CHAPTER 299

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 352

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 11, TITLE 12, CHAPTER 80, TITLE 29 AND CHAPTER 13, TITLE 23 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DISPOSITION OF LOST, ABANDONED OR STOLEN PROPERTY, MONEY, BOATS ADRIFT, AND ABANDONED VESSELS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 11, Title 12 of the Delaware Code by amending Section 1197 thereof by adding the following phrase at the beginning of said Section 1197.

"Except as otherwise provided elsewhere in the Delaware Code..."

Section 2. Amend Chapter 80, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding the following new Section 8026.

§8026. Disposition of lost, abandoned or stolen property in the custody of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

(a) Whenever any personal property of any kind, except money, comes into the custody of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and the person entitled to possession of said property cannot be located or falls to claim the property for a period of at least thirty (30) days, the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control may dispose of the property by turning possession and custody of the property over to the Superintendent of the State Police for disposition pursuant to procedures set forth in Section 8307, Chapter 83, Title 11 of the Delaware Code; and

(b) Upon receipt of any personal property of any kind, except money, from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Superintendent of the State Police may dispose of said personal property at public sale upon proof that said property was held by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and/or the State Police for a period of not less than one year, and upon proof that the person entitled to possession of said property has failed to claim the property during the one year period the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and/or the State Police held the property.

(c) After payment of expenses to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the State Police for the amount of any storage or tow charges that are incurred by said Department and State Police during the period in which the property was in custody, and after the payment of all liens to which said property was subject in the order of their priority, the proceeds from the sale of said property shall be disposed of in accordance with the procedures of Section 8307, Title 11 of the Delaware Code.

(d) Employees of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control shall deliver custody of lost, abandoned, or stolen money which comes into their possession in connection with the performance of their duties to the Secretary or such person he may designate and whenever any lost, abandoned or stolen money comes into the custody of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Secretary of said Department shall make a reasonable effort to locate the owner thereof. If the owner of any stolen money cannot be located or fails to claim such stolen money within one year from the date that it came into the custody of said Department, such money shall become the property of the State, and shall be transferred to the General Fund of the State. If the owner of any lost or abandoned money cannot be located or falls to claim such lost or abandoned money within one year from the date that it came into the custody of said Department, such money shall become the property of the person who delivered custody of such money to the Department and shall be returned by the Secretary of the Department to such person as soon as Is practicable after the one year period. However, If the person who delivered custody of such lost or abandoned money is an employee of said Department such money shall become the property of the State and shall be transferred to the General Fund of the State after the one year period.

(e) This Section shall apply to any personal property of any kind, which comes into the custody of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control as a result of either finding lost, abandoned or stolen property, or an investigation or enforcement action made pursuant to the provisions of Title 7 of the Delaware Code.

Section 3. Amend Sections 1303, 1304, 1305, Chapter 13, Title 23 of the Delaware Code by striking each such Section in its entirety.

Approved June 29, 1982.