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Estray statutes - Essay Example

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Estray, in law, is any domestic animal found wandering at large or lost, the owner being unknown. In early English common law, estrays were forfeited to the king or lord of the manor. In modern times, as described in Wikipedia (2007), estray statutes define provisions and conditions for taking up stray animals and acquiring either title to them or a lien for the expenses incurred in keeping them…
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Download file to see previous pages The statute defines lost property and abandoned property, and provides procedures and remedies which prescribe the powers and duties of finders and owners of the property, and of relevant government employees. It provides for the disposition of lost property that remains unclaimed by the owner and by the finder. The statute exempts from its application limited types of property. Defined by these laws and regulations, a person taking up an estray has a qualified ownership in it, which becomes absolute if the owner fails to claim the animal within the statutory period. If the owner reclaims the estray, he is liable for reasonable costs of its upkeep. The use of an estray during the period of qualified ownership, other than for its own preservation or for the benefit of the owner, is not authorized. Some statutes limit the right to take up estrays to certain classes of persons, to certain seasons or places, or to animals requiring care. Like registering title, estray statutes discourage the theft of property. Like adverse-possession rules, estray statutes tend to clear the clouds from title and transfer property to productive use. Like adverse-possession rules, estray statutes also provide an incentive for owners to monitor their property. Estray statutes induce the dissemination of information and thus reduce the search costs of owners who lose their property (Wen, 2004).
Statutory time limit is usually within one year (Baumer, 2003) as practiced in South Dakota. In Colorado however, this limit is good for five days only by animal control officer, unless claimed by the owner, the state board of stock inspection commissioners will keep the animal (Ord. 196, 1973). In Idaho, upon notice to the County Clerk within ten days, publish notification in a newspaper within twenty days and still unclaimed, the statutory limit will end within three months and the finder will become the owner. These notifications are necessary for the finder who fails to make a reasonable effort to return the property to its owner will be considered theft (Idaho Code 55-405). In Nebraska (Nebraska Brand Committee, 2006), Oklahoma (University of Vermont. 2001), and Minnesota (Office of Revisor of Statutes, 2006) the notification is only within seven days. In Minnesota, notification is also within ten days. If the finder failed to post the notice hence ignored the property rights of the owner, he shall be charged double the amount of damages sustained by the owner thereby. In New Jersey, if the owner failed to reclaim it within 120 days "a. the owner of the premises where the property was found may claim title to buried or hidden lost property or to lost property which a trespasser found; b. the finder of the property may claim title to lost property in other cases." (New Jersey Law Revision Commission, n.d.) If the owner of the premises or the finder does not claim the lost property, marketable property shall be sold in which the net proceeds shall be deposited with the administrator of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (46:30B-1 to -109) in the Unclaimed Personal Property Trust Fund ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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