CHAPTER 17:  PRIVATE PROPERTY
Article 1:  Unclaimed Property
   17-1.   Complete records required
   17-2.   Disposition of unclaimed property
   17-3.   Property found by private persons
   17-15.   Penalty
ARTICLE 1:  UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
§ 17-1  COMPLETE RECORDS REQUIRED.
   All personal property which comes into the question of any police officer, which has been found or stolen or taken off the person or out of the possession of any prisoner or person suspected of, or charged with, being a criminal, and which is not known to belong to some person laying claim thereto shall be, by the officer securing possession thereof, delivered into the charge of the Chief of Police.  The Chief shall, in a permanent record book kept for that purpose, make a record sufficient to identify the property, with the date and circumstances of the receipt thereof, the name of the person from whom it was taken and the place where it was found, and the record shall also disclose the subsequent disposal thereof, giving the date of sale, name and address of the purchaser and the amount for which it was sold.
(`90 Code, § 17-1)
§ 17-2  DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY.
   (A)   The Chief of Police is authorized hereunder and pursuant to 11 O.S. § 34-104, to dispose of personal property or money or legal tender as provided in this section, which has come into his or her possession in any manner if:
      (1)   The owner of the personal property or money or legal tender is unknown or has not claimed the property;
      (2)   The property or money or legal tender has been in the custody of the Chief of Police for at least six months; and
      (3)   The property or money or legal tender or any part thereof is no longer needed to be held as evidence or for any other purpose in connection with any litigation.
   (B)   The Chief of Police shall file an application in the County District Court requesting the authority of the court to conduct a sale of the personal property which has a fair market value of more than its face value.  The Chief of Police shall attach to his or her application a list describing the property including any identifying numbers and marks, the date the property came into his or her possession, and the name of the owner and the person in last possession, if different and his or her address, if known.  The Court shall set the application for hearing not less than ten days nor more than 20 days after filing of the application pursuant to 11 O.S. § 34-104.
   (C)   If any instance where the property has an actual or apparent value of more than $25, at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing, notice of the hearing shall be sent by certified mail to each owner at his or her address as listed in the application.  If the owner of any property with an actual or apparent value exceeding $500 is unable to be served notice by the certified mail, notice shall be provided by one publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the property is in custody. The notice shall contain a brief description of the property of the owner and the place and date of the hearing.  The notice shall be posted at the assigned place for the posting of municipal notices, and at two other public places in the city.
   (D)   If no owner appears and establishes ownership to the property at the hearing, the court shall enter an order authorizing the Chief of Police to donate the property having value of less than $500 to a not-for-profit corporation as defined in O.S. Title 18 for use by needy families or to sell the personal property for cash to the highest bidder, after at least five days' notice of the sale has been published. The Chief of Police shall make a return of the donation or sale and the order of the court confirming the donation or sale shall vest title to the property in the recipient or purchaser. After payment of court costs and other expenses, the remainder of money received from the sale of the personal property shall be deposited in the municipal general fund.
   (E)   (1)   All money or legal tender which has come into the possession of the Chief of Police pursuant to the circumstances provided for in division (A) above shall be transferred by the Chief of Police to the City Clerk for deposit in the municipal general fund.  Prior to any transfer, the Chief of Police shall file an application in the County District Court requesting the Court to enter an order authorizing him or her to transfer the money for deposit in the municipal general fund.  The application shall describe the money or legal tender, any serial numbers, the date the same came into his or her possession, and the name of the owner and his or her address, if known.  Upon filing the application which may be joined with an application as described in division (B) above, a hearing shall be set not less than ten days nor more than 20 days from the filing of the application.  Notice of the hearing shall be given as provided for in division (C) above.  The notice shall state that upon failure of anyone to appear to prove ownership to the money or legal tender, the Court shall order the same to be deposited in the municipal general fund.  The notice may be combined with a notice to sell personal property as provided for in division (B) above.
      (2)   If no one appears to claim and prove ownership to the money or legal tender at the hearing, the Court shall order the same to be transferred to the municipal general fund as provided in this section pursuant to 11 O.S. § 34-104.
   (F)   The provisions of this section shall not apply to any dangerous or deadly weapons, narcotic or poisonous drugs, explosives or any property of any kind or character, which the possession of is prohibited by law.  By order of the Trial Court, any property filed as an exhibit or held by the municipality shall be destroyed or sold or disposed of, pursuant to the conditions prescribed in such order.
(11 O.S. § 34-104)  (`90 Code, § 17-2)  (Am. Ord. 2930, passed 11-20-90; Am. Ord. 2980, passed 12-21-93)
§ 17-3  PROPERTY FOUND BY PRIVATE PERSONS.
   (A)   There is hereby established a procedure for the registration of “lost and found” property, which gives the finder of any property the option of relinquishing any future claim to found property at the time its possession is surrendered to the Police Department or of retaining possession of the property at an address within the city after registering its description, its location and the tinder's identity with the Police Department.  Only property in which the finder relinquishes any future claim to its ownership shall be stored in Police Department property rooms.  The Chief of Police shall secure certain information which he or she deems necessary and proper related to the found property from the finder of the property, including but not limited to a description of the item, the finders' names, address and telephone number, information as to where the item was recovered or found, the date and time the item was received by the city and the name of the police officer who received the found property.
   (B)   Where a finder of any property exercises his or her option to retain possession of the found property after registering its description with the Police Department, the finder shall have a mandatory duty to do each of the following:
      (1)   To maintain, protect, secure, preserve, retain and possess the found property so registered, at all times, solely within the city, at the address and location which is at all times registered with the Police Department, in the same condition in which it was originally found by them without any use, sale, transfer, change, benefit, wear, consumption, profit, conversion, exploitation, modification, alteration, alternation or change of any kind whatsoever, for a period of time equal to at least six months from the date of registration of the found property with the Police Department or longer period as may be required by the Police Department upon notice to the finder;
      (2)   To provide a secure building, covered enclosure or facility within the city which is at all times locked so as to protect and safeguard the found property from theft, pilferage, vandalism and from damage due to the effects of weather;
      (3)   To notify the Police Department telephonically and in writing of any change of address, telephone number or location of the finder and/or the found property not later than 24 hours of such change of address, telephone number or location of the finder and/or the found property;
      (4)   To maintain active, working telephone service and at all times have the correct and current telephone number, including a daytime or work telephone number, registered with the Police Department so as to enable and facilitate police communication with the finder at any time; and
      (5)   To deliver, present, provide, bring, tender, convey, transfer and/or return the registered found property in the same condition in which it was originally found to the principal office of the Police Department upon notice, whether oral, written, telephonic or otherwise, to the finder to deliver the found property to the Police Department which notice is in any manner given or communicated by an officer of the department to a finder, which finder shall have 24 hours from the time of receipt of notice in which to comply through the delivery, presentation, provision, bringing, tendering, conveyance, transfer and/or return of the registered found property to the principal office of the Police Department.
(`90 Code, § 17-3)  (Am. Ord. 2930, passed 11-20-90; Am. Ord. 2980, passed 12-21-93)
§ 17-15  PENALTY.
   Every person who wilfully delays or obstructs any public officer in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of his or her office is guilty of an offense, including but not limited to, a finder who registers any found property and fails to discharge any of the duties imposed in § 17-3 and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100, plus court costs, and each day that an act or a violation occurs or continues, shall constitute a violation of Article 1 and be construed as a separate offense.
(`90 Code, § 17-4)  (Am. Ord. 2930, passed 11-20-90; Am. Ord. 2980, passed 12-21-93)
Cross-reference:
   Arraignment; pleading, see § 12-24