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Supreme Court Sets Hearing in States’ Unclaimed Checks Dispute

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday scheduled oral arguments in a lawsuit alleging that Delaware owes Arkansas and other states millions in unclaimed checks from a money transfer company.

The hearing in Arkansas v. Delaware was set for Oct. 3, the first day of the high court’s next session.

Arkansas and 28 other states are seeking portions of about $200 million in unclaimed checks that MoneyGram International Inc. turned over to Delaware, where the company is incorporated. The plaintiffs, which include California, Texas and Wisconsin, say the checks should be remitted to the states where they were purchased under the federal Disposition of Abandoned Money Orders and Traveler’s Checks Act.

The Supreme Court appointed Judge Pierre N. Leval, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, to serve as Special Master in the case. Leval has submitted a report recommending that the court rule in favor of the plaintiffs.

If the court adopts Leval’s recommendation, Leval will determine how much money Delaware owes the states. 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a news release that Delaware has been “holding hostage” about $650,000 in unclaimed checks owed to Arkansas.

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