2017 Massachusetts General Laws
PART II REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS
TITLE II DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION, WILLS, ESTATES OF DECEASED PERSONS AND ABSENTEES, GUARDIANSHIP, CONSERVATORSHIP AND TRUSTS
Chapter 200A DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
Section 12 Treasurer; examination of books and records; reporting violations; penalty; costs; interest; limitation period for examinations; appeal of audit findings; written petition for review
Section 12. (a) The treasurer may at any reasonable time and upon reasonable notice examine the records of any person to determine if said person has complied with the provisions of the chapter. In the event such person refuses to permit the treasurer to examine such records, the treasurer shall petition the superior court for an order to allow the treasurer or his agents to examine all appropriate business records of such person.
(b) If the treasurer believes that the holder of property has violated the provisions of section seven, he shall petition the superior court for an order to require the holder thereof to turn over said property to him.
(c) If the court shall determine that the holder of such property has violated the provisions of section seven, he shall be liable to a penalty of not more than five hundred dollars; provided, however, that no person shall be penalized for failure to report property as provided herein if the court shall find that such person has acted in good faith.
(d) In the event that the superior court shall order the holder of property to turn over said property to the treasurer pursuant to paragraph (b), the court may include in said order a per diem rate of one hundred and fifty dollars per examiner as the cost of conducting the examination provided for in paragraph (a).
(e) In addition to any damages, penalties, or fines for which a person may be liable under other provisions of law, any person who fails to report or deliver unclaimed property within the time prescribed by this chapter, shall pay to the treasurer interest at the rate of twelve per cent per annum, or such adjusted rate as is hereinafter established under Title 26, section 6621 of the United States Code, on such property or value thereof from the date such property should have been paid or delivered.
(f) Any examination undertaken by the treasurer, pursuant to this section, shall be conducted within a period of limitation; provided, however, that said period of limitation shall be defined as an abandonment period of three years pursuant to section 2, 3, 4, 5, 5A, 5B, 5C, 6, 6A, 6B or 6D, plus a six year statute of limitation period immediately following said abandonment period; provided, further, that unless otherwise provided, holders of unclaimed property shall maintain records of the property for the period of limitation; and provided, further, that in the event a holder fails to comply with the provisions of subsection (d) of section 7, any examination undertaken by the treasurer shall not be temporally limited.
(g) If the treasurer finds that the holder of property has violated the provisions of section 7 pursuant to an audit finding, the holder may appeal said finding. The appeal shall be in writing on a form prescribed by the treasurer and received by the assistant state treasurer of the unclaimed property division within 30 days of said finding. The assistant state treasurer of the unclaimed property division may hold a hearing on such appeal at a time and place to be fixed by him, but not later than 30 days from the date the appeal was due, unless such time shall be extended by mutual agreement of both parties. The holder may appear in person or by agent or attorney at such hearing. To the extent the assistant state treasurer of the unclaimed property division may consider practicable, the hearing shall be conducted as informally as possible and shall eliminate formal rules of evidence, practice and pleading. The assistant treasurer or his designee shall hear all pertinent evidence and determine the facts, and shall issue an appropriate decision or order reversing, affirming or modifying in whole or in part said finding. The decision or order shall be made in writing within 45 days after the hearing and a copy of the decision or order shall be sent by registered mail to the holder or his designee, and to all interested parties. Nothing herein shall be construed as preventing the assistant state treasurer of the unclaimed property division from granting temporary relief if, in his discretion, such relief is justified, nor from informally adjusting or settling controversies with the consent of all parties.
(h) A holder aggrieved by the decision of the assistant treasurer of the unclaimed property division may, within 30 days of the receipt of such decision, file a written petition for review, on a form prescribed by the treasurer, with the treasurer or his appointee. Said petition shall include a summary of the facts presented to the assistant state treasurer of the unclaimed property division, a copy of the assistant treasurer's decision, the issue in dispute, and any other relevant information. Within 45 days of receipt of the petition, the state treasurer or his appointee, shall either affirm or amend the decision of the assistant state treasurer. The treasurer's decision shall be in writing and sent by first class mail to the holder and any interested parties stating the decision and outlining the reasons therefor.
(i) A holder aggrieved by the decision of the treasurer or his appointee may, after exhausting the processes described in paragraphs (g) and (h), file a claim in superior court pursuant to the requirements set forth in chapter 212.