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Operating Rules - Chapter 19 - Disposition of Unclaimed Property

CHAPTER 19 – DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY

19.01   Purpose.  The purpose of this Chapter of the Operating Rules is to provide for the administration and disposition of all unclaimed property in the possession or under the control of Denver Water.  CRS §38-13-101 et. seq. is inapplicable to Denver Water because a local law covering the subject of unclaimed property has been adopted.  This Operating Rule, which was effective August 18, 1992, has the force and effect of an Ordinance of the City and County of Denver.

19.02   Definitions.  Unless otherwise required by context or use, words and terms shall be defined as follows:

a.         "Unclaimed Property" means any tangible or intangible property including any income or increment derived therefrom, less any lawful charges, that is held by or under the control of Denver Water and which has not been claimed by its owner for a period of more than five (5) years after it became payable or distributable.

b.         "Owner of Unclaimed Property" means a person or entity including a corporation, partnership, association, governmental entity other than Denver Water, or a duly authorized legal representative or successor in interest of same, which is entitled to unclaimed property held by Denver Water.

c.         "Director" shall mean the Director of Finance or designee.

19.03   Unclaimed Property to be Returned to Water Works Fund.  After the steps provided in this Chapter have been completed, any unclaimed property shall become the sole property of Denver Water and any claim of the owner to such property shall be deemed forfeited.  Such unclaimed property shall remain in the Water Works Fund if already there.  If the unclaimed property involved is not in the Water Works Fund, it shall be disposed of in an appropriate manner by the Director, with all cash proceeds from the disposition being placed in the Water Works Fund.

19.04   Disposition of Unclaimed Property Having an Estimated Value Over $50.  Prior to disposition of any unclaimed property having an estimated value of $50 or more, the Director shall send a written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address, if any, of any owner of the unclaimed property.  The last known address of the owner shall be the last address of the owner as shown by Denver Water records.  The notice shall include a description of the property, the amount or estimated value of the property, and, when available, the purpose for which the property was deposited or otherwise held.  The notice shall state where the owner may make inquiry of or claim the property.  The notice shall also state that if the owner fails to provide the Director with a written claim for the return of the property within 60 days of the date of the notice, the property shall become the sole property of Denver Water and any claim of the owner to such property shall be deemed forfeited.

19.05   Disposition of Unclaimed Property Having an Estimated Value Less than $50.  Prior to disposition of any unclaimed property having an estimated value of less than $50, or having no last known address of an owner, the Director shall cause a notice to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in Denver.  The notice shall include a description of the property, the name of the owner of the property, the estimated value of the property, and, when available, the purpose for which the property was disposed or otherwise held.  The notice shall state where the owner may make inquiry of or claim the property.  The notice shall also state that if the owner fails to provide the Director with a written claim for the return within 60 days of the date of the publication of the notice, the property shall become the sole property of Denver Water, and any claim of the owner to such property shall be deemed forfeited.

19.06   Failure to Make Claim.  If the Director receives no written claim within the above 60 day claim period, the property shall become the sole property of Denver Water, and any claim of the owner to such property shall be deemed forfeited.

19.07   Procedures Governing Claims.  Claims for unclaimed property shall be handled in accordance with the following procedures:

a.         Investigation.  If the Director receives a written claim within the 60 day claim period, the Director shall evaluate the claim and give written notice to the claimant within 90 days of receiving the claim that the claim has been accepted or denied in whole or in part.  The Director may investigate the validity of the claim and may request further supporting documentation from the claimant prior to disbursing or refusing to disburse the property.

b.         Conflicting Claims.  In the event that there is more than one claimant for the property, the Director may, in the Director's discretion, resolve claims directly, or may resolve the claims by depositing property with the Registry of the Denver District Court in an interpleader action.

c.         Result of Denial.  In the event that all claims filed regarding specific items of unclaimed property are denied, the unclaimed property shall become the sole property of Denver Water and any claim of the owner to such property shall be deemed forfeited.

d.         Final Decision.  The decision of the Director shall be the final decision of Denver Water and any legal action filed challenging a decision of the Director shall be filed pursuant to Rule 106 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure within 30 days of such decision or shall be forever barred.  If any legal action is timely filed, the property shall be disbursed by the Director pursuant to the order of the Court having jurisdiction over such claim after all appeals are exhausted.

e.         Procedures.  The Director is authorized to establish and administer procedures for the administration and disposition of unclaimed property consistent with this rule.

19.08   Unclaimed Warrants.  If a warrant is outstanding for 60 days or more, the Director shall cause a letter to be sent to the payee advising that the warrant is outstanding and should be redeemed.  If, after 60 additional days, the warrant is still outstanding and no response has been received, or if the first letter was returned as undeliverable, the warrant shall be voided and the Water Works Fund credited for that amount.  Thereafter, records shall be maintained on any such warrant until it becomes unclaimed property.  At this point, the procedures outlined above shall be followed and, if no claim is filed (or any claim that is filed is unsuccessful), the amount shall be credited to the Water Works Fund without reservation.