New York Personal Property Law § 252. Found property and found instruments to be deposited with police;  penalty for failure to deliver to police;  delivery to persons in possession of premises where found




1. Except as provided in subdivision five of section two hundred fifty-six of this chapter or as otherwise prescribed pursuant to section two hundred fifty of the general municipal law, any person who finds lost property of the value of twenty dollars or more or comes into possession of property of the value of twenty dollars or more with knowledge that it is lost property or found property shall, within ten days after the finding or acquisition of possession thereof, either return it to the owner or report such finding or acquisition of possession and deposit such property in a police station or police headquarters of the city where the finding occurred or possession was acquired, but if the finding occurred or possession was acquired in buildings or on grounds or premises under the control and supervision of the commissioner of general services as described in article two of the public buildings law, then the property may also be deposited in a station of the capital buildings police.  If the finding occurred or possession was acquired outside a city, then such property shall be deposited in a station or substation of the state police or in a police station or police headquarters, including a sheriff's office, of the county, town, or village where the finding occurred or possession was acquired.  If the finding occurred or possession was acquired in buildings or on grounds or premises constituting a state park, parkway, recreational facility or historic site under the jurisdiction of the commissioner of parks, recreation and historic preservation, then such property may also be deposited in a station of the regional state park police.  If the finding occurred or possession was acquired in buildings or on the grounds or premises of the state-operated institutions in the state university of New York, then such property may also be deposited with a security officer or police officer appointed by the state university.  Property so deposited shall be retained and disposed of in accordance with procedures set forth in sections two hundred fifty-three through two hundred fifty-seven of this chapter except that the powers and duties in said sections mentioned to be performed by the police shall be performed by security officers or police officers appointed by the state university.

2. Except as provided in subdivision five of section two hundred fifty-six of this chapter or as otherwise prescribed pursuant to section two hundred fifty of the general municipal law, any person who finds an instrument or comes into possession of an instrument with knowledge that it has been found shall, within ten days after the finding or acquisition of possession thereof, either return it to a person entitled thereto or report the finding or acquisition of possession and deposit the instrument in a police station or police headquarters, as provided in subdivision one of this section, as if such instrument were lost property having a value of ten dollars or more.

3. Except as provided in subdivision four of this section, any person who shall refuse or wilfully neglect to comply with the provisions of subdivision one or subdivision two of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.

4. A person shall not be subject to criminal prosecution for failure to report a finding or acquisition of possession of found property or of a found instrument to the police and deposit such property or instrument with the police if, in lieu thereof, he delivers the property or instrument to the person in possession of the premises where the property or instrument was found, provided he had no reason to believe that such person would not comply with subdivision one or subdivision two of this section.

A person who delivers found property or a found instrument to the person in possession of the premises where the property or instrument was found is not liable to the owner or person entitled thereto for such delivery if he had no reason to believe that such person in possession of the premises would not comply with subdivision one or subdivision two of this section.


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