U.S Code last checked for updates: Jul 09, 2020
§ 2575.
Disposition of unclaimed property
(a)
The Secretary of any military department, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, under such regulations as they may respectively prescribe, may each by public or private sale or otherwise, dispose of all lost, abandoned, or unclaimed personal property that comes into the custody or control of the Secretary’s department, other than property subject to section 7712, 8392, or 9712 of this title or subject to subsection (c). However, property may not be disposed of until diligent effort has been made to find the owner (or the heirs, next of kin, or legal representative of the owner). The diligent effort to find the owner (or the heirs, next of kin, or legal representative of the owner) shall begin, to the maximum extent practicable, not later than seven days after the date on which the property comes into the custody or control of the Secretary. The period for which that effort is continued may not exceed 45 days. If the owner (or the heirs, next of kin, or legal representative of the owner) is determined but not found, the property may not be disposed of until the expiration of 45 days after the date when notice, giving the time and place of the intended sale or other disposition, has been sent by certified or registered mail to that person at his last known address. When diligent effort to determine the owner (or heirs, next of kin, or legal representative of the owner) is unsuccessful, the property may be disposed of without delay, except that if it has a fair market value of more than $300, the Secretary may not dispose of the property until 45 days after the date it is received at a storage point designated by the Secretary.
(b)
(1)
In the case of lost, abandoned, or unclaimed personal property found on a military installation, the proceeds from the sale of the property under this section shall be credited to the operation and maintenance account of that installation and used—
(A)
to reimburse the installation for any costs incurred by the installation to collect, transport, store, protect, or sell the property; and
(B)
to the extent that the amount of the proceeds exceeds the amount necessary for reimbursing all such costs, to support morale, welfare, and recreation activities under the jurisdiction of the armed forces that are conducted for the comfort, pleasure, contentment, or physical or mental improvement of members of the armed forces at such installation.
(2)
The net proceeds from the sale of other property under this section shall be covered into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.
(c)
No property covered by this section may be delivered to the Armed Forces Retirement Home by the Secretary of a military department, except papers of value, sabers, insignia, decorations, medals, watches, trinkets, manuscripts, and other articles valuable chiefly as keepsakes.
(d)
(1)
The owner (or heirs, next of kin, or legal representative of the owner) of personal property the proceeds of which are credited to a military installation under subsection (b)(1) may file a claim with the Secretary of Defense for the amount equal to the proceeds (less costs referred to in subparagraph (A) of such subsection). Amounts to pay the claim shall be drawn from the morale, welfare, and recreation account for the installation that received the proceeds.
(2)
The owner (or heirs, next of kin, or legal representative of the owner) may file a claim with the Secretary of Defense for proceeds covered into the Treasury under subsection (b)(2).
(3)
Unless a claim is filed under this subsection within 5 years after the date of the disposal of the property to which the claim relates, the claim may not be considered by a court, the Secretary of Defense (in the case of a claim filed under paragraph (1)), or the Secretary of Defense (in the case of a claim filed under paragraph (2)).
(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 144; Pub. L. 89–143, Aug. 28, 1965, 79 Stat. 581; Pub. L. 96–513, title V, § 511(84), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 2927; Pub. L. 101–189, div. A, title III, § 322(a), (b), title XVI, § 1622(f)(1), Nov. 29, 1989, 103 Stat. 1413, 1605; Pub. L. 101–510, div. A, title XV, § 1533(a)(2), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1733; Pub. L. 104–106, div. A, title III, § 374(a), Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 281; Pub. L. 104–316, title II, § 202(d), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3842; Pub. L. 107–296, title XVII, § 1704(b)(1), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2314; Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title VIII, § 809(a), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 1840.)
cite as: 10 USC 2575