Texas Laws - Property Code
PROPERTY CODE
TITLE 6. UNCLAIMED PROPERTY

SUBCHAPTER B. ESCHEAT PROCEEDINGS (5244)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 71.101. PETITION FOR ESCHEAT. (5245)(1-click HTML)

(a) If any person, including the attorney general, the comptroller, or a district attorney, criminal district attorney, county attorney, county clerk, district clerk, or attorney ad litem is informed or has reason to believe that real or personal property is subject to escheat under this chapter, the person may file a sworn petition requesting the escheat of the property and requesting a writ of possession for the property. (5246)

(b) The petition must contain: (5247)

(1) a description of the property; (5248)

(2) the name of the deceased owner of the property; (5249)

(3) the name of the tenants or persons claiming the estate, if known; and (5250)

(4) the facts supporting the escheat of the estate. (5251)

(c) If the petition is filed by a person other than the attorney general, the person shall send to the attorney general written notice of the filing and a copy of the petition to permit the attorney general to elect to participate on behalf of the state. (5252)

(d) An action brought under this section is governed by the procedure relating to class actions provided by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. (5253)

(e) A petition filed under this section is not subject to an objection relating to misjoinder of parties or causes of action. (5254)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3586, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 230, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 153, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1423, Sec. 16.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. (5255)

Sec. 71.102. CITATION. (5256)(1-click HTML)

(a) If a petition is filed under this subchapter, the district clerk shall issue citation as in other civil suits to: (5257)

(1) each defendant alleged by the petition to possess or claim the property that is the subject of the petition; (5258)

(2) any person required by this chapter to be cited; and (5259)

(3) persons interested in the estate, including lienholders of record. (5260)

(b) The citation required by Subdivision (3) of Subsection (a) must be published as required for other civil suits and must: (5261)

(1) briefly state the contents of the petition; and (5262)

(2) request all persons interested in the estate to appear and answer at the next term of the court. (5263)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3587, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 923, Sec. 21, eff. Aug. 26, 1985. (5264)

Sec. 71.103. PARTY TO PROCEEDING. (5265)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person who exercises a lawful act of ownership in property that is the subject of an escheat proceeding must be made a party to the proceeding by: (5266)

(1) personal service of citation if the person is a resident of this state and the person's address can be obtained by reasonable diligence; or (5267)

(2) service of citation on a person's agent if the person is a nonresident or a resident who cannot be found and the agent can be found by the use of reasonable diligence. (5268)

(b) For the purposes of this section, reasonable diligence includes an inquiry and investigation of the records of the office of the tax assessor-collector of the county in which the property sought to be escheated is located. (5269)

(c) The comptroller is an indispensable party to any judicial or administrative proceeding concerning the disposition and handling of property that is the subject of an escheat proceeding and must be made a party to the proceeding by personal service of citation. (5270)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3587, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 153, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1423, Sec. 16.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. (5271)

Sec. 71.104. APPEARANCE OF CLAIMANTS. (5272)(1-click HTML)

Any person, whether named in the escheat petition or not, who claims an interest in property that is the subject of an escheat proceeding may appear, enter a pleading, and oppose the facts stated in the petition. (5273)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3588, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (5274)

Sec. 71.105. TRIAL. (5275)(1-click HTML)

(a) If a person appears and denies the state's right to the property or opposes a material fact of the petition, the court shall try the issue as any other issue of fact. (5276)

(b) The court may order a survey as in other cases in which the title or the boundary of the land is in question. (5277)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3588, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (5278)

Sec. 71.106. DEFAULT JUDGMENT. (5279)(1-click HTML)

If citation is issued in accordance with Section 71.102 and no person answers within the period provided by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the court shall render a default judgment in favor of the state. (5280)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3588, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (5281)

Sec. 71.107. JUDGMENT FOR STATE. (5282)(1-click HTML)

(a) If the court renders a judgment for the state finding that an intestate died without heirs, the property escheats to the state and title to the property is considered to pass to the state on the date of death of the owner as established by the escheat proceeding. The court may award court costs to the state. (5283)

(b) If the judgment involves real property, the state may sell the property under the general laws governing the sale of Permanent School Fund lands, and, after the second anniversary of the date of the final judgment, the court shall issue a writ of possession for the property. (5284)

(c) If the judgment involves personal property, the court shall issue a writ of possession that contains an adequate description of the property as in other cases for recovery of personal property. (5285)

(d) When the record of an escheat proceeding reflects that a lienholder or his predecessor received actual or constructive notice of the escheat proceeding, the entry of the judgment in the escheat proceeding will either satisfy or extinguish any lien which the lienholder or his predecessor claimed or could have claimed on the escheated property at the escheat proceeding. (5286)

(e) The sheriff, constable, court clerk, or other officer appointed by the judge in an escheat proceeding shall execute a writ of possession by filing the writ with the deed or map records of the county when the escheated property relates to realty and by serving the writ on any holder, tenant, or occupant of any escheated property. Additionally, the person who executes a writ of possession shall either: (5287)

(1) post the writ for at least three consecutive weeks on the door or posting board of the county courthouse in the county where the proceeding was conducted or in the county where the property is located; or (5288)

(2) in the case of real property, post the writ for at least two consecutive weeks at a reasonably conspicuous place on the realty; or (5289)

(3) publicize the writ in any other fashion ordered by the court. (5290)

(f) After validly executing a writ of possession, the sheriff, constable, court clerk, or other appointed officer shall note the method of the execution of the writ on the writ return and shall return the writ to the clerk to be filed in the court records of the escheat proceeding. (5291)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3588, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 230, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 923, Sec. 22, eff. Aug. 26, 1985. (5292)

Sec. 71.108. COSTS PAID BY STATE. (5293)(1-click HTML)

If the property does not escheat, the state shall pay court costs. The clerk of the court shall certify the amount of the costs, and when the certificate is filed in the office of the comptroller of public accounts, the comptroller shall issue a warrant for the amount of the costs. (5294)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3588, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (5295)

Sec. 71.109. APPEAL; WRIT OF ERROR. (5296)(1-click HTML)

A party who appeared at an escheat proceeding may appeal the judgment rendered or may file an application for a writ of error on the judgment. The attorney general or the other person acting on behalf of the state in the escheat proceeding may make an appeal or file the writ. (5297)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3589, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (5298)

  

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