Code of the District of Columbia

§ 41–103. Property presumed abandoned.

(a) All intangible personal property, not otherwise covered by this chapter, including any income or increment thereon and deducting any lawful charges, that is held or owing in the ordinary course of the holder’s business and has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than 3 years after it became payable or distributable is presumed abandoned.

(b) Property presumed abandoned shall include, but is not limited to: Drafts, credit balances, credit checks, uncashed vendor checks, and any other outstanding checks.

(c) Property subject to this chapter shall be deemed payable or distributable notwithstanding the owner’s failure to present any instrument or document evidencing the owner’s right to receive the payment provided therein.

(d) A record of the issuance of a check, draft, or similar instrument is prima facie evidence of an obligation. In claiming property from a holder who is also the issuer, the administrator’s burden of proof as to the existence and amount of the property and its abandonment is satisfied by showing issuance of the instrument and passage of the requisite period of abandonment. Defenses of payment, satisfaction, discharge, and want of consideration are affirmative defenses that must be established by the holder.


(Mar. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 3-160, § 103, 27 DCR 5150; Sept. 29, 1992, D.C. Law 9-161, § 2(a), 39 DCR 5696; Mar. 20, 1998, D.C. Law 12-60, § 1701(b), 44 DCR 7378.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 42-203.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 41-104 and § 41-105.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 1701(b) of the Fiscal Year 1998 Revised Budget Support Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-152, October 17, 1997, 44 DCR 6196), and see § 1701(b) of the Fiscal Year 1998 Revised Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-239, January 13, 1998, 45 DCR 508).

Temporary Legislation

Section 1701(b) of D.C. Law 12-59 substituted “3 years” for “5 years” in (a); and added (d).

Section 2001(b) of D.C. Law 12-59 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based in part upon § 9 of the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (1966 Act).

This section is also based upon § 2 of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (1981 and 1995 Acts), and upon § 6 of the 1995 Act.