Section 3-5-8

Posting of notice as to taking, etc., and hearing thereupon; proceedings where owner appears and claims livestock or animal generally; proceedings and entry of judgment for sale where livestock or animal not claimed and adjudged to be unlawfully at large generally.

(a) The district court shall give notice, by posting in three public places in the county, setting forth the fact of such taking up, the description of the livestock or animal and the fact that the owner is unknown or, if known, that he cannot be located, and notifying any person claiming to be the owner of such livestock or animal to appear before the court at a place named not less than three days nor more than six days from the date of such notice and prove such claim of ownership.

(b) If such person appears at any time and if the judge of the district court is satisfied that such person is the actual owner of such livestock or animal, then the judge shall require the owner of the livestock or animal to pay the officer's fee, together with the cost of feeding and caring for such animal, as provided in this chapter, and to pay for all damages done to crops, shade or fruit trees or ornamental shrubs of any person, which damage shall be ascertained by the judge of the district court and, after such ascertainment, shall be paid to the person damaged or to the judge of the district court for the use of the person damaged, whereupon such livestock or animal shall be delivered to such claimant.

(c) If no person claiming to be the owner appears on the day set for hearing, the judge of the district court shall proceed to ascertain and determine whether or not such livestock or animal was unlawfully at large upon the premises of another or upon the public lands, highways, roads or streets in Alabama and shall proceed to inquire and ascertain the amount of damages and charges. If the judge of the district court shall ascertain and determine that such livestock or animals were unlawfully at large on the premises of another or on the public lands, highways, roads or streets in the State of Alabama, he shall make and enter the following order: "It appearing on complaint of A B (or any state trooper or any sheriff or his deputies, constable of any precinct or the law enforcement officer of any municipality, as the case may be) that a cow (or hog or other animal, as the case may be) was unlawfully on the premises or land of A B (or C D, as the case may be, or upon the public lands, highways, roads or streets in the State of Alabama, as the case may be), and that the owner thereof is unknown, and that the said animal has damaged the crop or shade or fruit trees or ornamental shrubbery of A B, (or C D, as the case may be) to the amount of $_______, it is hereby ordered and adjudged that the said A B (or such state trooper or such sheriff or his deputy, constable or law enforcement officer of any municipality, as the case may be) is entitled to $_______ for taking up and for caring for said animal, and that the said animal be sold for the satisfaction thereof, together with costs of court.”

(Acts 1939, No. 368, p. 487; Code 1940, T. 3, §84.)