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I would like to be a non-resident unclamied property finder for California. Is it legal to contact California residents?

Chicago, IL |

I would like to be a non-resident unclaimed property finder (investigator) for California residents. I would charge a fee to help residents claim their property or cash. Is it legal to make initial contact with California residents to help them claim their property with the state? Can this be a profitable business although people can claim property for free? Do unclaimed property finders make a decent living doing this in the US?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Be careful. This may subject you to jurisdiction in California. Expect to get sued in California if you do this and to have that enforced against you in IL.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

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Posted

My colleague is right--contacting California residents from Illinois for the purposes of "helping them claim unclaimed property for a fee" would subject you to the jurisdiction of California state (and Federal District) courts. Your contact with residents of California would, and no pun intended here, amount to "sufficient minimum contacts" with the state of California and giving rise to personal jurisdiction over you in a California court. I think, however, the placement of this question in the "Intellectual Property" category was an oversight--you're obviously not helping people find their lost patents, ©s , or TMs....Simply tangible personal property and cash, correct? If so, you may find more meaningful responses in another category on AVVO.

Regards,

Matt
Matthew J. Kading
Alchemy IP Law Group
mjk@alchemistlaw.com

This answer is made available by the out-of-state lawyer ("Matthew J Kading") for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney-client privilege between you and the attorney ("Matthew J Kading") responding. This site should never be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an attorney-client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question. ACCORDINGLY, I ("Matthew J Kading") am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in MN, WI and AZ (Corporate Counsel Registration Only), U.S. District Courts in MN, WI, IA, TX, CA, AZ, NY, and DC , U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 7th, 8th, and 9th Circuits and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Patent Infringement Appeals), so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should not be relied upon or deemed wholly accurate and should be confirmed and amended or refuted by and with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction. Any reliance on the general and/or educational information provided here is at your OWN RISK and NO LIABILITY SHALL ATTACH TO THE ATTORNEY PROVIDING THIS FREE GENERAL LEGAL AND EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION.

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