[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Milton 3-5-1984 (Ch. 2, Art. 7, of the prior Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Whenever any personal property of any kind, except money, comes into the custody of the Police Department and the person entitled to possession of such property cannot be located and fails to claim the property for a period of one year, the Chief of the Police may dispose of the property at public sale at some place which shall be convenient and accessible to the public.
The time, place and terms of the sale, together with the description of the personal property, shall be inserted in a newspaper of general circulation within the corporate limits of the Town, which shall be of general circulation in the state at least once each week for two successive weeks prior to the sale. The Chief of Police shall, in his discretion, fix the terms of the sale and may employ an auctioneer to make sale.
If the personal 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 Chief of Police 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 by 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. If the address cannot be so ascertained, then the notice shall not be required to be given.
After deducting from the proceeds of the sale the expense of making the sale, the amount of any storage and any other repair or towing charges incurred during the period in which the property was in custody, and after the payment of all liens to which the property was subject in the order of their priority, the remaining balance, if any, shall be delivered to the Town Clerk to be disposed of as directed by the Council. All lost, abandoned, or stolen money shall also be paid to the Town Clerk to be disposed of as directed by the Council, if the money is unclaimed.
If the owner or the person entitled to any money or personal property sold at public auction in the custody of the Police Department or the Town Clerk shall present to the Town Clerk a claim, duly sworn to, for such money at any time within three years from the date when it came into possession of the Police Department or, at any time within three years from the date of such sale, a similar claim for the balance remaining from the proceeds of such sale, the Town Clerk shall cause to be paid from the general fund of the Town the amount of such money or of such balance, without interest, to such claim as may be legally entitled thereto.
If no claim for such sale or such money is made within three years from the date of such sale or from the date such money came in the custody of the Police Department, the balance of such money shall become the property of the Town.
All actions for replevin or the return of any such personal property or money in the custody of the Police Department or of the Town Clerk and all other suits or actions of similar nature arising by reason of their custody of the personal property or money shall be brought within three years from the date which said property came into the custody of the Police Department or be forever barred.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed as implying that, in the absence thereof, the Police Department or the Town Clerk would be subject to suit or action of any kind whatsoever. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to waive the immunity from suit or action to which the Chief of Police, the Police Department, the Town Clerk or the Town itself or any agent thereof would be entitled.
The certificate of the Chief of Police that he has sold any personal property to a purchaser, as provided in this chapter, shall constitute sufficient evidence of title to any property so sold in order to enable any such purchaser to obtain a certificate of title and registration from the appropriate commissioner, commission or department, which shall recognize the certificate of the Chief of Police as sufficient authority for the issuance of a certificate of title registration.