2011 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 29: Law Enforcement
Article 1: Peace Officers in General, 29-1-1 through 29-1-17
Section 29-1-14: Unclaimed property; authority to sell; notice of sale; deadly weapons, controlled substances and other contraband excepted.


NM Stat § 29-1-14 (1996 through 1st Sess 50th Legis) What's This?

29-1-14. Unclaimed property; authority to sell; notice of sale; deadly weapons, controlled substances and other contraband excepted.

A. Any personal property having a fair market value greater than fifty dollars ($50.00) that has been unclaimed by the true owner, is no longer necessary for use in obtaining a conviction, is not needed for any other public purpose and has been in the possession of a state, county or municipal law enforcement agency for more than ninety days shall be sold at public sale.

B. Prior to the sale of seized personal property, the law enforcement agency shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the original owner of the seized personal property and shall publish a notice of the sale of unclaimed personal property once each week for two successive weeks. The notice shall contain:

(1) a brief description of the personal property to be sold;

(2) the time and place of the sale; and

(3) the name of any purported owner, if known.

C. If prior to the sale the true owner identifies the personal property to be sold and offers strict proof of identity and ownership of the personal property, the personal property shall be returned to its true owner.

D. Any personal property offered but not sold at a public sale may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of upon application to the district court, ex parte and without notice.

E. Any personal property sold at public sale, claimed by its true owner, destroyed or otherwise disposed of pursuant to this section shall be removed from the inventory record kept by the law enforcement agency.

F. Any personal property having a fair market value equal to or less than fifty dollars ($50.00) that has been unclaimed by the true owner, is no longer necessary for use in obtaining a conviction, is not needed for any other public purpose and has been in the possession of a state, county or municipal law enforcement agency for more than ninety days may be destroyed, except as otherwise provided by order of the district court upon ex parte application without notice.

G. Any alcoholic beverage that has been unclaimed by the true owner, is no longer necessary for use in obtaining a conviction, is not needed for any other public purpose and has been in the possession of a state, county or municipal law enforcement agency for more than ninety days may be destroyed or may be utilized by the scientific laboratory division of the department of health for educational or scientific purposes.

H. This section shall not apply to deadly weapons or items of significant historical value, poisons, controlled substances or other contraband lawfully seized as evidence for the prosecution of a violation of statute or ordinance or which has otherwise come into the lawful possession of a state, county or municipal law enforcement agency and has been in possession for more than ninety days. Once it is determined by the law enforcement agency that any property enumerated in this subsection is no longer necessary for use in obtaining a conviction or is not needed for any other public purpose, the law enforcement agency may apply to the district court, ex parte and without notice, for an order authorizing destruction or other disposition of the property; provided that a state, county or municipal law enforcement agency shall allow state museums access to agency inventory records for the purpose of inspecting and selecting firearms that are appropriate to state museum firearm collections. The court shall grant the application if the proposed destruction or disposition is in the best interest of the public safety and welfare.

I. This section shall not apply to any personal property for which a notice of intent to claim has been served. Any victim, as defined in Section 31-26-3 NMSA 1978, or alleged victim shall be entitled to serve notice of intent to claim ownership of any personal property upon that person, agency or entity in actual custody or control of the property. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit, interfere with or affect the rights or remedies of the rightful owner of any seized property.

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