Civil Code



   

California Civil Code Sections 2080-2080.10


2080. Any person who finds a thing lost is not bound to take charge of it, unless the person is otherwise required to do so by contract or law, but when the person does take charge of it he or she is thenceforward a depositary for the owner, with the rights and obligations of a depositary for hire. Any person or any public or private entity that finds and takes possession of any money, goods,things in action, or other personal property, or saves any domestic animal from harm, neglect, drowning, or starvation, shall, within a reasonable time, inform the owner, if known, and make restitution without compensation, except a reasonable charge for saving and taking care of the property. Any person who takes possession of a live domestic animal shall provide for humane treatment of theanimal.

2080.1. (a) If the owner is unknown or has not claimed the property, the person saving or finding the property shall, if the property is of the value of one hundred dollars ($100) or more, within a reasonable time turn the property over to the police department of the city or city and county, if found therein, or to the sheriff's department of the county if found outside of city limits, and shall make an affidavit, stating when and where he or she found or saved the property, particularly describing it. If the property was saved, the affidavit shall state:
(1) From what and how it was saved.
(2) Whether the owner of the property is known to the affiant.
(3) That the affiant has not secreted, withheld, or disposed of any part of the property.
(b) The police department or the sheriff's department shall notify the owner, if his or her identity is reasonably ascertainable, that it possesses the property and where it may be claimed. The police department or sheriff's department may require payment by the owner of a reasonable charge to defray costs of storage and care of the property.

2080.2. If the owner appears within 90 days, after receipt of the property by the police department or sheriff's department, proves his ownership of the property, and pays all reasonable charges, the police department or sheriff's department shall restore the property to him.

2080.3. (a) If the reported value of the property is two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or more and no owner appears and proves his or her ownership of the property within 90 days, the police department or sheriff's department shall cause notice of the property to be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation. If, after seven days following the first publication of the notice, no owner appears and proves his or her ownership of the property and the person who found or saved the property pays the cost of the publication, the title shall vest in the person who found or saved the property unless the property was found in the course of employment by an employee of any public agency, in which case the property shall be sold at public auction. Title to the property shall not vest in the person who found or saved the property or in the successful bidder at the public auction unless the cost of publication is first paid to the city, county, or city and county whose police or sheriff's department caused the notice to be published.
(b) If the reported value of the property is less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and no owner appears and proves his or her ownership of the property within 90 days, the title shall vest in the person who found or saved the property, unless the property was found in the course of employment by an employee of any public agency, in which case the property shall be sold at public auction.

2080.4. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 2080.3 or Section 2080.6, the legislative body of any city, city and county, or county may provide by ordinance for the care, restitution, sale or destruction of unclaimed property in the possession of the police department of such city or city and county or of the sheriff of such county. Any city, city and county, or county adopting such an ordinance shall provide therein (1) that such unclaimed property shall be held by the police department or sheriff for a period of at least three months, and (2) that thereafter such property will be sold at public auction to the highest bidder, with notice of such sale being given by the chief of police or sheriff at least five days before the time fixed therefor by publication once in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county, or that thereafter such property will be transferred to the local government purchasing and stores agency or other similar agency for sale to the public at public auction. If such property is transferred to a county purchasing agent it may be sold in the manner provided by Article 7 (commencing with Section 25500) of Chapter 5 of Part 2 of Division 2 of Title 3 of the Government Code for the sale of surplus personal property. If property is transferred to the local government purchasing and stores agency or other similar agency pursuant to this section, such property shall not be redeemable by the owner or other person entitled to possession. If the local government purchasing and stores agency or other similar agency determines that any such property transferred to it for sale is needed for a public use, such property may be retained by the agency and need not be sold.

2080.5. The police department or sheriff's department may sell such property by public auction, in the manner and upon the notice of sale of personal property under execution, if it is a thing which is commonly the subject of sale, when the owner cannot, with reasonable diligence, be found, or, being found, refuses upon demand to pay the lawful charges provided by Sections 2080 and 2080.1, in the following cases:
(1) When the thing is in danger of perishing, or of losing the greater part of its value; or,
(2) When the lawful charges provided by Sections 2080 and 2080.1 amount to two-thirds of its value.

2080.6. (a) Any public agency may elect to be governed by the provisions of this article with respect to disposition of personal property found or saved on property subject to its jurisdiction, or may adopt reasonable regulations for the care, restitution, sale or destruction of unclaimed property in its possession. Any public agency adopting such regulations shall provide therein
(1) that such unclaimed property shall be held by such agency for a period of at least three months,
(2) that thereafter such property will be sold a public auction to the highest bidder, and
(3) that notice of such sale shall be given by the chief administrative officer of such agency at least five days before the time fixed therefor by publication once in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in which such property was found. Any property remaining unsold after being offered at such public auction may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the public agency. In a county having a purchasing agent, the purchasing agent may conduct such sale, in which case the provisions of subdivisions (2) and (3) of this section shall not be applicable. Such sale shall be made by the county purchasing agent in the manner provided by Article 7 (commencing with Section 25500) of Chapter 5 of Part 2 of Division 2 of Title 3 of the Government Code for the sale of surplus personal property. If the public agency determines that any such property transferred to it for sale is needed for a public use, such property may be retained by the agency and need not be sold. (b) "Public agency" as used in this section means any state agency, including the Department of General Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation, any city, county, city and county, special district, or other political subdivision.

2080.7. The provisions of this article have no application to things which have been intentionally abandoned by their owner.

2080.8. The Regents of the University of California may provide by resolution or regulation for the care, restitution, sale or destruction of unclaimed property in the possession of the Regents of the University of California or of the University of California Police Department. Any resolution or regulation adopted pursuant to this section shall provide therein
(1) that such unclaimed property shall be held by the Regents of the University of California or the University of California Police Department for a period of at least three months,
(2) that thereafter such property will be sold at public auction to the highest bidder, and (3) that notice of such
sale shall be given by the Regents of the University of California or the University of California Police Department at least five days before the time therefor by publication once in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in which such property is held. The Regents of the University of California may dispose of any such property upon which no bid is made at any such sale.
2080.9. The Trustees of the California State University may provide by resolution or regulation for the care, restitution, sale, or destruction of unclaimed, lost, or abandoned property in the possession of any state university. Any resolution or regulation adopted pursuant to this section shall include therein
(1) that such unclaimed or lost property shall be held by the particular state university for a period of at least six months,
(2) that thereafter such property, as well as abandoned property, will be sold at public auction to the highest bidder, and
(3) that notice of such sale shall be given by the Trustees of the California State University at least five days before the time therefor by publication once in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in which such property is held. The Trustees of the California State University may dispose of any such property upon which no bid is made at any such sale.

2080.10. (a) When a public agency obtains possession of personal
property from a person for temporary safekeeping, the public agency shall do all of the following:
(1) Take responsibility for the storage, documentation, and disposition of the property.
(2) Provide the person from whom the property was taken with a receipt and instructions for the retrieval of the property. The receipt and instructions shall either be given to the person from whom the property was taken at the time the public agency obtains the property or immediately mailed, by first-class mail, to the person from whom the property was taken.
(3) If the public agency has knowledge that the person from whom the property was taken is not the owner, the agency shall make reasonable efforts to identify the owner. If the owner is identified, the public agency shall mail, by first-class mail, a receipt and instructions for the retrieval of the property.
(b) The receipt and instructions shall notify the person from whom the property was taken that the property must be claimed within 60 days after the public agency obtains possession or the property will be disposed of in accordance with the disposal provisions of this article. Within 60 days, the person may do one of the following:
(1) Retrieve the property.
(2) Authorize in writing another person to retrieve the property.
(3) Notify the public agency in writing that he or she is unable to retrieve the property, because he or she is in custody, and request the public agency to hold the property. If a person notifies the public agency that he or she is unable to retrieve the property within 60 days, or have an authorized person retrieve the property, the public agency shall hold the property for not longer than 10 additional months.
(c) The public agency shall not be liable for damages caused by any official action performed with due care regarding the disposition of personal property pursuant to this section and the disposal provisions of this article.
(d) As used in this section, "public agency"; means any state agency, any city, county, city and county, special district, or other
political subdivision.