§ 6-53-5. Fourteen day holding period Recovery of stolen property Return to rightful owner.
(a) All persons licensed under this chapter shall retain in their possession, in an unaltered condition, for a period of fourteen (14) days, all tools and electronics, including items that do not contain serial numbers or other identifying marks. The fourteen-day (14) holding period shall commence with the date the report of its acquisition was delivered to or received by the chief of police or the attorney general, whichever is later. The records so received by the chief of police or the attorney general shall be available for inspection only by law enforcement officers for law enforcement purposes. If the chief of police has probable cause to believe that tools and electronics have been stolen, he or she may give notice in writing to the person licensed to retain the tools, electronics, or article for an additional period of fifteen (15) days and the person shall retain the property for this additional fifteen-day (15) period unless the notice is recalled, in writing, within the fifteen-day (15) period. Within the fifteen-day (15) period, the chief of police, or his or her designee, shall designate in writing, an officer to secure the property alleged to be stolen and the persons in possession of the property shall deliver the property to the officer upon display of the officer's written designation by the chief of police or his or her designee. Upon receipt of the property from the 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 that was brought to the police department and shall attach a number to each article. The clerk or person in charge of the storage of alleged stolen property shall deliver the property to the owner of the property upon satisfactory proof of ownership, without any cost to the owner, provided that the following steps are followed:
(1) A complete photographic record of the property is made;
(2) A signed declaration of ownership under penalty of perjury is obtained from the person to whom the property is delivered;
(3) The person from whom the custody of the property was taken is served with written notice of the claim of ownership and is given ten (10) days from the mailing of the notice to file a petition in district court objecting to the delivery of the property to the person claiming ownership. If a petition is filed in a timely manner, the district court shall, at a hearing, determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether the property was stolen and if the person claiming ownership of the property is the true owner. The decision of the district court may only be appealable by writ of certiorari to the supreme court.
(b) 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. The photographic record of the alleged stolen property shall be allowed to be introduced as evidence in any court of this state in place of the actual, alleged stolen property; provided that the clerk in charge of the storage of the alleged, stolen property shall take photographs of the property and those photographs shall be tagged and marked and remain in his/her possession or control.
(P.L. 2011, ch. 399, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 502, § 2; P.L. 2013, ch. 507, § 2; P.L. 2014, ch. 528, § 40.)