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Summary: Current law requires a county purchasing agent to send, via certified mail, notice with a description and deadline about unclaimed or abandoned property that was seized at the time of arrest. Some parties note that property owners who are confined in prison frequently leave large objects unclaimed after they are released. HB 884 allows the option of giving notice of how and when to reclaim property in person rather than by certified mail for an individual arrested for a Class C misdemeanor. This bill gives the individual 30 days after release to claim their property. If property remains unclaimed, the county or municipality is allowed to sell or donate it.
Analysis: Incarceration should not generally lead to forfeiture of one's property. However, people often do not get notices of unclaimed property mailed to their address of record because they may not live at the same address after being released from jail. By allowing notice to be given in person in certain circumstances, there is a greater likelihood that people will know about their abandoned property and be able to reclaim it in a timely manner after being released. Property rights will be enhanced for people covered by this legislation. We support HB 884.