West Virginia Code
CHAPTER 34. ESTRAYS, DRIFT AND DERELICT PROPERTY.
ARTICLE 2. DERELICT PROPERTY.
The residuum of a decedent's estate, belonging to the state, and any property derelict, or having no rightful owner, may be recovered from any person in possession thereof, by a bill in equity in the name of the state.
When any such suit as is mentioned in the preceding section is instituted, the court shall cause a publication to be made setting forth the nature of the claim, the name and nativity (when known) of the deceased person, or of the former owner of the property, if known, as the case may be, and describing the property or estate claimed, and requiring all persons claiming an interest therein to appear and make themselves defendants, by a given day of an ensuing term. Such publication shall be made as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county in which the seat of state government may be.
If, in such a suit as is mentioned in section one of this article, no person appears to show title in himself the court shall decree the residuum or other property to the state, and enforce the collection thereof, or of the proceeds of the sale of such property. Any real property so decreed to the state shall be remitted to the State Auditor. Any personal property shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for disposition by public sale in accordance with the provisions of section twelve, article eight, chapter thirty-six of this code. The proceeds of the sale of any such real property shall be deposited to the credit of the general school fund. The proceeds of the sale of any such personal property shall be deposited to the credit of the General Fund.
After any such decree for the payment of such residuum of a decedent's estate, or the proceeds of the sale of any such derelict property or property having no rightful owner, any person who had not asserted a claim before the sale or decree, who may be entitled to such residuum or derelict or other property, may recover the net proceeds paid into the treasury under such decree. The same may be allowed by the Auditor, or, if the claim be rejected by him it may be recovered in the manner provided in article two, chapter fourteen of this code, for recovering claims against the state.