Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances
Chapter 24. Escheats
11/29/2020

Chapter 24. Escheats.

§ 55.1-2400. Definition.

As used in this chapter, "known" in terms of determining whether an owner is "known" includes inspection of tax records and any other inquiry deemed to be reasonable. It need not include inspection of the premises or inspection of title records in the clerk's office in the county or city in which the land is located.

1984, c. 315, § 55-170.1; 1988, c. 312; 1996, c. 551; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2401. Appointment of escheators.

The Governor shall appoint one escheator for every judicial circuit as set forth in § 17.1-506, to serve at the pleasure of the Governor. Such escheator shall reside within the circuit to which he is appointed.

Code 1919, § 489; Code 1950, § 55-168; 1982, c. 437; 1996, c. 551; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2402. Bond of escheator.

Each escheator shall give bond for the judicial circuit for which he is appointed in the circuit court for the locality in which he resides, in the penalty of $3,000, without surety, and may continue in office until removed or until a successor is duly appointed and qualified. If property in another locality within the appointed judicial circuit escheats to the Commonwealth at the inquest hearing, the escheator shall give bond within that locality as determined by the clerk of the circuit court in the locality and in a penalty of a percentage of the assessed value of the property according to the records of the commissioner of the revenue. The bond shall be obtained within 10 days following the inquest hearing.

Code 1919, § 490; Code 1950, § 55-169; 1977, c. 583; 1982, c. 437; 1998, c. 215; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2403. Increase or reduction of penalty of escheator's bond; effect.

The court may, at any time, with reasonable notice to the escheator, increase or reduce the penalty of the bond, provided that in no case shall such penalty be reduced to less than $1,000. Upon bond being given under an order increasing or reducing the penalty of a former bond, the sureties in such former bond and their estates shall be discharged from all liability for any breach of official duty committed by such escheator after that time.

Code 1919, § 491; Code 1950, § 55-170; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2404. Annual report to escheator; lands not liable.

Each treasurer shall, every May, furnish to the escheator of his county or city a list of all lands within his district owned by any person who has died in possession of an estate of inheritance (i) intestate and without any known heir or (ii) testate without disposing of all property by will and without leaving any surviving heir to inherit the property. No land shall be liable to escheat that has been held for 15 years under adverse possession as at common law by the person claiming such land, or those under whom he holds, but only if taxes were paid throughout that period by the claimant or those under whom he holds.

Code 1919, § 492; Code 1950, § 55-171; 1977, c. 583; 1979, c. 340; 1982, cc. 453, 550; 1984, c. 315; 1990, c. 938; 1996, c. 551; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2405. Escheator to hold inquest; notice of inquest.

On receiving a list compiled pursuant to § 55.1-2404, or upon information from any person, in writing and under oath, that any of the conditions described in § 55.1-2404 exists, the escheator shall proceed to hold his inquest to determine whether any land identified has escheated to the Commonwealth. He shall (i) post notice of the time of taking such inquest at the front door of the courthouse for 30 days prior to the inquest and (ii) advertise once in a newspaper of general circulation within the county or city at least seven but not more than 30 days prior to the inquest. Notice shall also be mailed to the last owner of record, if any, as it appears in the tax records of the local treasurer. The escheator shall send a copy of the newspaper advertisement to the State Treasurer prior to the date of the inquest. The inquest shall be held in the same calendar year in which the list or information is received by the escheator. The attorney for the Commonwealth shall act as attorney for this proceeding.

Code 1919, § 493; Code 1950, § 55-172; 1977, c. 583; 1982, c. 486; 1984, c. 315; 1988, c. 377; 1996, c. 551; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2406. Jury of inquest; presentation of evidence.

The sheriff of the county or city shall summon and return 10 qualified jurors for the inquest, of whom at least seven shall be impaneled as a jury. They shall meet at the courthouse and sit in public and may be adjourned by the escheator from day to day. Every person competent to testify as a witness shall be required to give evidence openly in the presence of the jurors.

Code 1919, § 494; Code 1950, § 55-173; 1977, c. 583; 1984, c. 315; 1990, c. 938; 1996, c. 551; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2407. Attendance of jurors; compensation.

If any person summoned or adjourned as a juror fails to attend according to the summons or adjournment, the escheator shall report such failure to the circuit court having jurisdiction over the county or city in which the land that is the subject of the inquest is located. Such court may fine such person an amount not to exceed $50.

Jurors shall be compensated as provided for jurors in civil cases.

Code 1919, § 495; Code 1950, § 55-174; 1977, c. 583; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2408. How verdict signed; where returned and recorded.

When the inquest is concluded and the verdict concurred in by at least seven of the jurors impaneled such verdict shall be signed by those so concurring and by the escheator. The escheator shall, within 10 days, return the verdict to the clerk's office of the circuit court. After receiving the verdict, the clerk of such court shall record it in accordance with § 17.1-266 and shall provide copies within 10 days to the commissioner of the revenue and the local treasurer or the person performing those duties. This escheat verdict shall be recorded in the grantor index of the record books in the clerk's office.

Code 1919, § 496; Code 1950, § 55-175; 1977, c. 583; 1984, c. 315; 1988, c. 377; 1990, c. 938; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2409. Proceedings to claim land escheated.

When the verdict on an inquest is for the Commonwealth, any person claiming any interest in the lands, whether legal or equitable, may, before the sale of such land, petition the circuit court for redress. The petition shall be accompanied by a bond with good security to pay the Commonwealth all past due real estate taxes, penalties, and interest on such lands. The escheator shall be the sole defendant on behalf of the Commonwealth, and may appear on his own behalf. The escheator shall file an answer stating the objections to the claim. The cause shall be heard, without any unnecessary delay, upon the petition and answer and the evidence. Upon a judgment in favor of the claimant, he shall pay all past due taxes, penalties, and interest. Upon entry of such judgment, the court may award attorney fees to the escheator. For real estate assessment purposes, the commissioner of the revenue or assessor shall continue to assess any escheated property.

Code 1919, § 497; Code 1950, § 55-176; 1983, c. 482; 1990, c. 938; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2410. Trial by jury; judgment of court.

Upon a petition filed pursuant to § 55.1-2409, the court may impanel a jury to ascertain any facts that may be disputed and may set aside the verdict. The escheator may initiate a new inquest in accordance with § 55.1-2405.

Code 1919, § 498; Code 1950, § 55-177; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2411. Facts or evidence to be certified.

If witnesses are sworn before the court or jury, the court shall, upon request of either party, certify what facts are proved by such witnesses. If the facts cannot be certified, the court shall then certify the evidence of the witnesses. In either case, such certificate shall be a part of the record.

Code 1919, § 499; Code 1950, § 55-178; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2412. Lands may be committed to claimant while claim pending.

Pending the petition, the court may commit the lands, or any part thereof, to the claimant, after he has given bond with good security to pay the Commonwealth the rents and profits of such land, if judgment is subsequently entered for the Commonwealth.

Code 1919, § 500; Code 1950, § 55-179; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2413. Disposition of lands while claim is pending, if not committed to claimant.

If the escheator leases property remaining in his hands, he shall notify and transmit a copy of such lease, if in written form, to the State Treasurer within 30 days and remit the rent proceeds to the State Treasurer as they are received. The escheator shall be answerable to the claimant or to the Commonwealth, as determined by the court, for the rents and profits of such land and the escheator shall ensure that such land be kept free from waste and destruction. Where the escheator deems that reasonable business practice would require that insurance be obtained on such income-producing property, he shall obtain insurance coverage on the escheated property after having first obtained the approval of the State Treasurer.

Code 1919, § 501; Code 1950, § 55-180; 1977, c. 583; 1982, c. 486; 1984, c. 315; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2414. Escheator to notify State Treasurer of claim and decision.

The escheator shall certify to the State Treasurer, within 60 days after the end of a year from the date of such inquest, whether any petition has been filed claiming an interest in the property pursuant to § 55.1-2409, and if such claim is made, he shall certify the decision on such petition within 60 days after such decision.

Code 1919, § 502; Code 1950, § 55-181; 1977, c. 583; 1982, c. 486; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2415. Escheators to certify lands escheated.

Every escheator shall, within 60 days after an inquest that finds on behalf of the Commonwealth, transmit to the State Treasurer a certificate showing the number of tracts or lots escheated, the reputed quantity of each parcel, a description sufficient to identify each parcel, and the names of the persons found to have died in possession of such parcel, or from whom the land escheated.

Code 1919, § 503; Code 1950, § 55-182; 1977, c. 583; 1982, c. 486; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2416. Removal of parcels from the certificate.

If the escheator finds that the escheat of a parcel was improper, for whatever reason, he shall remove the parcel from the certificate transmitted to the State Treasurer pursuant to § 55.1-2415 at any time prior to sale pursuant to § 55.1-2419. The escheator shall state in writing his reasons for such removal to the satisfaction of the State Treasurer. Thereafter, unless a petition has been filed in accordance with § 55.1-2409, the escheator shall petition the circuit court to correct the verdict returned to the clerk of court pursuant to § 55.1-2408. A copy of this petition shall be sent to the State Treasurer. The escheator shall notify in writing the local treasurer or the local official performing these duties of any such error and improper escheat. The escheator shall be reimbursed the costs incurred by him for filing such a petition with the circuit court. The escheator shall file, and the clerk of court shall record, any such corrected verdict in the appropriate deed books.

1984, c. 315, § 55-182.1; 1990, c. 938; 1991, c. 684; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2417. Escheat of property with hazardous materials.

In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the Virginia Waste Management Board, pursuant to its authority granted in § 10.1-1402, or the Department of Environmental Quality, shall have recourse against any prior owner or the estate of any prior owner for the costs of cleanup of escheated property in or upon which any hazardous material as defined in § 44-146.34 is found.

1991, c. 684, § 55-182.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2418. Publication of escheator's certificate.

The State Treasurer shall cause the contents of the certificate transmitted pursuant to § 55.1-2415 to be published once each week for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or city where the inquest was held.

Code 1919, § 504; 1945, p. 40; Code 1950, § 55-183; 1977, c. 583; 1982, c. 486; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2419. Order of sale by Governor.

Not less than six months after the publication of the escheator's certificate pursuant to § 55.1-2418, the State Treasurer shall present to the Governor the escheator's certificate and proof of publication, and, if a claim has not been made pursuant to § 55.1-2409, or, if made, has been decided in favor of the Commonwealth, the Governor shall order the escheated land to be sold upon such terms, at such time, and at such place within the county or city in which the property is located, or if the property is located within a city that is located wholly within a county, then the sale may take place in the city, or a contiguous county or city as he deems proper. The order of sale shall be delivered to the State Treasurer, to be transmitted to the escheator, who shall proceed to sell according to such order.

1977, c. 583, § 55-184.1; 1981, c. 514; 1982, c. 486; 1996, cc. 256, 551; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2420. Form of sale agreement; notice of right to refund.

A sale agreement for the purchase of escheated property shall include a statement of the purchaser's right to claim a refund pursuant to § 55.1-2438 upon submission to the State Treasurer within 120 days of the sale of satisfactory evidence that the escheated property does not exist or was improperly escheated. The following form may be used:

Sale Agreement of Escheated Property

This agreement of sale made in triplicate this ____ day of ______, 20__, between ________, Escheator (hereinafter known as Seller), and ________ (hereinafter known as Purchaser) and ________ (hereinafter known as Agent).

WITNESS

That for and in consideration of the full purchase price of $______ by cash/check in hand paid, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, the Seller agrees to sell and the Purchaser agrees to buy all that certain lot or parcel of land with all the appurtenances (if any) thereunto belonging and described as follows:

________________

________________

________________

The Seller agrees to obtain a state grant. It is hereby understood that GRANTS for lots, parcels and acreage sold pursuant to this agreement shall be WITHOUT WARRANTY and in accordance with § 55.1-2422 of the Code of Virginia. The recovery of proceeds of each sale from the Commonwealth, less the expenses of sale and the escheator's commission, may be obtained if the Purchaser, pursuant to § 55.1-2438 of the Code of Virginia, submits satisfactory evidence to the State Treasurer within 120 days of the sale that the escheated property does not exist or was improperly escheated.

WITNESS the following signatures and seals made this ______ day of ______, 20__.

____________ (SEAL)

____________ (SEAL)

Agent

____________ (SEAL)

Purchaser

____________ (SEAL)

Escheator for

____________, Virginia,

Seller

1986, c. 141, § 55-184.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2421. When grant to issue to purchaser; reimbursable expenses.

A. When the escheator sells for cash, he shall certify the purchase and the price to the State Treasurer, who, after determining that such price, deducting the expenses, has been paid into the state treasury and that the expenses of the inquest and sale have been paid to the escheator, shall have a grant issued and executed for the lands so sold. At the time of sale, the escheator shall require the purchaser to sign an authorization for recordation prior to distribution. A clerk's fee per parcel purchased in accordance with subdivision A 2 of § 17.1-275 shall be collected by the escheator in addition to the purchase price. The fee shall be forwarded to the State Treasurer, together with the names and addresses of the purchasers of the escheated property and the sale proceeds as required in § 55.1-2426, who shall send the fee with the grants to the local clerk's office for recording. The fee in effect at the time of sale shall be in lieu of all fees and costs. Grants of escheated property shall be exempt from all recording taxes. After recording the grants, the local clerk shall forward the grants to the escheator, who shall be responsible for notifying the purchasers of the recordation and the distribution of the grants to the purchaser.

B. Expenses reimbursable by the State Treasurer under subsection A shall include an auctioneer's fee, which shall not exceed five percent of the sale proceeds. The State Treasurer, by regulation, shall detail other appropriate reimbursable expenses.

Code 1919, § 507; Code 1950, § 55-186; 1952, c. 132; 1977, c. 583; 1981, c. 514; 1982, c. 486; 1984, c. 315; 1988, c. 377; 1990, c. 938; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2422. Form of grant of escheated property.

A grant of escheated property shall be without warranty and to the following effect:

"In consideration of the sum of $____ paid by ________, the Purchaser, into the treasury of the Commonwealth, etc., there is granted without warranty by the Commonwealth to ________, the Purchaser, a certain tract or parcel of land, containing ____ acres, lying in the county (or city) of ________, etc., (describing the bounds of the land and date of the survey or other description sufficient to identify the parcel) with its appurtenances, to ________, the Purchaser, and his heirs forever. In witness whereof, ________, the Governor of the Commonwealth, has set his hand and caused the lesser seal of the Commonwealth to be affixed hereunto, at ____, on the ________ day of ________, in the year ____."

1952, c. 132, § 55-186.1; 1977, c. 583; 1984, c. 315; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2423. Governor to sign and seal grant; Librarian of Virginia to record it; delivery to and by State Treasurer.

The State Treasurer shall deliver such grant of escheated property to the Governor, by whom it shall be signed and caused to be affixed with the lesser seal of the Commonwealth. The grant shall then be delivered by the Governor to the Librarian of Virginia, who shall record it, and the plat and certificate of survey, if provided, or other description sufficient to identify the parcel on which the grant is founded, by a procedural microphotographic process that meets archival standards. The Librarian of Virginia shall certify to the State Treasurer that the grant has been recorded and then deliver the grant to the State Treasurer, who shall in turn mail it to the party to whom it is made, or another person, as directed by such party.

1952, c. 132, § 55-186.2; 1982, cc. 486, 565; 1984, c. 315; 1998, c. 427; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2424. Recordation of certified copy of grant.

The clerk shall accept for recordation a copy of the grant of escheated property from the Commonwealth that is certified as a true copy by the Librarian of Virginia under § 55.1-2423.

2005, c. 540, § 55-186.3; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2425. Resale in case of default.

If the purchaser does not pay the purchase money into the state treasury within a reasonable time, any deposit is forfeited, and the State Treasurer may rescind the contract and order a new sale.

Code 1919, § 508; Code 1950, § 55-187; 1990, c. 938; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2426. Reports by escheators to State Treasurer.

The escheator shall file reports with the State Treasurer as required by the State Treasurer by agency directive.

Code 1919, § 510; Code 1950, § 55-189; 1977, c. 583; 1981, c. 514; 1990, c. 938; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2427. Reports by State Treasurer to the Governor; penalty on escheators for failure of duty.

The State Treasurer shall, every May 1, file a report with the Governor containing the name of any escheator who fails to perform any duty required of him by this chapter. If any escheator fails to report to and account with the State Treasurer, or fails to pay into the state treasury the proceeds of any sale made by him, or any such rents and profits, in the manner and within the time prescribed by law, he shall be fined no more than $200 for every 60 days such failure continues. If any escheator fails to perform any other duty required of him by this chapter and no specific penalty for such failure is provided, he shall be fined no more than $50. Any action for any fine under this chapter may be instituted, at the discretion of the State Treasurer or of the Attorney General, in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, after 15 days' notice.

Code 1919, § 511; Code 1950, § 55-190; 1981, c. 514; 1996, c. 551; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2428. State Treasurer may examine records of any escheator, commissioner of the revenue, or treasurer.

The State Treasurer may at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice examine the records of any escheator, commissioner of the revenue, treasurer, or other person charged with his duties.

1982, c. 486, § 55-190.1; 1990, c. 938; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2429. When State Treasurer to issue grant to purchaser.

The State Treasurer shall not request that the Governor issue a grant for the lands sold to the purchaser, or his heirs or assigns, until the purchase money has been fully paid.

Code 1919, § 512; Code 1950, § 55-191; 1982, c. 486; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2430. Escheator's pay.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, the escheator shall be entitled to a commission of 10 percent on all proceeds of sales made by him of escheated lands that are paid to him or into the state treasury. Where an escheator is replaced by the appointment and qualification of a successor and where such escheator held an inquest provided for in § 55.1-2405 but the sale provided for in § 55.1-2419 has not been held, the 10 percent commission on the proceeds of the sales of the escheated lands so advertised shall be divided equally between such escheator and his successor. For each parcel that escheats, the escheator shall be paid $10 out of any money in the state treasury belonging to the Literary Fund.

Code 1919, § 513; Code 1950, § 55-192; 1977, c. 583; 1981, c. 514; 1984, c. 315; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2431. Escheat of estates in trust and equitable titles.

An estate vested in a person solely by mortgage or deed of trust shall not escheat or be forfeited to the Commonwealth by reason of the mortgagee or trustee dying without heirs, but any equitable title to lands shall escheat or be forfeited, as the case may be, if the person having the equitable title also had the legal title.

Code 1919, § 514; Code 1950, § 55-193; 1977, c. 583; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2432. Provision in favor of tenant of escheated land.

If any person holds any escheated land under a lease or has right to any rent or other profit out of such land, he shall hold and enjoy his lease, rent, or other profit, whether such lease or right to rent or other profit is found in the inquest or not.

Code 1919, § 515; Code 1950, § 55-194; 1990, c. 938; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2433. In favor of creditor of decedent.

If any debt of a person who died in possession of such lands that escheated to the Commonwealth, remains unpaid after all the personal estate of such person has been applied to the payment of his debts, the creditor may file his complaint, accompanied with an affidavit that the debt is bona fide due, to recover such debt in the circuit court to which the inquest of escheat was returned and make the escheator defendant. If the court orders that the debt or any part thereof is due, the amount ordered to be due shall be paid by the escheator, if the escheator has enough of the proceeds of sale remaining to cover the amount, or out of the state treasury, if enough of the proceeds that have been paid into the state treasury still remain in the state treasury, or to the credit of the Literary Fund.

Code 1919, § 516; Code 1950, § 55-195; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2434. Escheators to defend on behalf of Commonwealth.

The escheator shall answer and defend on the part of the Commonwealth any action against him or any petition filed under § 55.1-2409 and shall be allowed the costs incurred by him in such defense.

Code 1919, § 517; Code 1950, § 55-196; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2435. Recovery by escheator of decedent's escheated residue and of property abandoned or derelict; fee.

The residue of a decedent's estate consisting of real property belonging to the Commonwealth, or subject to escheat to the Commonwealth, and any such property abandoned or derelict, or having no rightful owner, may be recovered from any person in possession thereof by an escheator by a complaint in the name of the Commonwealth. For his services in such recovery, the escheator shall be entitled to such fee as may be approved by the State Treasurer, but in no event shall such fee exceed 10 percent of the value of such recovered property.

Code 1919, § 518; Code 1950, § 55-197; 1956, c. 15; 1966, c. 251; 1977, c. 583; 1981, c. 514; 1984, c. 315; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2436. Publication of action; what to state and require.

When any action is instituted pursuant to § 55.1-2435, the court shall cause a publication to be made once each week for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or city in which the proceedings are held, setting forth the nature of the claim, the name and place of birth, when known, of the deceased person, or of the former owner of the property, if known, as the case may be, and a description of the property or estate claimed and requiring all persons claiming an interest in such property to appear and assert their interests in such property.

Code 1919, § 519; 1942, p. 517; Code 1950, § 55-198; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2437. Order of the court.

If no person appears and shows that he has title to the property, the court shall order that the residue or other property belongs to the Commonwealth and enforce the collection thereof or of the proceeds of the sale of such property, provided, however, that if the residue or other property was given, bequeathed, or devised by will to a charitable institution in the Commonwealth and such gift, bequest, or devise failed by reason of insufficient witnessing of such will and would otherwise escheat to the Commonwealth, and the court finds that it is in the public interest, the court may order such residue or other property, or so much thereof as was subject to such gift, bequest, or devise, to be paid to such charitable institution.

Code 1919, § 520; Code 1950, § 55-199; 1977, c. 488; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2438. How money paid into state treasury from escheats may be recovered.

A. If within 120 days from the date of sale, a purchaser submits evidence satisfactory to the State Treasurer that the property described in the grant does not exist or was improperly escheated, the State Treasurer may refund the purchase price, less the expenses of sale and the escheator's fee. Before any such refund is made, the purchaser shall return the grant to the State Treasurer, who shall inform the Librarian of Virginia of its return. Both of these officials shall note the grant's return in their records. When the Commonwealth has recorded the grant, the purchaser shall record a quitclaim deed and send proof thereof to the State Treasurer prior to the issuance of any refund.

B. After any sale of escheated lands and upon certification verified by oath of the local treasurer or other officer charged with the collection of local real estate taxes that the land so sold was, at the time of escheat to the Commonwealth, subject to the lien of unpaid local real estate taxes or that the land so sold was, at any time prior to sale, subject to other assessments, including liens for demolition, cutting or removing weeds, or abating any nuisance on the escheated land, all of which assessments were validly assessed, levied, or imposed by the locality on the lands within 20 years preceding the date of the escheat or inquest, the State Treasurer shall, upon receipt of the proceeds of sale, deduct the escheator's commission and costs of the inquest and sale. The State Treasurer shall then pay to the local treasurer out of the net proceeds of such sale, if any, the amount of the local real estate taxes and assessments, including accrued penalties and interest, up to but not exceeding the amount of the funds remaining in the hands of the State Treasurer from the proceeds of the sale. To the extent that local taxes and other appropriate local charges exceed the proceeds obtained for such escheated land at the escheat sale, such local taxes and other charges are exonerated. Any other liens on property that was escheated and sold shall shift to the proceeds of the sale and shall no longer remain a lien on the property.

C. Any person who had not asserted a claim before the sale of escheated property, being entitled to any property so escheated and sold, may recover so much of the net proceeds as remain after deduction of the escheator's commission, costs of the inquest and sale, and allowance of claims for unpaid real estate taxes and assessments due on the land or from any creditors of the decedent. The same may be allowed by the State Treasurer or, if a claim in any such case is rejected by him, a petition for recovery may be made in the manner provided in § 8.01-192 for recovering claims against the Commonwealth, but subject to the limitation in § 8.01-255.

Code 1919, § 521; Code 1950, § 55-200; 1968, c. 626; 1977, c. 583; 1979, c. 340; 1980, c. 213; 1981, c. 514; 1983, c. 482; 1984, c. 315; 1988, c. 377; 1998, c. 427; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2439. Regulations of the State Treasurer.

The State Treasurer shall adopt any necessary regulations in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

1984, c. 315, § 55-200.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2440. Continuation of certain statutes.

The first section of Chapter 114 of the Code of 1849, and the sections following that to the seventeenth section, inclusive, of such chapter; the act passed April 12, 1852 (Chapter 18, Acts 1852); the act passed April 7, 1858 (Chapter 39, Acts 1858); and the Acts of 1857-8, as amended by the act passed March 30, 1860 (Acts of 1859-60) are continued in force.

Code 1919, § 522; Code 1950, § 55-201; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2441. Pendency of escheat proceedings no bar to condemnation proceedings.

Notwithstanding any provision contained in this chapter, the Commissioner of Highways or any locality or other political subdivision or agency of the Commonwealth possessing the power of eminent domain, for a public purpose in accordance with the law and notwithstanding the pendency of any proceeding brought for the escheat of any land wanted and needed by such Commissioner of Highways or such locality or other political subdivision or agency of the Commonwealth for such purpose, may institute, maintain, and conduct to final judgment condemnation proceedings to acquire in fee simple such land or such lesser estate, title, or interest therein as is wanted and needed for such public purpose, provided, however, that the escheator in whose name such escheat proceedings is pending and the Commonwealth are made codefendants to such condemnation proceedings, together with the owner, if known, of the land proposed to be condemned in such proceeding. The pendency of such escheat proceedings shall not constitute a bar or defense to such condemnation proceedings, nor to any proceeding therein seeking a right of entry as provided in § 25.1-223, in Chapter 3 (§ 25.1-300 et seq.) of Title 25.1, or in Article 1 (§ 33.2-1000 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of Title 33.2. No escheator, after being served with notice of the filing of any such condemnation proceeding, shall sell or dispose of any land sought to be acquired in such condemnation proceeding except upon order entered by the court in which such condemnation proceeding is pending. The funds paid into court as compensation or damages for the land so taken or damaged shall, after payment of taxes and other claims constituting valid liens against the land so taken, be ordered distributed to the party entitled thereto or be ordered paid to the escheator of such land, or to the State Treasurer, as the court may direct.

1968, c. 699, § 55-201.1; 2003, c. 940; 2019, c. 712.