CHAPTER 242

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 264

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 2 AND 3

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 13, TITLE 23 AND CHAPTER 80, TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DISPOSITION OF LOST, ABANDONED OR STOLEN PROPERTY, BOATS AND VESSELS ADRIFT OR ABANDONED.

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

Section 1. Amend Chapter 13, Title 23 of the Delaware Code, by adding a new Section 1303 to read as follows:

"§1303. Lost, abandoned or stolen property, boats and vessels adrift and/or abandoned

(a) Any person finding or having in his or her possession a boat or vessel that was adrift or abandoned or any lost, abandoned or stolen property relating to boats and vessels shall turn same over to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control for disposition pursuant to subsection (b).

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of §8026, Title 29 of the Delaware Code, whenever any boat, vessel or property relating to boats comes into the custody of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the person entitled to possession of the same cannot be located and fails to claim the same for a period of one year, the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control may dispose of the same at public sale at some place which shall be convenient and accessible to the public, provided that the time, place and terms of said sale, together with a description of said property, shall be published in one or more daily newspapers in the State at least once each week for two successive weeks prior to said sale. The Secretary shall in his discretion fix the terms of sale and may employ an auctioneer to make the sale. If the property be of the kind for which a certificate of title or registration shall or should have been issued by any commissioner, commission or department, whether state or federal, the Secretary shall cause notice by registered mail to be sent at least 10 days prior to the sale to the owner and lien holder, if any, shown on the records of such commissioner, commission or department, or to the person entitled to the possession thereof, if his address be known or if it can be ascertained by the exercise of reasonable diligence; and if said address cannot be so ascertained, then such notice shall not be required to be given.

(a) The proceeds from any property sold shall be placed in the General Fund, but only after any liens on the property are paid and any expenses incurred by (0 the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, (ii) the individual or individuals who turned over property to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Reimbursable expenses include all direct expenses associated with moving, caring for and stowing the property such as storage or tow charges.

(a) This Section shall only apply to boats, vessels or property found in the territorial waters of this State and boats and vessels 100 feet or less in length.

(a) This Section shall not apply to the salvage of sunken boats or vessels."

Approved March 29, 1984.