Section 45-15-230

Sale of abandoned, stolen, and unclaimed property.

(a) The Sheriff of Cleburne County, Alabama, shall sell at public auction, in the manner provided in this section, abandoned and stolen personal property recovered by the Sheriff's Department of Cleburne County which property has remained unclaimed by the rightful owner thereof for a period of six consecutive months.

(b) The Sheriff of Cleburne County shall keep and maintain a permanent record of all abandoned and stolen personal property recovered by the Sheriff's Department of Cleburne County, which records shall state the description of the property, the date of recovery of the property, the serial or other identifying number of the property, and the place of recovery of the property. Such records shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times. All abandoned or stolen property recovered by the Sheriff's Department of Cleburne County shall be stored in a suitable place to protect the same from deterioration; provided, that if the property be of a perishable nature, after reasonable attempts have been made to locate and identify the owner thereof, if such attempts be unsuccessful, the same shall be sold at once without notice in which case the proceeds shall be held for a period of six months for the account of the owner and if not called for within that period of time, after deducting and paying all expenses incurred in the recovery, storage, maintenance, and sale of such property, shall be paid into the General Fund of Cleburne County.

(c) At least every six months, the Sheriff of Cleburne County shall sell at public auction to the highest bidder for cash all abandoned or stolen personal property which has been recovered by the Sheriff's Department of Cleburne County, and has remained unclaimed by the rightful owner thereof after a period of six months. The sales are to be made after notice thereof shall have been given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in Cleburne County once a week for two successive weeks or by posting such notice in a conspicuous place at the Cleburne County Courthouse for a period of at least 20 days prior to such sale. Such notice shall contain the place, date, and time of each such auction and shall further contain a description of each item of personal property to be sold at the auction. If publication of such notice be made by publication in the newspaper, the first notice shall run at least 20 days prior to the auction.

(d) The owner of any abandoned or stolen personal property recovered by the Cleburne County Sheriff's Department may redeem the same at any time prior to its sale by paying any reasonable expenses incurred in the recovery of the property, its maintenance and storage, and a pro rata share of the costs, if any, of publication of notice of the sale of the property.

(e) Whenever any property is sold at public auction as provided in this section, a notation in the storage record book shall be made of the fact of the sale and of the amount received for such property. All sales shall be cash. The person making the sale shall have the right to reject any and all bids if the amount bid be unreasonably low and shall have the right to continue the sale from time to time if no bidders are present.

(f) The proceeds from any auction conducted under the authority of this section, after deducting and paying all expenses incurred in the recovery, storage, maintenance, and sale of property sold at such auction, shall be paid into the General Fund of Cleburne County.

(Act 87-534, p. 813, §§1-6.)