California Financial Code
Financial Code section 1620
Notice to a bank operating a safety deposit department or to a company conducting a safety deposit business of an adverse claim (the person making the adverse claim being hereafter in this section called “adverse claimant”) to any personal property in a safe-deposit box maintained by a bank or company and rented to any person, or to any personal property held by the bank or company in safekeeping or storage for any person shall be disregarded, and the bank or company, notwithstanding such notice, shall permit access to the box to the person to whom it is rented or shall deliver the contents thereof to or on the order of the person or shall deliver the property held in storage or safekeeping to or on the order of the person for whom it is held, without any liability on the part of the bank or company; subject, however, to the exceptions provided in subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section:
(a) If an adverse claimant delivers to the bank at the office at which the safe-deposit box is maintained or the property is held his or her affidavit stating that of his or her own knowledge the person in whose name the box stands or for whom the property is held is a fiduciary for the adverse claimant and that he or she has reason to believe that fiduciary is about to misappropriate the contents of the box or the property, and stating the facts upon which the claim of fiduciary relationship and the belief are founded, the bank or company shall refuse access to the safe-deposit box or refuse to deliver the personal property for a period of not more than three court days (including the day of delivery) from the date that the bank or company received the adverse claimant's affidavit, without liability on its part and without liability for the sufficiency or truth of the facts alleged in the affidavit.
(b) If at any time, either before, after, or in the absence of the filing of an affidavit by the adverse claimant, the adverse claimant procures and serves upon the bank or company at the office at which the safe-deposit box is maintained or the property is held a restraining order, injunction, or other appropriate order against the bank or company from a court of competent jurisdiction in an action in which the adverse claimant and all persons in whose names the box stands or for whom the property is held are parties, the bank or company shall comply with that order or injunction, without liability on its part.
(c) The provisions of this section shall be applicable even though the name of the person appearing on the bank's or company's books as the renter of the box or as the depositor of the property held in storage or safekeeping is modified by a qualifying or descriptive term such as “agent,” “trustee,” or other word or phrase indicating that the person may not be the owner in his or her own right of the contents of the box or of the property held in storage or safekeeping.
(d) Before giving access to any safe-deposit box, the bank or company may demand payment to it of all costs and expenses of opening the safe-deposit box and all costs and expenses of repairing any damage to the safe-deposit box caused by the opening thereof.
(e) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), if a central location has been designated by the bank pursuant Section 684.115 of the Code of Civil Procedure for service of legal process, as that term is defined in Section 684.110 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the adverse claimant shall serve a notice of adverse claim or related affidavit, order, injunction, or other order contemplated herein at the central location. If a central location has not but should have been designated by the bank pursuant Section 684.115 of the Code of Civil Procedure for service of legal process, as that term is defined in Section 684.110 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the adverse claimant may serve a notice of adverse claim or related affidavit, order, injunction, or other order contemplated herein at any branch or office of the institution located in this state.