Delaware Abandoned Property Audit Case Gets New Life

Aug 10, 2017

Credit Joe Gratz / creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal appeals court has overturned a ruling by a Delaware judge in a lawsuit involving a company targeted for an abandoned property audit.

While agreeing that many claims asserted by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline in its 2015 lawsuit were premature, a three-judge panel said Wednesday that the judge erred last year in dismissing the company's procedural due process claim.

In the lawsuit, Plains challenged estimation procedures used by Kelmar Associates, a Massachusetts-based firm that has earned more than $100 million conducting unclaimed property audits for Delaware.

The appeals court said Plains, which argued that Kelmar had a large financial stake in the audit, sufficiently established a due-process challenge to Kelmar's appointment to conduct the audit by showing it was required to submit a dispute to a self-interested party.