The California Court of Appeals has ruled on Weingarten Realty Investors v. Chiang, a case concerning claims made by assignees. Weingarten is a judgment creditor of Novadyne Computer Systems, Inc. The local Superior Court assigned to Weingarten certain properties being held for Novadyne by the California State Controller's office as unclaimed property. Weingarten attempted to claim, through the established claims procedures, the unclaimed property held in Novadyne's name. California denied the claim as Weingarten was not the owner of the property. The California Court of Appeals affirmed the San Diego Superior Court, ruling that an assignee has an interest in the property and may recover the property from the California State Controller's office.
This is not the first case in 2012 where the California Controller lost cases for not returning property to claimants. Earlier in 2012, the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Court ruled that the Controller had to turn over properties to bankruptcy trustees.