Kleinbard litigation partner, Matt Haverstick, was quoted in Law360’s article – Del. Revenue At Risk In High Court Unclaimed Property Suit. The article covers the lawsuit by “Pennsylvania, joined by 28 other states, directly challenging Delaware’s views on common law regarding unclaimed property, interpretations that have typically enriched the small state by allowing it to take custody of the lion’s share of the property when the owner’s last known address cannot be found. The challengers are asking the high court to hold instead that the abandoned checks from MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc. fall within the scope of a 1974 statute that says the state where they were purchased, not the state of the holder’s incorporation, should lay claim to the property.”
“Pennsylvania primarily views the case as a statutory matter, according to the state’s counsel Matthew Haverstick of Kleinbard LLC. He said Delaware’s contentions that it should win because a holder may be incorporated there are both nonsensical and against the spirit of the law.
“In the worst-case scenario, if the money can escheat to the state where it’s from, at least it benefits the residents in the state where it’s from,” Haverstick said. “When it’s time for that money to escheat, it should go to build a road in Delaware? The idea that all that money should aggregate to one state is contrary to the whole point of unclaimed property law. Delaware’s position is anti-consumer.”
Kleinbard litigation attorneys Matt Haverstick, Mark Seiberling, Joshua Voss and Lorena Ahumada represent the Pennsylvania Department of Treasury (on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) in a declaratory judgment action in which Treasury seeks to recover in excess of $10 million in unclaimed property funds that were wrongly submitted to the state of Delaware over a 10-year period. The case was originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against Delaware and MoneyGram, Inc., but the parties agreed to stay that action and pursue the lawsuit in the original jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court.