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Personal property, money or legal tender which has come into the possession of the City Police Department shall be held and disposed of in accordance with 11 Oklahoma Statutes section 34-104:
A. Authority; Conditions Allowing For Disposal: The Chief of Police is authorized to dispose of personal property, money, or legal tender which has come into the possession of the Police Department in any manner, if:
1. The owner of the personal property, money, or legal tender is unknown or has not claimed the property;
2. The property, money, or legal tender has been in the custody of the Police Department for at least ninety (90) days; and
3. The property, 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. Application To County To Conduct Sale; Hearing:
1. The Chief of Police shall file an application in the Jefferson 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 the application a list describing the property including any identifying numbers and marks, the date the property came into the possession of the Chief of Police, and the name of the owner and the person in last possession, if different, and the address of the person, if known.
2. The court shall set the application for hearing not less than ten (10) days nor more than twenty (20) days after filing of the application.
C. Notice Of Hearing: In any instance where the property has an actual or apparent value of more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00), at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing, written notice of the hearing shall be sent by first class mail, postage prepaid, to each owner at the address as listed in the application. If the owner of any property with an actual or apparent value exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) is unable to be served written notice by first class mail, notice shall be provided by one publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the County. 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 City notices, and at two (2) other public places in the City.
D. Manner Of Disposal:
1. If no owner appears and establishes ownership of the property at the hearing, the court shall enter an order authorizing the Chief of Police to dispose of the property as follows:
a. Donate the property having value of less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) to a not-for-profit corporation as defined by State law for use by needy families;
b. Sell the personal property for cash to the highest bidder, after at least five (5) days' notice of the sale has been published;
c. Transfer the property to a third-party agent under contract with the City for sale by internet or other electronic means, regardless of whether the sale structure or distribution site is within the State of Oklahoma; or
d. By any other means as determined appropriate by the court, including, but not limited to, destruction.
2. Regardless of the means of disposition, 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. Procedure For Deposit Of Money Or Legal Tender To Municipal General Fund:
1. All monies or legal tender which has come into the possession of the Police Department pursuant to the circumstances provided for in subsection A of this section shall be transferred by the Chief of Police to the City Clerk for deposit in the Municipal General Fund.
2. Prior to any transfer, the Chief of Police shall file an application in the Jefferson County District Court requesting the court to enter an order authorizing the Chief of Police to transfer the money for deposit in the Municipal General Fund. The application shall describe the money or legal tender, the date the same came into the possession of the Police Department, and the name of the owner and the address of the owner, if known.
3. Upon filing the application, which may be joined with an application as described in subsection B of this section, a hearing shall be set not less than ten (10) days nor more than twenty (20) days from the filing of the application. Notice of the hearing shall be given as provided for in subsection C of this section. 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 in subsection B of this section. 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 subsection.
F. Exceptions: 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 City shall be destroyed or sold or disposed of, pursuant to the conditions prescribed in the order. (2007 Code § 1-23; amd. 2019 Code)