In re Escheat of Moneys in Custody of United States Treasury

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtLINN, Justice
Citation186 A. 600,322 Pa. 481
Decision Date26 June 1936
PartiesIn re ESCHEAT OF MONEYS IN CUSTODY OF UNITED STATES TREASURY. Appeal of COMMONWEALTH by KLEIN.
186 A. 600
322 Pa. 481

In re ESCHEAT OF MONEYS IN CUSTODY OF UNITED STATES TREASURY.
Appeal of COMMONWEALTH by KLEIN.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

June 26, 1936.


Appeal No. 217, January term, 1936, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 5, Philadelphia County, December term, 1934, No. 1820, in equity; Eugene V. Allensandroni, Judge.

In the matter of the escheat of moneys in the custody of the United States Treasury. Petition of the Commonwealth, by Philip Klein, escheator, praying for a decree of escheat to the commonwealth of certain unclaimed moneys found by the federal court to be due to described bondholders and subsequently transferred from the registry of the federal court to the account of the United States Treasury. The petition was dismissed, and the commonwealth appeals.

Reversed and record remitted.

Argued before KEPHART, C. J, and SCHAFFER, MAXEY, LINN, STERN, and BARNES, JJ.

Grover C. Lander and A. Jere Creskoff, both of Philadelphia, for appellant.

John Hampton Barnes, of Philadelphia, for Pennsylvania Railroad.

J. Cullen Ganey, Asst. U. S. Atty., of Bethlehem, for appellee.

LINN, Justice.

The commonwealth, by Klein, its escheator, filed this petition averring that in certain equity proceedings in the District

186 A. 601

Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,1 certain sums were found to be due and payable to described bondholders; that some creditors, so found to be entitled, had not claimed payment, whereupon the court directed that such unclaimed funds be paid into its registry; that after the lapse of five years2 the unclaimed moneys were deposited to the credit of the Treasury of the United States. The petition averred that "such deposit [was] made by a bookkeeping entry in the Federal Reserve Bank in the city of Philadelphia, transferring the said moneys from the account of the Registry of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to the account of the Treasury of the United States." The petition also set forth that the Act of Congress3 provided: "Any person or persons or any corporation or company entitled to any such money may, on petition to the court from which the money was received, or its successor, and upon notice to the United States attorney and full proof of right thereto, obtain an order of court directing the payment of such money to the claimant, and the money deposited as aforesaid shall constitute and Se a permanent appropriation for payments in obedience to such orders."

The commonwealth averred that the unclaimed money escheated to it; that on April 17, 1934, a petition on its behalf was filed in the District Court4 for an order directing payment, as an escheat, to the commonwealth; 'and that on September 6, 1934, an opinion was filed by Dickinson, J., Klein v. Brodbeck, 15 F.Supp. 473, dismissing the petition for want of jurisdiction and without prejudice.

Petitioner averred that a decree of escheat was necessary to qualify its escheator under the decision of the District Court and the Act of Congress to present, in that court, the claim of the commonwealth as the person entitled to the escheat.

Notice of the petition was given to the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; he appeared specially and moved to dismiss for want of jurisdiction, assigning the following reasons: "(a) The common pleas court of Philadelphia for the state of Pennsylvania has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition above mentioned in that this court cannot exercise jurisdiction as the state statutes are void insofar as they attempt to escheat moneys in the custody of the United States or in the custody of its court.

"(b) The funds sought to be escheated are in the Treasury of the United States as is alleged in the Petition and therefore are not within the jurisdiction of the Courts of Pennsylvania.

"(c) The state law confers no jurisdiction upon any state court for the escheat of funds in the Treasury of the United States." The petition was dismissed and the commonwealth has appealed.

The Act of May 2, 1889, P.L. 66, and amendments and supplements (27 P.S. § 1 et seq.) provide for...

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12 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Board of Finance and Revenue
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 27, 1951
    ...Recent adherence to this doctrine may also be found in the escheat cases. See In re Escheat of Moneys in Custody of U.S. Treasury, 1936, 322 Pa. 481, 186 A. 600, Id., 1937, 326 Pa. 260, 192 A. 256, affirmed 1937, 303 U.S. 276, 58 S.Ct. 536, 82 L.Ed. 840, nom. U. S. v. Klein; Cunnius v. Read......
  • United states v. Board of Finance & Revenue
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 27, 1951
    ...Recent adherence to this doctrine may also be found in the escheat cases. See In re Escheat of Moneys in Custody of U.S. Treasury, 1936, 322 Pa. 481, 186 A. 600, Id., 1937,326 Pa. 260, 192 A. 256,affirmed 1937, 303 U.S. 276, 58 S.Ct. 536, 82 L.Ed. 840, nom. U.S. v. Klein; Cunnius v. Reading......
  • In re Escheat of Monies Deposited in US Dist. Ct., No. 10267.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • January 30, 1951
    ...the United States or of its courts. The Court of Common Pleas granted this motion and was reversed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 322 Pa. 481, 186 A. 600. The United States then filed an answer and the case went to trial. The Court of Common Pleas entered a decree of escheat and dire......
  • United States v. Klein, No. 439
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 28, 1938
    ...with the federal court and no attempted control over funds in its custody. Escheat of Moneys, in Custody of United States Treasury, 322 Pa. 481, 186 A. 600. The United States then filed an answer and upon a trial of the issues the court of common pleas gave its decree declaring that the fun......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • U.S. v. Board of Finance and Revenue
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 27, 1951
    ...Recent adherence to this doctrine may also be found in the escheat cases. See In re Escheat of Moneys in Custody of U.S. Treasury, 1936, 322 Pa. 481, 186 A. 600, Id., 1937, 326 Pa. 260, 192 A. 256, affirmed 1937, 303 U.S. 276, 58 S.Ct. 536, 82 L.Ed. 840, nom. U. S. v. Klein; Cunnius v. Read......
  • United states v. Board of Finance & Revenue
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 27, 1951
    ...Recent adherence to this doctrine may also be found in the escheat cases. See In re Escheat of Moneys in Custody of U.S. Treasury, 1936, 322 Pa. 481, 186 A. 600, Id., 1937,326 Pa. 260, 192 A. 256,affirmed 1937, 303 U.S. 276, 58 S.Ct. 536, 82 L.Ed. 840, nom. U.S. v. Klein; Cunnius v. Reading......
  • In re Escheat of Monies Deposited in US Dist. Ct., No. 10267.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • January 30, 1951
    ...the United States or of its courts. The Court of Common Pleas granted this motion and was reversed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 322 Pa. 481, 186 A. 600. The United States then filed an answer and the case went to trial. The Court of Common Pleas entered a decree of escheat and dire......
  • United States v. Klein, No. 439
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 28, 1938
    ...with the federal court and no attempted control over funds in its custody. Escheat of Moneys, in Custody of United States Treasury, 322 Pa. 481, 186 A. 600. The United States then filed an answer and upon a trial of the issues the court of common pleas gave its decree declaring that the fun......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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