HB 423 – Lost or Abandoned Personal Property
On Wednesday, February 13, 2019, HB 423, Lost or Abandoned Property by Representative Spencer Roach, was heard in the House Business & Professions Subcommittee and was voted favorably with 15 yeas and 0 nays. AIF stood in support of this bill.
This bill allows an owner or operator of a theme park, entertainment complex, zoo, museum, aquarium, public food service establishment, or public lodging establishment to elect to dispose of or donate lost or abandoned property found on its premises. Under the bill, an owner or operator who elects to dispose of or donate lost or abandoned property must first take charge of the property, maintain a record of the property, and hold the property for at least 30 days. The bill prohibits the owner or operator from selling the property. If the property remains unclaimed after 30 days, the owner or operator must dispose of or donate the property to a charitable institution. If a charitable institution accepts certain electronic devices, the bill requires the charitable institution to make a reasonable effort to delete all personal data from the device before its sale or disposal. The bill also provides that the rightful owner of the property may reclaim the property at any time before its disposal or donation.
The bill creates an alternate disposal process for lost or abandoned property for theme parks, entertainment complexes, zoos, museums, aquariums, public food service establishments, and public lodging establishments. The alternative process would require these types of facilities to hold the property for at least 30 days. Any property not claimed within 30 days must be donated to a charitable institution.
HB 423 will now head to the House Civil Justice Subcommittee.
AIF supports the right of property owners to hold and donate lost or abandoned property thereby eliminating the burden of contacting law enforcement for lost personal belongings.