The purpose of this Policy is to provide procedures for the disposition of abandoned personal property in the possession of U. T. System and its institutions.
The University of Texas System is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations for the disposition of abandoned and unclaimed property under Texas Education Code Section 51.213. Abandoned and unclaimed personal property of every kind that is not being held as evidence in a pending criminal case will be disposed of as outlined in this Policy.
The Property Manager, designated by the president of an institution, shall mail a notice to the last known address of the owner of such property by first-class certified mail, return receipt requested, if the owner is known. If the Property Manager determines that the value of the property exceeds the anticipated cost of storage and sale of the property and if the owner's address is not known or if the last known owner does not respond to the notice mailed to his or her last known address, the Property Manager shall cause to be published once in the campus student newspaper or once in a paper of general circulation in the county in which the institution is located, a notice as described below. The mailed and published notices shall contain a description of the property held; the name of the owner, if known; the name, telephone number, and address of the officer holding the property; and the location where the property can be inspected and redeemed. The published notice shall also state that the property, if unclaimed, will be sold at public sale and provide the date, time, and place of such sale.
All personal property that remains unclaimed at the expiration of 60 days from the date of publication in a newspaper of the notice required by Section 3 above, shall be deemed abandoned and the property be sold at the announced date.
The Property Manager shall sell the remaining unclaimed property to the highest bidder at the announced public sale. The Property Manager may decline the highest bid if he or she considers such bid insufficient and need not reoffer any property for sale, if, in his or her opinion, the probable cost of sale is in excess of the value of the property. All proceeds of the sale shall be deposited into a fund designated for this purpose.
Any person claiming an interest in any property presumed abandoned and sold under the provisions of this Policy, shall be allowed to file a claim to such property with the Property Manager on forms and procedures prescribed by the Property Manager. Upon approval of such claim by the Property Manager, the owner may recover the proceeds of such sale after deduction of the reasonable expense of storage and sale of such property.
Proceeds of sales that remain unclaimed may be used by the institution for student scholarships or other institutional purposes.
Vehicles that are abandoned and unclaimed shall be disposed of in accordance with Texas Transportation Code Sections 683.001 – 683.078.
Drugs in the possession of any institutional police department shall be disposed of in the manner prescribed by the Texas Health and Safety Code Section 483.074, (the Texas Dangerous Drugs Act), and the Texas Health and Safety Code Sections 481.151 and 481.160, the Texas Controlled Substances Act.
The custody and disposition of property of tenants of dormitory rooms and other residential units of an institution shall be in accordance with Texas Property Code Subchapter B, Title 5, Sections 54.044 and 54.045.