Found Property - Rights & Duties of Finders & Owners
The following are excerpts from Oregon Revised Statutes pertaining to found property:
- ORS 98.005 Rights and Duties of finder of money or goods.
(1) If any person finds money or goods valued at $250 or more, and if the owner of the money or goods is unknown, such person, within 10 days after the date of the finding, shall give notice of the finding in writing to the county clerk of the county in which the money or goods was found. Within 20 days after the date of the finding, the finder of the money or goods shall cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county a notice of the finding once each week for two consecutive weeks. Each such notice shall state the general description of the money or goods found, the name and address of the finder and final date before which such goods may be claimed. (2) If no person appears and establishes ownership of the money or goods prior to the expiration of three months after the date of the notice to the county clerk under subsection (1) of this section, the finder shall be the owner of the money or goods. [1973 c.642 §1; 1989 c.522 §1; 2013 c.220 §1]
- ORS 98.015 Liability of noncomplying finder; forfeiture to county of unreclaimed money or goods.
If any person who finds money or goods valued at $250 or more fails to comply with ORS 98.005, the person shall be liable, upon conviction for violation of ORS 164.065, to the county for the money or goods or the full value of the money or goods. The county treasurer shall hold the money or goods or their value for owner thereof and shall publish notice of the finding of the money or goods in the manner provided in ORS 98.005. If the owner has not reclaimed such money or goods within three months after the date of the first publication of notice by the county treasurer, the owner shall forfeit the rights of the owner to the value of such money or goods and the value of such money or goods shall be placed in the general fund of the county to be used for the payment of the general operating expenses of the county. [1973 c.642 §2; 1989 c.522 §2; 2013 c.220 §2]
- ORS 98.025 Rights of owner.
If an owner of money or goods found by another person appears and establishes a claim to such money or goods within the time period prescribed by ORS 98.005 or 98.015, whichever applies, the owner shall have restitution of such money or goods or their value upon payment of all costs and charges incurred in the finding, giving of notice, care and custody of such money or goods. [1973 c.642 ''3]
The Sheriff's Office & Found Property
In accordance with the requirements set out in the Oregon Revised Statutes, found property turned over to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office will be advertised in the Newport News Times newspaper. If, after advertisement, the property remains unclaimed, it will be disposed of by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in accordance with state law and applicable policies and procedures. If you are the finder of property and would like to exercise your rights as specified in ORS 98.005, please do not turn over the found property to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. Found property turned over to the Sheriff's Office will not be returned to the finder.
If you have additional questions about the statutes listed above and/or the duties required by a finder of property, please call the Evidence Control Specialist at 541-265-4912.