The California State Controller's office has, in recent years, made it a practice to seize bank accounts and safe deposit boxes which have been "dormant" a mere three years.
There is no prior attempt to contact the rightful owners, and if the legal owner does attempt to claim his property, the state pays no interest...if the owner can get it back, that is. If the state has sold your stock at a loss, tough luck.
The State of California is relying on these seizures as a source of regular revenue. If you happen to take a job out of town for a couple years, or don't touch your safe deposit box or account for any other reason, the State of California says it belongs to the state, not you, and they won't bother to try to find you first.
Some of the dormant accounts seized in recent years belonged to large companies, including Disneyland and the L.A. Times, who obviously could be easily located by the bank or the state.
As described by Mark Landsbaum of the Orange County Register, "The controller argued in court that the state stood to lose $600 million every year if the process were halted by court injunction."
Former Controller Steve Westly also complained that "losing pending lawsuits seeking 'notice prior' to seizure would mean as much as $1.5 billion in damages against the government."
On June 1st a District Court judge ordered California to cease and desist the un-Constitutional seizure of private property.
Another disturbing story of governmental overreach, where state power -- and acquiring the revenue to keep feeding that power -- is deemed more important than serving state citizens.