Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 7. Escheat.


§ 19–701. Escheatment.

(a) When there is no surviving spouse, surviving domestic partner, or relation of the intestate within the fifth degree, reckoned by counting down from the common ancestor to the more remote, the surplus of real and personal property escheats to the District of Columbia to be deposited in the Escheatment Fund, established by subsection (b) of this section.

(b)(1) There is established as a special fund the Escheatment Fund ("Fund"), which shall be administered by the Department of Human Services in accordance with subsection (3) of this section.

(2) All cash, including real or personal property reduced to cash, received or obtained by the District pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be deposited in the Fund.

(3) Money in the Fund shall be used for emergency assistance grants described in § 4-753.01(e).

(4)(A) The money deposited into the Fund but not expended in a fiscal year shall not revert to the unassigned fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time.

(B) Subject to authorization in an approved budget and financial plan, any funds appropriated in the Fund shall be continually available without regard to fiscal year limitation.

(c) For the purposes of this section, the term "domestic partner" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(3).


(Sept. 14, 1965, 79 Stat. 701, Pub. L. 89-183, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 566; Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 148(1); Apr. 30, 1988, D.C. Law 7-104,§ 5(c), 35 DCR 147; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 5(t), 53 DCR 1035; Sept. 24, 2010, D.C. Law 18-223, § 5042, 57 DCR 6242; Sept. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 23-16, § 3092, 66 DCR 8621.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 19-701.

1973 Ed., § 19-701.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 19-305.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-79 rewrote section which had read as follows: “Where there is no surviving spouse or relations of the intestate within the fifth degree, reckoned by counting down from the common ancestor to the more remote, the surplus of real and personal property escheats to the District of Columbia to be used by the Mayor of the District of Columbia for the benefit of the poor.”

D.C. Law 18-223, in subsec. (a), added the last sentence.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3092 of Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-112, Sept. 4, 2019, 66 DCR 11964).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3092 of Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-91, July 22, 2019, 66 DCR 8497).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 5042 of Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-463, July 2, 2010, 57 DCR 6542).

Short Title

Short title: Section 5041 of D.C. Law 18-223 provided that subtitle E of title V of the act may be cited as the “Emergency Housing Assistance Act of 2010”.

Editor's Notes

Age of majority: Section 2 of the Act of July 22, 1976, D.C. Law 1-75, provided: “Notwithstanding any rule of common or other law to the contrary in effect on the effective date of this act, the age of majority in the District of Columbia shall be eighteen years of age, except that this act shall not affect any common law or statutory right to child support.”