Chapter 4.32 - Lost and Abandoned Property

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4.32.010 Terms defined.

As used in this policy, unless the context otherwise requires, terms are defined as follows:
“Abandoned property” means any lost, stolen or unclaimed tangible or intangible personal property held by or under the control of an of­ficer or employee of the county for a period of more than thirty (30) days after notice is pro­vided in accordance with Section 4.32.030. Property that has been confiscated pursuant to law by a peace officer of the county, but which is not subject to forfeiture or criminal proceed­ings as determined by the District Attorney of the 10th Judicial District, and the owner’s possession is otherwise illegal, or is otherwise determined by the holding law enforcement agency as dangerous, shall be deemed aban­doned notwithstanding such notice requirement. (E.g., kegs possessed by minors, unlawful fireworks or those possessed unlawfully by minors) However, any abandoned cash ac­quired by the District Attorney from any law enforcement agency shall be deposited in the forfeiture account and shall be disposed of in accordance with Resolution No. 92-469, as amended.

“Dangerous property” means property that poses a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the citizens of the county.

“Unclaimed property” includes property that is payable or distributable but not claimed by the owner on the date such property becomes payable or distributable.

“Property” within the meaning of this chapter does not include animals. In addition, abandoned motor vehicles shall be subject to the provisions set forth in Title 42 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.

“Nominal value” means a market value of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or less. (Res. 02-239 (part))

4.32.020 Applicability.

This chapter applies to all abandoned property in the possession of any county officer or employee. It is the board’s intent that the policies set forth herein shall be consistent with Parts 3, 5 and 6 of Article 13, Title 16 and Section 18-12-110 of the Colorado Revised Statutes regarding confiscated, seized and/or forfeited property and firearms. (Res. 02-239 (part))

4.32.030 Notice.

Except as otherwise provided by Sections 4.32.050 and 4.32.060, the procedures for giving notice to owners of abandoned property are as follows:

A. Except as otherwise required by subsection (C) of this section, within twenty (20) days after obtaining possession of abandoned property, other than property which has nominal commercial value, the county official or the director of the county department having possession of such property, or their respective designees, shall send a written notice to any known owner of such unclaimed property at his or her last known address. When ownership of such property is unknown, the official or director shall determine ownership that may be ascertained readily. The last known address of the owner shall be that shown by any official records of the county. The notice shall include a description of the property and, if applicable, how the county official or department acquired possession of the property. The notice shall state where the owner may claim the property.

B. If the property remains unclaimed thirty (30) days after written notice has been sent to the last known address of the owner, the property shall be considered abandoned property subject to disposition as set forth herein. In the event ownership cannot be determined readily or there is no address for an owner in official records of the county, such property shall be deemed immediately abandoned.

C. Any elected official or Director of a department, other than a law enforcement agency, who acquires possession of an abandoned firearm, as such term is defined in Section 4.32.050, shall immediately notify the County Sheriff who shall take immediate custody of such property. (Res. 02-239 (part))

4.32.040 Disposition.

A. An elected official or the department head in possession of the abandoned property who wishes to retain such property for county use shall inform the Director of Purchasing of the intent to retain the property. If the elected official or the director of the department does not wish to retain the abandoned property he or she shall immediately transfer such property to the County Purchasing Department. Such property shall be recorded and maintained the same as all other county property. Further disposition of such property shall be in accordance with the County Inventory Policy.
B. Elected officials or department directors may establish administrative procedures for validating ownership of the property and the validity of a claim for such property.
C. If property has nominal or no commercial value or the property is illegal or dangerous, the elected official or department head or his or her respective designee holding such property may properly dispose of or destroy the property at any time. (Res. 02-239 (part))

4.32.050 Firearms.

Unless otherwise required by state or federal law, including Article 13 of Title 16, of the Colorado Revised Statutes, any abandoned firearm, as such term is defined in Section 18-1-901(h), C.R.S., shall be disposed of as follows:
A. Firearms may be retained by the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office for training or operational use and shall be subject to applicable provisions of the Pueblo County Inventory Policy.

B. Firearms may be sold or transferred directly to another law enforcement agency or may be traded for property held by another law enforcement agency.

C. Firearms remaining in the possession of the Pueblo County Sheriff and not used for purposes otherwise outlined herein shall be destroyed immediately by the Pueblo County Sheriff or his designee. (Res. 02-239 (part))

4.32.060 Perishable Property.

If any property seized or otherwise obtained by the county is of a perishable nature, or such nature as to make it inadvisable in the opinion of the Board of County Commissioners to retain possession, such property shall be forthwith advertised for sale at public auction with public notice to be published in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the county, not less than three days prior to such sale, which notice shall contain the date, time and place of such sale and the reason for the immediate sale. Any proceeds from such sale shall be retained by the county and transmitted to the treasurer for deposit in the County General Fund. Property that has a perishable life of less than three days may be disposed of immediately by the elected official or department head or his or her respective designee. (Res. 02-239 (part))

4.32.070 Seized-Forfeited Property.

Notwithstanding Section 4.32.040, and in addition to other provisions under Article 13 of Title 16, C.R.S., a seizing agency, as such term is defined in Section 16-13-301 (2.7), C.R.S., shall be subject to specific disposition provisions of Article 13, Title 16, C.R.S., as follows:
A. The seizing agency shall adopt policies and procedures for the expeditious release of seized property not subject to forfeiture, when release is appropriate.

B. In accordance with Section 16-13-702, C.R.S., no forfeited property or proceeds, including property or proceeds acquired pursuant to Section 16-13-601, and Parts 3, 5 and 6 of Article 13 of Title 16, C.R.S., regardless of whether the property or proceeds are acquired by court order, shall be used without prior approval of the committee on disposition of forfeited property created by Resolution No. 92¬469. If and when the committee approves the use of forfeited property or expenditure of forfeited proceeds, such property shall be considered county property and shall be subject to the County Inventory Policy and, in accordance with Section 30-10-102, C.R.S., any proceeds shall be transmitted to the County Treasurer who shall deposit same in the County General Fund.

C. The seizing agency shall comply with the reporting requirements set forth in Section 16-13-701, C.R.S.

D. The seizing agency shall comply with Sections 16-13-314 and 16-13-507, C.R.S., regarding disposition of contraband article or property.

E. Vehicles or property forfeited pursuant to Parts 3, 5 or 6 of Article 13 of Title 16, C.R.S., and ordered by the court pursuant to Sections 16-13-311(3) or 16-13-506, C.R.S., to be delivered to the seizing agency for law enforcement purposes shall be considered county property and shall be subject to the County Inventory Control Policy. (Res. 02-239 (part))