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American Express Travel Related Services Co., Inc. v. Commonwealth of Kentucky

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

September 17, 2013

American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., A New York Corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Commonwealth of Kentucky, Kentucky Department of the Treasury, Defendant, Todd Hollenbach, Treasurer, in his official capacity, Defendant-Appellee.

Argued: July 23, 2013.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky at Frankfort. No. 3:08-cv-00058—Danny C. Reeves, District Judge.

COUNSEL

ARGUED:

Walter L. Sales, STOLL KEENON OGDEN PLLC, Louisville, Kentucky, for Appellant.

Brian T. Judy, OFFICE OF THE KENTUCKY ATTORNEY GENERAL, Frankfort, Kentucky, for Appellee.

ON BRIEF:

Walter L. Sales, Timothy J. Eifler, K. Timothy Kline, STOLL KEENON OGDEN PLLC, Louisville, Kentucky, Paul C. Harnice, Sarah Jackson Bishop, STOLL KEENON OGDEN PLLC, Frankfort, Kentucky, for Appellant.

Brian T. Judy, Angela C. Evans, OFFICE OF THE KENTUCKY ATTORNEY GENERAL, Frankfort, Kentucky, for Appellee.

Before: SILER and COLE, Circuit Judges; DOWD, District Judge. [*]

OPINION

SILER, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff American Express Travel Related Services Co., Inc. ("AmEx") appeals the grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant Todd Hollenbach, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, in this action challenging the retroactivity and constitutionality of an amendment to Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) § 393.060(2), which shortened the presumptive abandonment period for traveler's checks ("TCs") from fifteen to seven years (the "Amendment"). For the reasons that follow, we AFFIRM the district court, and REMAND for entry of judgment in accordance with this decision.

I.

AmEx is the world's largest issuer of TCs, which are preprinted checks in fixed dollar amounts that are sold in every state of the United States and worldwide. The business relies on the universal recognition and acceptance of TCs, which never expire. AmEx and third-party vendors sell TCs at face value, and AmEx profits by investing the funds until the TC is redeemed. Although most TCs are cashed within a year, AmEx uses the remaining uncashed TCs for long-term, high-yield investments. Until recently, every state's abandoned property laws imposed a presumption of ...


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