- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 29, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit filed by the Kansas state treasurer that argued the state had a right to claim ownership to savings bonds it deemed abandoned.

The ruling was handed down Monday, according to The Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/2gfF7ki ). State treasurer Ron Estes said the state is considering appealing the ruling.

Estes initially sued the Treasury Department in federal claims court in 2015 because it refused to pay the state for $151 million in bonds that were not in the state’s possession in 2013. That case is still pending. Estes said the goal is to reunite the money with its rightful heirs, however if the heir does not come forward after a year the money would be put into the state’s general fund.

The U.S. Treasury Department adopted rules in 2015 that require states to have bonds in their possession and sufficient evidence of their abandonment in order to claim them as property. In many cases, the abandonment was because the original bond holder died without a will or legal heir.

Estes then sued the department in March in an attempt to block the new rules and recover the funds. The state treasurers of South Dakota, Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky joined Estes as plaintiffs in the case.

“Our secondary lawsuit was intended to make sure there aren’t any hiccups on our primary lawsuit,” Estes said.

The Treasury Department did not reply to the Wichita Eagle to a request for comment.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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