings bond in the possession of the department or
   22  registered to a person with a last known address in the state,
   23  including a bond that is lost, stolen, or destroyed, is presumed
   24  abandoned and unclaimed 5 years after the bond reaches maturity
   25  and no longer earns interest and shall be reported and remitted
   26  to the department by the financial institution or other holder
   27  in accordance with ss. 717.117(1) and (3) and 717.119, if the
   28  department is not in possession of the bond.
   29         (2)(a) After a United States savings bond is abandoned and
   30  unclaimed in accordance with subsection (1), the department may
   31  commence a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction in
   32  Leon County for a determination that the bond shall escheat to
   33  the state. Upon determination of escheatment, all property
   34  rights to the bond or proceeds from the bond, including all
   35  rights, powers, and privileges of survivorship of an owner,
   36  coowner, or beneficiary, shall vest solely in the state.
   37         (b) Service of process by publication may be made on a
   38  party in a civil action pursuant to this section. A notice of
   39  action shall state the name of any known owner of the bond, the
   40  nature of the action or proceeding in short and simple terms,
   41  the name of the court in which the action or proceeding is
   42  instituted, and an abbreviated title of the case.
   43         (c) The notice of action shall require a person claiming an
   44  interest in the bond to file a written defense with the clerk of
   45  the court and serve a copy of the defense by the date fixed in
   46  the notice. The date must not be less than 28 or more than 60
   47  days after the first publication of the notice.
   48         (d) The notice of action shall be published once a week for
   49  4 consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation
   50  published in Leon County. Proof of publication shall be placed
   51  in the court file.
   52         (e)1. If no person files a claim with the court for the
   53  bond and if the department has substantially complied with the
   54  provisions of this section, the court shall enter a default
   55  judgment that the bond, or proceeds from such bond, has
   56  escheated to the state.
   57         2. If a person files a claim for one or more bonds and,
   58  after notice and hearing, the court determines that the claimant
   59  is not entitled to the bonds claimed by such claimant, the court
   60  shall enter a judgment that such bonds, or proceeds from such
   61  bonds, have escheated to the state.
   62         3. If a person files a claim for one or more bonds and,
   63  after notice and hearing, the court determines that the claimant
   64  is entitled to the bonds claimed by such claimant, the court
   65  shall enter a judgment in favor of the claimant.
   66         (3) The department may redeem a United States savings bond
   67  escheated to the state pursuant to this section or, in the event
   68  that the department is not in possession of the bond, seek to
   69  obtain the proceeds from such bond. Proceeds received by the
   70  department shall be deposited in accordance with s. 717.123.
   71         Section 2. Section 717.1383, Florida Statutes, is created
   72  to read:
   73         717.1383 United States savings bond; claim for bond.—A
   74  person claiming a United States savings bond escheated to the
   75  state under s. 717.1382, or for the proceeds from such bond, may
   76  file a claim with the department. The department may approve the
   77  claim if the person is able to provide sufficient proof of the
   78  validity of the person’s claim. Once a bond, or the proceeds
   79  from such bond, are remitted to a claimant, no action thereafter
   80  may be maintained by any other person against the department,
   81  the state, or any officer thereof, for or on account of such
   82  funds. The person’s sole remedy, if any, shall be against the
   83  claimant who received the bond or the proceeds from such bond.
   84         Section 3. This act applies to any United States savings
   85  bond that reaches maturity on, before, or after the effective
   86  date of this act.
   87         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.