Supreme Court Taps Special Master in MoneyGram Dispute

Daily Tax Report: State provides authoritative coverage of state and local tax developments across the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, tracking legislative and regulatory updates,...

By Leslie A. Pappas

A Special Master will oversee a multistate dispute over unclaimed payments from MoneyGram International Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court ordered ( Delaware v. Wisconsin & Pennsylvania , U.S., No. 22O145, order 3/29/17 ).

The high court on March 29 appointed the Hon. Pierre N. Leval, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, to schedule proceedings in the case, which has the potential to re-write rules governing unclaimed property and could redistribute millions in state revenues from Delaware to other states.

Twenty-seven states fighting with Delaware over millions in uncashed MoneyGram “official checks” asked the nation’s highest court in February to appoint a Special Master because they couldn’t agree on a joint stipulation of facts in the case.

Delaware asserts the abandoned payments belong to Delaware because MoneyGram is incorporated there. Other states liken the payments to money orders, which means they belong to the state where they were purchased.

Leval will have authority to fix the time and condition for filing additional pleadings, direct proceedings, summon witnesses, issue subpoenas and take evidence as necessary, the court’s order said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie A. Pappas in Philadelphia at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan C. Tuck at

For More Information

Text of the order is at

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