Maine Revised Statutes

§3106. Disposition of abandoned property

1. Definitions.  As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Covered property" means all tangible property, other than tangible property described in Title 33, section 1954, located in or on real estate acquired by a political subdivision through tax delinquency proceedings pursuant to Title 36 or through any similar procedure created by statute for the collection of unpaid taxes, assessments, expenses or charges. "Covered property" includes all tangible property, other than tangible property described in Title 33, section 1954, located in or on real estate that has been determined to be a dangerous building pursuant to Title 17, chapter 91, subchapter IV. [1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW).]
B. "Political subdivision" has the same meaning as in section 2252. [1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW).]
[ 1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW) .]
2. Procedure.  A political subdivision may dispose of covered property that has been abandoned in accordance with this section.
A. The municipal officers in the case of a city, town or plantation, the county commissioners in the case of a county and in all other cases the governing board of a political subdivision, or the designee of any of these, may give written notice to the owner or owners of covered property, if known, instructing the owner or owners to remove the covered property from the real estate in or on which it is located within 21 days after receipt of the notice. [1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW).]
B. Notice must be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner or owners of the covered property. Notice is sufficient under this paragraph if the signed receipt is returned or the certified mail is returned as refused by the recipient. [1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW).]
C. If sufficient notice was not given under paragraph B or if, with reasonable diligence, the identity or the address of an owner or owners can not be determined, the notice is sufficient if it is not mailed but published twice consecutively in a daily or weekly newspaper having general circulation in the municipality or political subdivision in which the covered property is located. [1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW).]
D. The political subdivision has no responsibility to safeguard or otherwise preserve or protect the covered property pending restoration to its owner or other disposal. [1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW).]
[ 1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW) .]
3. Content of notice.  Whether mailed or published, notice need not include a roster or inventory of the covered property, but need only state that tangible personal property that may belong to the addressee, owner or former owner is located in or on real property within the ownership or control of the political subdivision, and that on contact with the originating political subdivision, arrangements can be made for removal of covered property belonging to that addressee, owner or former owner.
[ 1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW) .]
4. Disposal of covered property.  If the covered property is not claimed within 21 days after notice is given under subsection 2 or if the owner or owners have claimed the property within the 21 days but have not taken possession of the property within 10 days of claiming it, the political subdivision shall:
A. Sell the covered property in a commercially reasonable manner; or [1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW).]
B. If the property has no market value, otherwise dispose of the property. [1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW).]
[ 1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW) .]
5. Deposit of funds.  After the sale of the property, the political subdivision may apply proceeds from the sale to unpaid taxes, assessments and expenses of storage, notice and sale. Any balance and the records of the sale must be reported and delivered to the Treasurer of State in accordance with Title 33, section 1959, subsection 1.
[ 1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW) .]
1999, c. 667, §1 (NEW).