2009 California Penal Code - Section 1407-1413 :: Chapter 12. Disposal Of Property Stolen Or Embezzled

PENAL CODE
SECTION 1407-1413

1407.  When property, alleged to have been stolen or embezzled,
comes into the custody of a peace officer, he shall hold it subject
to the provisions of this chapter relating to the disposal thereof.

1408.  On the application of the owner and on satisfactory proof of
his ownership of the property, after reasonable notice and
opportunity to be heard has been given to the person from whom
custody of the property was taken and any other person as required by
the magistrate, the magistrate before whom the complaint is laid, or
who examines the charge against the person accused of stealing or
embezzling it, shall order it to be delivered, without prejudice to
the state, to the owner, on his paying the necessary expenses
incurred in its preservation, to be certified by the magistrate. The
order entitles the owner to demand and receive the property.

1409.  If property stolen or embezzled comes into the custody of the
magistrate, it shall be delivered, without prejudice to the state,
to the owner upon his application to the court and on satisfactory
proof of his title, after reasonable notice and opportunity to be
heard has been given to the person from whom custody of the property
was taken and any other person as required by the magistrate, and on
his paying the necessary expenses incurred in its preservation, to be
certified by the magistrate.

1410.  If the property stolen or embezzled has not been delivered to
the owner, the court before which a trial is had for stealing or
embezzling it, upon the application of the owner to the court and on
proof of his title, after reasonable notice and opportunity to be
heard has been given to the person from whom custody of the property
was taken and any other person as required by the court, may order it
to be restored to the owner without prejudice to the state.

1411.  If the ownership of the property stolen or embezzled and the
address of the owner, and the address of the owner of a security
interest therein, can be reasonably ascertained, the peace officer
who took custody of the property shall notify the owner, and a person
having a security interest therein, by letter of the location of the
property and the method by which the owner may obtain it. This
notice shall be given upon the conviction of a person for an offense
involving the theft, embezzlement, or possession of the property, or
if a conviction was not obtained, upon the making of a decision by
the district attorney not to file the case or upon the termination of
the proceedings in the case. Except as provided in Section 217 of
the Welfare and Institutions Code, if the property stolen or
embezzled is not claimed by the owner before the expiration of three
months after the giving of this notice, or, in any case in which such
a notice is not given, before the expiration of six months from the
conviction of a person for an offense involving the theft,
embezzlement, or possession of the property, or if a conviction was
not obtained, then from the time the property came into the
possession of the peace officer or the case involving the person from
whom it was obtained is disposed of, whichever is later, the
magistrate or other officer having it in custody may, on the payment
of the necessary expenses incurred in its preservation, deliver it to
the county treasurer or other proper county officer, by whom it
shall be sold and the proceeds paid into the county treasury.
However, notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the person
from whom custody of the property was taken is a secondhand dealer or
licensed pawnbroker and reasonable but unsuccessful efforts have
been made to notify the owner of the property and the property is no
longer needed for the criminal proceeding, the property shall be
returned to the secondhand dealer or pawnbroker who had custody of
the property and be treated as regularly acquired property. If the
property is transferred to the county purchasing agent it may be sold
in the manner provided by Article 7 (commencing with Section 25500)
of Chapter 5 of Part 2 of Division 2 of Title 3 of the Government
Code for the sale of surplus personal property. If the county officer
determines that any of the property transferred to him or her for
sale is needed for a public use, the property may be retained by the
county and need not be sold. The magistrate or other officer having
the property in custody may, however, provide for the sale of the
property in the manner provided for the sale of unclaimed property
which has been held for at least three months pursuant to Section
2080.4 of the Civil Code.

1412.  When money or other property is taken from a defendant,
arrested upon a charge of a public offense, the officer taking it
must at the time give duplicate receipts therefor, specifying
particularly the amount of money or the kind of property taken; one
of which receipts he must deliver to the defendant and the other of
which he must forthwith file with the Clerk of the Court to which the
depositions and statement are to be sent. When such property is
taken by a police officer of any incorporated city or town, he must
deliver one of the receipts to the defendant, and one, with the
property, at once to the Clerk or other person in charge of the
police office in such city or town.

1413.  (a) The clerk or person having charge of the property section
for any police department in any incorporated city or town, or for
any sheriff's department in any county, shall enter in a suitable
book a description of every article of property alleged to be stolen
or embezzled, and brought into the office or taken from the person of
a prisoner, and shall attach a number to each article, and make a
corresponding entry thereof. He may engrave or imbed an
identification number in property described in Section 537e for the
purposes thereof.
   (b) The clerk or person in charge of the property section may,
upon satisfactory proof of the ownership of property held pursuant to
Section 1407, and upon presentation of proper personal
identification, deliver it to the owner. Such delivery shall be
without prejudice to the state or to the person from whom custody of
the property was taken or to any other person who may have a claim
against the property. Prior to such delivery such clerk or person in
charge of the property section shall make and retain a complete
photographic record of such property. The person to whom property is
delivered shall sign, under penalty of perjury, a declaration of
ownership, which shall be retained by the clerk or person in charge
of the property section. This subdivision shall not apply to any
property subject to forfeiture under any provision of law. This
subdivision shall not apply unless the clerk or person in charge of
the property section has served upon the person from whom custody of
the property was taken a notice of a claim of ownership and a copy of
the satisfactory proof of ownership tendered and has allowed such
person reasonable opportunity to be heard as to why the property
should not be delivered to the person claiming ownership.
   If the person upon whom a notice of claim and proof of ownership
has been served does not respond asserting a claim to the property
within 15 days from the date of receipt of the service, the property
may be disposed of in a manner not inconsistent with the provisions
of this section.
   (c) The magistrate before whom the complaint is laid, or who
examines the charge against the person accused of stealing or
embezzling the property, or the court before which a trial is had for
stealing or embezzling it, shall upon application by the person from
whom custody of the property was taken, review the determination of
the clerk or person in charge of the property section, and may order
the property taken into the custody of the court upon a finding that
the person to whom the property was delivered is not entitled
thereto. Such court shall make its determination in the same manner
as a determination is made when the matter is before the court
pursuant to Sections 1408 to 1410, inclusive.
   (d) The clerk or person in charge of the property section is not
liable in damages for any official action performed hereunder in good
faith.

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