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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 9 - General Provisions
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Responsible Executive: VP for Business Affairs


9.07 Lost, Abandonded, and Unclaimed Personal Property


I. POLICY STATEMENT


This policy covers the handling of lost, abandoned, and unclaimed personal property found on The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) premises.


II. RATIONALE


This policy establishes institutional procedures that comply with The University of Texas System (UT System) policy for the disposition of abandoned and unclaimed property and Texas Education Code Section 51.213.


III. SCOPE


This policy applies to lost, abandoned, or unclaimed personal property that is found on UTSA premises, provided the property is not being held as evidence in a pending criminal or civil case.


IV. WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY


http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter9/9-7.html


V. RELATED STATUTES, POLICIES, REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS


UTSA or UT System or the Board of Regents' Rules & Regulations

  1. UT System policy UTS162, Disposal of Unclaimed Property

Other Policies & Standards

  1. Texas Transportation Code Sections 683.001-683.078 – Abandonded Motor Vehicles
  2. Texas Health and Safety Code Section 483.074 – Seizure and Destruction of Dangerous Drugs
  3. Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.151 – Texas Controlled Substance Act Definitions
  4. Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.160 – Destruction of Excess Quantities of Controlled Substances
  5. TexasProperty Code Sections 54.044 and 54.045 – Landlord’s Liens
  6. Texas Education Code Section 51.213 – Abandoned Personal Property

VI. CONTACTS


If you have any questions about HOP policy 9.01, Lost, Abandoned, and Unclaimed Personal Property, contact the following offices:

Financial Services and University Bursar
Financial.Services@utsa.edu
210-458-4221

UTSA Police Department
210-458-4249


VII. DEFINITIONS


Lost or Abandoned Property - Personal property found on UTSA premises (other than UTSA-owned or controlled housing, see below) that is deserted or for which ownership is not claimed or identified.  Specific items excepted from this definition may include clothing, food and drink containers or soiled items, which could present a sanitation risk.

Lost or Abandoned Housing Property - Personal property found in UTSA-owned or controlled housing after the housing contract period is completed or the housing contract has been terminated as specified in the housing contract. Specific items excepted from this definition may include clothing, food and drink containers or soiled items, which could present a sanitation risk.

Property Manager - The individual who has been designated by the President as the custodian of all property in the possession of UTSA, and who is responsible for maintaining State of Texas required records. The Director of Financial Services and University Bursar has been designated by the President as the Property Manager for UTSA and is the administrator responsible for the property function at UTSA.

Unclaimed Property - Lost or Abandoned Property or Lost or Abandoned Housing Property that remains unclaimed by its owner after the time period specified in this policy and after appropriate notice has been given under this policy. 


VIII. RESPONSIBILITIES


  1. Property Manager
    1. Ensures the proper disposal of Unclaimed Property.
    2. Verifies that appropriate notice has been given regarding Lost or Abandonded Property and Lost or Abandoned Housing Property.
    3. Verifies that appropriate notice has been given in the area of Abandoned Motor Vehicle sales.
    4. Distributes any remaining proceeds from the sale of Lost or Abandoned Housing Property sold pursuant to Texas Property Code Section 54.045.
  2. Police Department
    1. Maintains a Lost and Found department where all Lost or Abandoned Property is stored for the stated time period.
    2. Attempts to contact believed owners of Lost or Abandoned Property in its possession.
    3. Publishes a list of Lost or Abandoned Property on its website that is updated on at least a monthly basis.
    4. Releases Unclaimed Property to the Property Manager for use, sale, or disposal.
    5. Disposes of drugs in the manner prescribed by the Texas Health and Safety Code Section 483.074 (the Texas Dangerous Drugs Act), and Sections 481.151 and 481.160 (the Texas Controlled Substances Act).
    6. Attempts to contact owner and/or lien holder of Abandoned Motor Vehicles on UTSA property in compliance with the Texas Transportation Code Sections 683.001 – 683.078.
    7. Disposes of Abandoned Motor Vehicles after appropriate notice in accordance with Texas Transportation Code Sections 683.001 – 683.078.
  3. Housing and Residence Life (HRL)
    1. Executes housing contracts wtih students that specify UTSA's authority to use, sell or dispose of Lost or Abandoned Housing Property, and that refer to the relevant portions of the Texas Property Code.
    2. Collects Lost or Abandoned Housing Property.
    3. Follows the procedures below for Lost or Abandonded Housing Property.

IX. PROCEDURES


  1. Lost or Abandoned Property
    1. All Lost or Abandoned Property must be turned over to the UTSA Police Department.  While clothing typically is excluded from the definition of Lost or Abandoned Property, the Police Department’s Lost and Found Department may, at its discretion, accept items of clothing that appear to be of value and are likely to be claimed (e.g. jackets and coats in good condition) for disposition in accordance with this policy.
    2. The UTSA Police Department will give notice to the believed owner of the Lost or Abandoned Property by mailing a notice to the last known address of the believed owner, by first-class, certified mail with return receipt requested.  In addition, the Police Department will publish all Lost or Abandoned Property in the list of Lost or Abandoned Property maintained on its website and updated monthly.   
    3. All Lost or Abandoned Property that remains unclaimed at the expiration of sixty (60) days after notification (either personal or published) shall be deemed Unclaimed Property and will be turned over to the Property Manager.    
  2. Lost or Abandoned Housing Property  
    1. If there is Lost or Abandoned Housing Property and the believed owner of that property owes an outstanding balance on his or her housing contract, then the custody and disposition of the property must be in accordance with Texas Property Code Sections 54.044 and 54.045.  Otherwise, the custody and disposition of Lost or Abandoned Housing Property will be conducted under the process in Sections 2 – 4 below.
    2. HRL will hold all Lost or Abandoned Housing Property for sixty (60) days.  HRL may, in its discretion, accept items of clothing that appear to be of value and are likely to be claimed (e.g. jackets and coats in good condition) in lieu of disposal.
    3. HRL will give notice to the believed owner of the Lost or Abandoned Housing Property by mailing a notice to the last known address of the believed owner, by first class, certified mail, with return receipt requested. The notice must include the date, time, and place of intended sale of the property, an itemized account of the amount owed (if any) by the believed owner and the name, address and telephone number of a person the believed owner may contact regarding the sale, the amount owed and the right to redeem the property.
    4. All Lost or Abandoned Housing Property that remains unclaimed at the expiration of sixty (60) days after attempted notification shall be deemed Unclaimed Property and will be turned over to the Property Manager.
  3. Unclaimed Property
    1. The Property Manager may sell the Unclaimed Property to the highest bidder following normal UTSA procedures for the sale of surplus property, or may approve the use, donation or disposal of the Unclaimed Property for an institutional purpose.
    2. If the anticipated cost of storage and sale exceeds the property’s value, the Property Manager need not sell the property under the procedure in section C.1, and may instead dispose of it in any other manner, unless prohibited by law.
    3. Proceeds from the sale of Unclaimed Property must be used for institutional purposes.
    4. Abandoned Motor Vehicles will be disposed of in accordance with Texas Transportation Code Sections 683.001 – 683.078.
    5. Drugs in the possession of the UTSA Police Department must be disposed of in the manner prescribed by Texas Health and Safety Code Section 483.074 (the Texas Dangerous Drugs Act), and Sections 481.151 and 481.160 (the Texas Controlled Substances Act). 
    6. Any person claiming an interest in any Unclaimed Property sold under the provisions of this HOP policy may file a written claim to such Unclaimed Property with the Property Manager. The Property Manager must then review the claim and, upon the Property Manager’s approval, the owner may recover the proceeds of such sale after the Property Manager deducts the reasonable expense of storage and sale of the Unclaimed Property.

X. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION


None


XI. FORMS AND TOOLS/ONLINE PROCESSES


UTSA Police Department Website:
http://www.utsa.edu/utsapd/
http://utsa.edu/utsapd/Support_Services_Division/Lost_and_Found/index.html
http://utsa.edu/utsapd/PD_News/PD_news.html


XII. APPENDIX


None