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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 253
Duties of police
Personal Property (PEP) CHAPTER 41, ARTICLE 7-B
§ 253. Duties of police. 1. Unless otherwise prescribed in accordance
with section two hundred fifty of the general municipal law or section
two hundred twenty-five-a of the executive law and unless otherwise
provided by law applicable specifically to matters prescribed in this
section, the police with whom found property or a found instrument is
deposited shall accept and retain custody of the property or instrument,
or proceeds of the property in the event of a sale pursuant to
subdivision five of this section, and shall give notice of such custody,
as provided in this section.

The police with whom found property or a found instrument is deposited
as provided in this article shall give to the person depositing it a
receipt identifying the transaction of deposit and identifying the
property or instrument. Such identification may be by description and
recital of the facts of the transaction or by reference numbers,
duplicate copies of records, or other method connecting the receipt with
the records of the police with respect to the property or instrument and
the transaction.

2. Such property or instrument shall be transmitted, together with the
report of the person who deposited it with the police, to the police
officer or other official designated to hold such property or
instrument, who shall make entry in his records of such deposit and the
report of the person depositing such property or instrument with the
police.

3. If the report of the person who deposited the property or
instrument shows that the property or instrument was found in a place
other than a public street or highway, the police with whom it is
deposited shall give notice of the finding and deposit, including the
location of the office to which the property or instrument is
transmitted, to the occupant of the premises where the property or
instrument was found or to the person in charge of such premises.

The police with whom an instrument is deposited shall give notice of
the deposit to each person whose name and address appears upon the
instrument or whose name so appears and whose address is known to the
police.

4. If at any time the police have reason to believe that a person has
an interest in found property or in a found instrument in their
possession and reason to know his whereabouts, they shall give notice of
the finding and deposit and the location of the office to which the
property or instrument is transmitted to such person.

5. (a) Property having salvage value only may be sold by the police in
such manner as may be reasonable in the circumstances. Perishable
property shall be sold by the police as soon as possible in such manner
as may be reasonable in the circumstances.

(b) Property which requires special care may be kept by the police in
public or private facilities which the police deem appropriate for the
purpose of preserving it.

(c) Any property may be sold by the police at public auction when the
expenses reasonably incurred in dealing with it, including expenses of
taking of custody, transportation, storage and appraisal, any special
expense incurred in giving notice, and any other special expense
attributable to administration of this article with respect to the
particular property, amount to more than one-half the amount reasonably
estimated as the net sum likely to be realized by sale at public
auction.

(d) If property is sold as provided in this subdivision the proceeds
remaining after deducting the amount of reasonable expenses of the sale
and reasonable expenses of dealing with the property prior to the sale,
including any items of expense mentioned in paragraph (c), shall be
dealt with as lost property having the value of the property sold.

6. Subject to subdivision three of section two hundred fifty-six of
this chapter and to section thirteen hundred ten or other applicable
section of the abandoned property law, instruments shall be retained in
the custody of the police with whom they were deposited until delivered
to the person entitled thereto as provided in section two hundred
fifty-five of this chapter.

7. Except as provided in subdivision three of section two hundred
fifty-six of this chapter, lost property, and the proceeds of sale
pursuant to subdivision five of this section remaining after deduction
of expenses as provided in that subdivision, shall be kept in the
custody of the police for the following periods, unless sooner delivered
to the owner as provided in section two hundred fifty-four:

Property having a value of less than one hundred dollars or proceeds
of property having such value, three months; property having a value of
one hundred dollars or more but less than five hundred dollars or
proceeds of property having such value, six months; property having a
value of five hundred dollars or more but less than five thousand
dollars or proceeds of property having such value, one year; property
having a value of five thousand dollars or more or proceeds of property
having such value, three years.

8. Three months before the expiration of the period applicable to the
property in question, as specified in subdivision seven of this section,
if the property has not been delivered to the owner as provided in
section two hundred fifty-four, the police shall give notice to the
owner, if known, and to any person they have reason to believe has an
interest in the property, if the address or a former address of such
owner or person is known, and to all persons who have made claim to the
property, and to the finder and any person who has filed notice
asserting the right of the finder as provided in section two hundred
fifty-six. Such notice shall be in writing and shall be served
personally or sent by certified mail to the last known address of the
person to whom it is sent and shall state, in substance: (a) that if
within three months after the date of personal service or mailing of the
notice the owner does not claim the property, and if at the end of such
three months no action is pending to determine rights to such property,
written notice of which action was served upon the police having custody
of the property, the property will be delivered to the finder or, if he
establish his right, to a person entitled to assert the right of the
finder as provided in section two hundred fifty-six; and (b) that if at
the expiration of three months and ten days after the date of the
personal service or mailing of the notice, the owner has not claimed the
property and the finder, or a person entitled to assert the right of the
finder as provided in section two hundred fifty-six, has not demanded
delivery of it, and no action is pending to determine rights to such
property, notice of which was served upon the police having custody of
the property, it will be sold at public auction; and (c) in the case of
property in the custody of the state police, that the proceeds of the
sale will be deposited in the abandoned property fund of the state and
in the case of property in the custody of other police that the proceeds
will become the property of the city, county, town or village.