(a) Shares are not assessable except as provided in this section or as otherwise provided by a statute other than this division. If the articles expresssly confer such authority upon the corporation or the board, and subject to any limitations therein contained, the board may in its discretion levy and collect assessments upon all shares of any or all classes made subject to assessment by the articles. This authority is in addition to the right of the corporation to recover the unpaid subscription price of shares or the remainder of the consideration to be paid therefor.
(b) Every levy of an assessment shall: specify the amount thereof and to whom and where it is payable; fix, or if proceedings or filings with any governmental or other agency for any qualification, permit, registration or exemption therefrom are required as a condition precedent to the levy or payment of an assessment provide for the establishment of, a date on which the assessment is payable; fix a date, not less than 30 nor more than 60 days from the date on which the assessment is payable, on which such assessment becomes delinquent if not paid; and fix a date, not less than 15 nor more than 60 days from the date on which the unpaid assessment becomes delinquent, for the sale of delinquent shares. The levy also shall fix the hour and place of sale, which place shall be in the county where the corporation is required to keep a copy of its bylaws pursuant to Section 213, or if there is no such county, in Sacramento.
(c) On or before the date an assessment is payable, the secretary of the corporation shall give notice thereof in substantially the following form:
(Name of corporation in full. Location of principal executive office.)
Notice is hereby given that the board of directors on (date) has levied an assessment of (amount) per share upon the (name or designation of class or series of shares) of the corporation payable (to whom and where). Any shares upon which this assessment remains unpaid on (date fixed) will be delinquent. Unless payment is made prior to delinquency, the said shares, or as many of them as may be necessary, will be sold at (particular place) on (date) at (hour) of such date, to pay the delinquent assessment, together with a penalty of 5 percent of the amount of the assessment on such shares, or be forfeited to the corporation. (Name of secretary with location of office.)
(d) The notice shall be served personally upon each holder of record of shares assessed; provided, however, that in lieu of personal service the notice may be mailed to each such shareholder addressed to the last address of the shareholder appearing on the books of the corporation or given by the shareholder to the corporation for the purpose of notice, or if no such address appears or is given, at the place where the principal executive office of the corporation is located, and published once in some newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the principal executive office of the corporation is located. If there is no such newspaper in such county, the publication shall be made in some newspaper of general circulation in an adjoining county.
(e) The assessment is a lien upon the shares assessed from the time of personal service or the publication of the notice of assessment, unless the articles provide for such lien from the time of the levy. Unless otherwise provided by law, a transfer of the shares on the books of the corporation after the lien of an assessment has attached is a waiver of the lien unless a conspicuous legend is placed on the face of any certificate issued upon such transfer or, in the case of uncertificated securities, on the initial transaction statement, setting forth the information contained in the notice required by subdivision (c). Such legend shall be removed if the assessment on the shares evidenced by the certificate is paid or if the shares are sold to pay the assessment or forfeited for nonpayment.
(f) The date of sale of delinquent shares fixed in any levy of an assessment may be extended from time to time for not more than 30 days at a time by order of the board entered on the records of the corporation, or when the sale is restrained by order of a court. Notice of such extension shall be given by announcement by the secretary, or other person authorized to conduct the sale, made at the time and place of sale last theretofore fixed.
If a date of sale of delinquent shares is extended for more than five days the corporation shall cause a notice to be mailed to the shareholder or shareholders whose shares are to be the subject of such sale setting forth the date and time to which the date of sale has been extended.
(g) If payment is made after delinquency and before the sale, the shareholder shall pay a penalty of 5 percent of the amount of the assessment on the shares in addition to the assessment.
(h) At the place and time appointed in the notice of levy any officer or an agent of the corporation, shall, unless otherwise ordered by the board, sell or cause to be sold to the highest bidder for cash as many shares of each delinquent holder of the assessed shares as may be necessary to pay the assessment and charges thereon according to the notice.
The person offering at the sale to pay the assessment and penalty for the smallest number of shares is the highest bidder. The shares purchased shall be transferred to the highest bidder on the share register of the corporation on the payment of the assessment and penalty and a new certificate or initial transaction statement therefor issued to such highest bidder.
A corporation is not required to accept an offer for a fraction of a share.
(i) If no bidder offers to pay the amount due on the shares, together with the penalty of 5 percent thereof, the shares shall be forfeited to the corporation in satisfaction of the assessment and penalty thereon.
(j) After a sale or forfeiture of shares for nonpayment of an assessment, the holder or owner of delinquent shares shall, if they are certificated securities, surrender the certificate for such shares to the corporation for cancellation or, if they are uncertificated securities, have no further rights with respect to such shares. This duty may be enforced by order or decree of court and such holder or owner shall be liable for damages to the corporation for failure to surrender the certificate for cancellation upon demand without good cause or excuse.
Any certificate not so surrendered forthwith becomes null and void and ceases to be evidence of the right or title of the holder or any transferee to the shares purporting to be represented thereby, and neither the corporation nor the purchaser of such shares incurs any liability thereon to any such transferee.
The purchaser of any shares, at a sale for delinquent assessments thereon, whenever made, is entitled to the issue of a new certificate representing the shares so purchased.
(k) The certificate of the secretary or assistant secretary of the corporation is prima facie evidence of the time and place of sale and any postponement thereof, of the quantity and particular description of the shares sold, to whom, for what price, and of the fact of payment of the purchase money. The certificate shall be filed in the office of the corporation, and copies of the certificate, certified by the secretary or an assistant secretary of the corporation, are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.
(l) An assessment is not invalidated by a failure to publish the notice of assessment, nor by the nonperformance of any act required in order to enforce the payment of the assessment; but in case of any substantial error or omission in the course of proceedings for collection of an assessment on any shares, all previous proceedings, except the levy of the assessment, are void as to such shares, and shall be taken anew.
(m) No action shall be maintained to recover shares sold for delinquent assessments, upon the ground of irregularity in the assessment, irregularity or defect of the notice of sale, or defect or irregularity in the sale, unless the party seeking to maintain the action first pays or tenders to the corporation, or the party holding the shares sold, the sum for which the shares were sold, together with all subsequent assessments which may have been paid thereon and interest on such sums from the time they were paid. No such action shall be maintained unless it is commenced by the filing of a complaint and the issuing of a summons thereon within six months after the sale was made.
(n) The only remedy for the collection of an assessment on fully paid shares is sale or forfeiture of the shares unless (1) remedy by action is expressly authorized in the original articles or by an amendment of the articles adopted before August 21, 1933, or by an amendment adopted on or after August 21, 1933, by unanimous consent of the shareholders, and (2) unless a statement of such remedy appears on the face of any share certificate issued on or after August 21, 1933.
(Amended by Stats. 1986, Ch. 766, Sec. 20.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018