§ 11-41-15. Recovered stolen property.
(a) The officer who shall apprehend any person as principal or accessory in any robbery or larceny shall secure the property alleged to be stolen and shall be answerable for the property, and shall annex a schedule of it to his or her return. Upon receipt of the property from the apprehending officer, the clerk or person in charge of the storage of alleged stolen property for a police department shall enter into a book a description of every article of property alleged to be stolen which was brought to the police department and shall attach a number to each article.
(b)(1) The clerk or person in charge of the storage of alleged stolen property may deliver the property to the owner of the property upon satisfactory proof of ownership, provided that the following steps are followed:
(i) A complete photographic record of the property is made;
(ii) The person from whom custody of the property was taken is served with a notice of the claim of ownership and is given a reasonable opportunity to be heard as to why the property should not be delivered to the person claiming ownership;
(iii) A signed declaration of ownership under penalty of perjury is obtained from the person to whom the property is delivered.
(2) The delivery of property to the owner shall be without prejudice to the state or any other person who may have a claim to the property. Any property subject to forfeiture under any provision of law shall not be returned pursuant to this section.
(c) Upon application to the superior court by the person from whom custody of the property was taken, a review of the determination of the clerk or the person in charge of the storage of alleged stolen property shall be made within thirty (30) days of the receipt of that application. The court shall have the power to order the property taken into the custody of the court upon a finding that the person to whom the property was delivered was not entitled to it.
(d) The clerk or person in charge of the storage of alleged stolen property shall not be liable for damages for any official act performed in good faith in the course of carrying out the provisions of this section.
(e) The photographic record of the alleged stolen property required by paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section shall be allowed to be introduced as evidence in any court of this state in place of the actual alleged stolen property.
(G.L. 1896, ch. 279, § 26; G.L. 1909, ch. 345, § 27; G.L. 1923, ch. 397, § 27; G.L. 1938, ch. 608, § 27; G.L. 1956, § 11-41-15; P.L. 1976, ch. 170, § 1.)