Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter X. Property.


§ 5–119.01. Property Clerk office created; definitions.

(a) There shall be an office of the Metropolitan Police District known as the Office of the Property Clerk. The Property Clerk shall be a member of the Metropolitan Police force. The staff shall consist of civilians who are not members of the Metropolitan Police force, except that police officers may provide security for lost, stolen, or abandoned property held by the office.

(b) For purposes of §§ 5-119.02 through 5-119.10 and §§ 5-119.12 through 5-119.18:

(1) The term “lost property” means any personal property, tangible or intangible, except a motor vehicle, the owner of which is unknown and which has been casually or involuntarily parted with through negligence, carelessness, or inadvertence.

(2) The term “finder of lost property” means any person other than a public officer of the Metropolitan Police Department who has found lost property.


(R.S., D.C., § 408; Dec. 5, 1919, 41 Stat. 363, ch. 1, § 1; Mar. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 3-160, § 201, 27 DCR 5150; Sept. 9, 1989, D.C. Law 8-24, § 6(a), 36 DCR 4575; May 4, 1990, D.C. Law 8-118, § 2, 37 DCR 1736.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-152.

1973 Ed., § 4-151.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-119.19.

Cross References

Public or government held property, see § 41-112.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority under D.C. Law 8-24, the “D.C. Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Removal Amend. Act of 1989”, see Mayor’s Order 90-11, January 23, 1990.


§ 5–119.02. Lost, stolen or abandoned property — Custody.

All property, or money alleged or supposed to have been feloniously obtained, or which shall be lost or abandoned, and which shall be thereafter taken into the custody of any member of the police force, or the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, or which shall come into such custody, shall be, by such member, or by order of the Court, given into the custody of the Property Clerk and kept by him, except that the custody of any abandoned vehicle shall be transferred to the Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Division of the Department of Public Works.


(R.S., D.C., § 409; Sept. 9, 1989, D.C. Law 8-24, § 6(b), 36 DCR 4575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-153.

1973 Ed., § 4-152.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-119.01.

Cross References

Property found in custody of deceased, depositing of, see § 5-1408.

References in Text

The Police Court of the District of Columbia and the Municipal Court for the District of Columbia were consolidated by the Act of April 1, 1942, 56 Stat. 190, ch. 207, § 1. The Act of July 8, 1963, § 1, substituted “District of Columbia Court of General Sessions” for “Municipal Court for the District of Columbia.” The Act of July 29, 1970, Pub. L. 91-358, § 155(a), substituted “Superior Court of the District of Columbia” for “District of Columbia Court of General Sessions.”.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority under D.C. Law 8-24, the “D.C. Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Removal Amend. Act of 1989”, see Mayor’s Order 90-11, January 23, 1990.


§ 5–119.03. Registration record.

All such property and money shall be particularly registered by the Property Clerk in a book kept for that purpose, which shall contain also a record of the names of the persons from whom such property or money was taken, the names of all claimants thereto, the place where found, the time of the seizure, the date of the receipt, the general circumstances connected therewith, and any final disposal of such property and money.


(R.S., D.C., § 410.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-154.

1973 Ed., § 4-153.


§ 5–119.04. Powers of notaries public.

The Property Clerk is vested with all the powers conferred by law upon notaries public in the District.


(R.S., D.C., § 411.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-155.

1973 Ed., § 4-154.


§ 5–119.05. Administration of oaths; certification of depositions.

The Property Clerk may administer oaths and certify depositions which may be necessary to establish the ownership of any property or money lost, abandoned, or returned to him under the directions of the Mayor of the District of Columbia, including such property or money so returned which is alleged to have been feloniously obtained or to be the proceeds of crime.


(R.S., D.C., § 412; June 11, 1878, 20 Stat. 107, ch. 180, § 6; May 9, 1941, 55 Stat. 185, ch. 99, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-156.

1973 Ed., § 4-155.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-119.06.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 5–119.06. Property clerk — Return of property — General requirements; multiple claimants; immunity; property needed as evidence; notice to owner; disposition upon failure to claim.

(a) Upon satisfactory evidence of the ownership of property or money described in § 5-119.05 he shall deliver the same to the owner, his next of kin, or legal representative and to him or them only. If, in any case, it is proven impracticable for such owner, next of kin, or legal representative to appear, the Property Clerk may deliver such property or money to any person having a duly executed power of attorney from such owner, or his next of kin, or legal representative, upon the filing of such power of attorney in the office of said Clerk and the signing of a receipt for such property or money.

(a-1) Seizure or impoundment of property by the Metropolitan Police Department from an individual is prima facie evidence of that person’s ownership of the property. The prima facie evidence shall constitute a presumption of ownership by possession and in the absence of other evidence or claims of title, shall be satisfactory evidence of ownership.

(b) In the event 2 or more persons claim ownership of any such property or money, the Property Clerk may give notice by registered mail to all such claimants of whom he shall have knowledge of the time and place of a hearing to determine the person to whom the property or money shall be delivered. At the time and place so designated the Property Clerk shall hear and receive evidence of ownership of the property or money concerned, and shall determine the identity of the owner. After such hearing, the Property Clerk shall deliver the property or money to the person whom the Property Clerk determines is the owner, his next of kin, or legal representative, and to him or them only. If, in any case, it is proven impracticable for such owner, next of kin, or legal representative to appear, the Property Clerk may deliver such property or money to any person having a duly executed power of attorney from such owner, his next of kin, or legal representative, upon the filing of such power of attorney in the office of said Clerk and the signing of a receipt for such property or money.

(c) The Property Clerk shall not be liable in damages for any official action performed hereunder in good faith.

(d) Except as provided in §§ 5-119.14, 5-119.15, and 5-119.16 hereof, no property or money in the possession of the Property Clerk alleged to have been feloniously obtained or to be the proceeds of crime shall be delivered under this section if it is required to be held under the provisions of § 5-119.08 hereof; nor shall it be delivered within 1 year after the date of receipt of said property or money by the Property Clerk unless the United States Attorney in and for the District of Columbia shall certify that such property or money is not needed as evidence in the prosecution of a crime.

(e) Whenever the owner of property in the custody of the Property Clerk has been notified by the Property Clerk, by registered or certified mail, to take possession of such property within 30 days after the date of mailing of such notification, and such owner fails so to do within such period, such property shall be thereafter treated as other unclaimed, abandoned, or lost property and shall be disposed of as provided in § 5-119.10; provided, that if, in the opinion of the Property Clerk, such property has no salable value, and if within 30 days after the date of mailing such notification such property is not reclaimed by its owner and removed by him from the custody of the Property Clerk, such property shall be disposed of by destruction or otherwise, as the Council of the District of Columbia by regulation or order shall provide.


(R.S., D.C., § 413; May 9, 1941, 55 Stat. 185, ch. 99, § 1; June 29, 1953, 67 Stat. 101, ch. 159, § 306(a); Sept. 25, 1962, 76 Stat. 589, Pub. L. 87-691,§ 1; Mar. 16, 1985, D.C. Law 5-194, § 2, 32 DCR 1020.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-157.

1973 Ed., § 4-156.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-119.16.

Cross References

Actions, limitations, see § 12-301.

Alcoholic beverages and vehicles, contraband, seizure and forfeiture, see § 25-911.

Cigarettes, forfeiture and seizure, see § 47-2409.

Civil damages, authorization for recovery, see § 23-554.

Controlled substances, forfeiture, see §§ 48-903.04, 48-905.02, and 48-1104.

Gambling premises and property, see § 22-1705.

Hunting and fishing equipment, seizure and sale, see § 22-4330.

Milk containers, seizure, see § 36-125.

Motor vehicle fuels, contraband, seizure and forfeiture, see § 47-2320.

Plants or plant products, diseased or infested, inspections and seizure, see § 8-304.

Weapons, taking of dangerous articles, see § 22-4517.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(102) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 5–119.07. Acquittal of accused.

Whenever property or money shall be taken from persons arrested, and shall be alleged to have been feloniously obtained, or to be the proceeds of crime, and whenever so brought with such claimant and the person arrested before any court for trial, and the court shall be satisfied from evidence that the person arrested is innocent of the offense alleged, and that the property rightfully belongs to him, said court may, in writing, order such property or money to be returned, and the Property Clerk, if he have it, to deliver such property or money to the accused person himself, and not to any attorney, agent, or clerk of such accused person.


(R.S., D.C., § 414.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-158.

1973 Ed., § 4-157.


§ 5–119.08. Ownership claim by other than person arrested.

If any claim to the ownership of such property or money shall be made on oath before the court, by or in behalf of any other persons than the persons arrested, and the accused person shall be held for trial or examination, such property or money shall remain in the custody of the Property Clerk until the discharge or conviction of the persons accused.


(R.S., D.C., § 415.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-159.

1973 Ed., § 4-158.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-119.06.


§ 5–119.09. Property transmitted; deceased and incompetent persons; storage; fees; sale.

(a) All property or money taken on suspicion of having been feloniously obtained, or of being the proceeds of crime, and for which there is no other claimant than the person from whom such property was taken, and all lost property coming into possession of any member of the police force, and all property and money taken from pawnbrokers as the proceeds of crime or from persons alleged to be insane, intoxicated, or otherwise incapable of taking care of themselves, shall be transmitted as soon as practicable to the Property Clerk to be fully registered and advertised for the benefit of all parties interested, and for the information of the public as to the amount and disposition of the property so taken into custody by the police.

(b)(1) Whenever any money or property of a deceased person of a value of less than $1,000 coming into the custody of the Property Clerk shall remain in his custody for a period of 6 months or more without being claimed and repossessed by the next of kin or the legal representative of such deceased person, such money or property shall be disposed of as lost or abandoned property as provided in § 5-119.10; provided, that prior to the disposition of such property of a deceased person it shall be the duty of the Property Clerk to ascertain whether there is pending in the court having probate jurisdiction any petition seeking the appointment of a legal representative of such deceased person, and, if such a petition is pending in such court, the Property Clerk shall not dispose of such property until final disposition by the court of such petition; provided further, that in any case where the Property Clerk acquires actual knowledge that a petition for the appointment of a legal representative of such deceased person has been filed or is pending in a court outside of the District of Columbia, the Property Clerk shall not dispose of such property until final disposition by the court of such petition.

(2) Whenever any money or property of a deceased person shall be of a value of $1,000 or more and shall have remained in the custody of the Property Clerk for at least 6 months, all records pertaining to the same shall be referred by the Property Clerk to the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia for the purpose of instituting appropriate proceedings to effect the appointment of an administrator of the estate of such decedent; provided, that upon expiration of the time for final settlement of such estate under law then in effect, the residue thereof in the absence of any claim by the heirs at law or next of kin of the decedent, as provided by law, shall be deposited into the registry of the court having probate jurisdiction, and upon the expiration of a period of 3 years, no demand having been made upon such funds by lawful heirs or other rightful claimants, the amount so deposited in such registry shall be deposited in the Treasury to the credit of the District of Columbia; provided further, that if the administrator does not take possession of such property within 3 months from the date of his appointment, the Property Clerk may, after giving such administrator 30 days notice by registered or certified mail, sell such property at public auction, and, after deducting the expenses of such sale, and expense incident to the maintenance of custody of such property, shall pay the remaining proceeds of such sale over to such administrator.

(c) Whenever the Property Clerk has custody of any property belonging to any person who has been adjudged of unsound mind and a committee has been appointed for such person but fails to take possession of the property of such person in the custody of the Property Clerk within 6 months from the date of such committee’s appointment, the Property Clerk shall give such committee 60 days notice by registered or certified mail of his intention to sell such property at public auction or otherwise dispose of such property in accordance with law. If, upon the expiration of such 60 days notice, the committee has not taken custody of such property: (1) the Property Clerk is authorized to sell such property at public auction, and, after deducting the expenses of the sale, expenses incident to the maintenance and custody of such property, and any amounts due the District of Columbia for care and maintenance of the adjudicated patient, shall pay the remaining proceeds of the sale over to such committee; or (2) if in the opinion of the Property Clerk any such property has no salable value, he is authorized to dispose of such property by destruction or otherwise as the Council of the District of Columbia shall, by regulation, or the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall, by order, determine.

(d)(1) The said Mayor is authorized, in his discretion, to store in any commercial warehouse or garage in the District of Columbia, or in or on any facility under the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia, any property coming into the custody of the Property Clerk pursuant to this chapter, including vehicles impounded by any officer or member of the Metropolitan Police force.

(2) The Mayor is authorized to fix, by regulation, the fees to be charged to reimburse the District of Columbia for the cost of services rendered by the Metropolitan Police force in taking custody of and protecting such property and for the cost of storing such property in any commercial warehouse or garage, and whenever any such property is stored in or on any facility under the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia, the Mayor shall fix the storage fee in an amount reasonably estimated by him to be the value of the storage service rendered for each day during which such property is so stored, and to collect all such fees due and owing for such property before releasing such property to its owner or his legal representative; provided, that the Mayor is authorized, in his discretion, to waive the charging and collecting of such fees for property taken into custody as evidence, the proceeds of crime, or from persons supposed to be insane; provided further, that the Property Clerk is authorized to sell at public auction pursuant to subsection (b) of § 5-119.10 any property stored in a commercial garage or warehouse, when the storage charges for such property exceed 75% of its value as determined by the Property Clerk, regardless of the amount of time for which such property is required by other sections of this chapter to be held by the Property Clerk.

(3) Fees collected by reason of this section shall be deposited in the Treasury to the credit of the District of Columbia.


(R.S., D.C., § 416; May 29, 1896, 29 Stat. 191, ch. 270; Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1208, ch. 854, § 116; Sept. 1, 1916, 39 Stat. 718, ch. 433, § 12; Mar. 3, 1936, 49 Stat. 1158, ch. 121, § 1; Sept. 25, 1962, 76 Stat. 589, Pub. L. 87-691, § 2; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 576, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 158(a)(1).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-160.

1973 Ed., § 4-159.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-119.10.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(103) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 5–119.10. Sale at public auction; motor vehicle with lien of record; disposition of proceeds from sale.

(a) With respect to all property (including money), except perishable property, animals, firearms and property of persons with mental illness, not otherwise disposed of in accordance with § 5-119.09, that shall remain in the custody of the Property Clerk for not less than 90 days without being claimed and repossessed, the Property Clerk shall:

(1) Publish or cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the District, once a week for 2 consecutive weeks:

(A) Notice of the location where a full description of the property can be reviewed; and

(B) Notice that if such property is not claimed by the rightful owner within 45 days from the date of 1st publication, title to the property shall revert to the finder of lost property after deduction for the expenses of custody and publication, or to the District of Columbia in all other cases; and

(2) Post or cause to be posted in the Metropolitan Police Department headquarters, where public notices are commonly or usually posted, a description of the property, and a copy of the notice published in the newspaper of general circulation in the District, and shall make a record of the date when such publication and the posting of the notices are made; and

(3) Post or cause to be posted on the Metropolitan Police Department website a description of the property, and a copy of the notice published in the newspaper of general circulation in the District, and shall make a record of the date when such publication and the posting of the notices are made.

(b) If neither the rightful owner nor the finder appear to claim the lost property, title to such property shall transfer to the District government and the property may be retained by the Mayor for official government use or may be sold at public auction at such place and time as the Property Clerk may direct and in such a manner as to expose to the inspection of bidders all property so offered for sale. The Property Clerk needs not offer any property for sale if, in the Property Clerk’s opinion, the probable cost of sale exceeds the value of the property.

(c) The purchaser at any sale conducted by the Property Clerk pursuant to this section shall receive title to the property purchased, free from all claims of the rightful owner or the finder of the property and all persons claiming through and under the rightful owner or the finder. The Property Clerk shall execute all documents necessary to complete the transfer of title.

(d) All proceeds from any sale under this section shall be deposited in the General Fund of the District government.

(e) Repealed.

(f)(1) The Mayor shall, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, issue proposed rules to implement the provisions of this section.

(2) The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved. Nothing in this section shall affect any requirements imposed upon the Mayor by subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2.


(R.S., D.C., § 417; Sept. 1, 1916, 39 Stat. 718, ch. 433, § 12; Mar. 3, 1936, 49 Stat. 1158, ch. 121, § 2; Sept. 25, 1962, 76 Stat. 591, Pub. L. 87-691,§ 4; Mar. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 3-160, § 202, 27 DCR 5150; Sept. 29, 1988, D.C. Law 7-164, § 2, 35 DCR 5739; Sept. 9, 1989, D.C. Law 8-24, § 6(c)-(e), 36 DCR 4575; Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 13(a), 50 DCR 6579; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 16, 53 DCR 6198; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 3002, 59 DCR 8025.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-161.

1973 Ed., § 4-160.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-119.06 and § 5-119.09.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-35 repealed subsec. (e).

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (a), substituted “persons with mental illness” for “insane persons”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 rewrote (a)(1)(A), which formerly read: “A description of the property; and”; added “a description of the property, and” in (a)(2); added (a)(3); and made a related change.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 13(a) of the Removal and Disposition of Abandoned, Dangerous and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 15-104, June 20, 2003, 50 DCR 5534).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 13(a) of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 15-35: Section 15 of D.C. Law 15-35 provided: “This act shall apply to all vehicles impounded after its effective date. This act shall also apply to all vehicles impounded prior to its effective date provided that notice is sent to the owners and lien holders in accordance with the provisions of subsections 7(b) or (c), as is applicable.”

Effect of repeal provisions: Section 14 of D.C. Law 15-35 provided: “Any repeal of a law or regulation by this act shall not invalidate any enforcement action, adjudication, or any other action made or taken pursuant to such law or regulation.”

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority under D.C. Law 8-24, the “D.C. Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Removal Amend. Act of 1989”, see Mayor’s Order 90-11, January 23, 1990.

Delegation of authority pursuant to D.C. Law 7-164, the “D.C. Forfeited Property Amendment Act of 1988”, see Mayor’s Order 90-71, May 10, 1990.


§ 5–119.11. Immunity from damages to property; exception; “gross negligence” defined.

Neither the government of the District of Columbia nor any officer or employee thereof shall be liable for damage to any property resulting from the removal of such property from public space, or the transportation of such property into the custody of the Property Clerk, Metropolitan Police Department, nor for damage to any such property while such property is in the custody of the Property Clerk, Metropolitan Police Department, when such custody is maintained pursuant to the requirements of law, except that the government of the District of Columbia or any such officer or employee may be liable for damage to such property as a result of gross negligence in the removal, transportation, or storage of such property; provided, that should a judgment be entered for the District of Columbia against any commercial warehouseman or garagekeeper for damage to such property in his care, recovery on such judgment, less all administrative expenses and court costs to the District of Columbia involved in such litigation, shall be paid by the District of Columbia to the owner of the damaged property as determined by the Property Clerk. For the purpose of this section, the term “gross negligence” means a willful intent to injure property, or a reckless or wanton disregard of the rights of another in his property.


(Sept. 25, 1962, 76 Stat. 591, Pub. L. 87-691, § 5.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-162.

1973 Ed., § 4-160a.


§ 5–119.12. Sale of unclaimed animals.

Horses and other animals taken by the police and remaining unclaimed for 20 days may be advertised and sold upon 10 days public notice.


(R.S., D.C., § 418.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-163.

1973 Ed., § 4-161.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-119.01.


§ 5–119.13. Sale of perishable property.

All perishable property so taken and unclaimed shall be sold at once.


(R.S., D.C., § 419.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-164.

1973 Ed., § 4-162.


§ 5–119.14. Property delivered to owner preceding trial — Generally.

When animals or articles of property (except perishable property) other than money, returned to the Property Clerk as the proceeds of crime, are shown by sufficient evidence to be necessary for the current use of the owner and not for sale, the Mayor of the District of Columbia has power, in his discretion, to authorize the Property Clerk to place the same in the custody of the owner, upon sufficient bonds being given by the owner in the sum of twice the value of the property, conditioned for the production of the same at any time within 1 year, when required for use in court as evidence in any proceedings thereon.


(R.S., D.C., § 420; June 11, 1878, 20 Stat. 107, ch. 180, § 6.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-165.

1973 Ed., § 4-163.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-119.06.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 5–119.15. Property delivered to owner preceding trial — Perishable property.

Perishable property, returned to the Property Clerk as the proceeds of crime, may be delivered to the owner on ample security being taken by the court for his appearance to prosecute the case.


(R.S., D.C., § 421.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-166.

1973 Ed., § 4-164.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-119.06.


§ 5–119.16. Property delivered to owner preceding trial — Large quantities of goods held for sale.

When large quantities of goods held for sale by the owner, come into the possession of the Property Clerk as the proceeds of crime, the same may be delivered to the owner, his heirs or representatives, as provided in § 5-119.06, upon ample security to prosecute the case. But in such cases goods to the estimated value of $50 shall be retained by the Property Clerk until the discharge or conviction of the accused.


(R.S., D.C., § 422.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-167.

1973 Ed., § 4-165.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-119.06.


§ 5–119.17. Use of property as evidence.

If any property or money placed in the custody of the Property Clerk shall be desired as evidence in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, such property shall be delivered to any officer who shall present an order to that effect from such Court; but such property shall not be retained in the Court, but shall be returned to the Property Clerk, to be disposed of according to the provisions of this chapter.


(R.S., D.C., § 423.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-168.

1973 Ed., § 4-166.

References in Text

The Police Court of the District of Columbia and the Municipal Court for the District of Columbia were consolidated by the Act of April 1, 1942, 56 Stat. 190, ch. 270, § 1. The Act of July 8, 1963, § 1, substituted “District of Columbia Court of General Sessions” for “Municipal Court for the District of Columbia.” The Act of July 29, 1970, Pub. L. 91-358, § 155(a), substituted “Superior Court of the District of Columbia” for “District of Columbia Court of General Sessions.”.


§ 5–119.18. Property treated as abandoned.

Any property or money returned to the Property Clerk as the proceeds of crime, and which shall not be called for as evidence by any proceeding in the courts of the District within 1 year from the date of such return, may, unless specially claimed by the owner within that time, be thereafter treated as other unclaimed, abandoned, or lost property or money, as provided in this chapter.


(R.S., D.C., § 424.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-169.

1973 Ed., § 4-167.

Cross References

Disposition of unclaimed property, public or government held property, see § 41-112.


§ 5–119.19. Abandoned intangible personal property.

Nothing in §§ 5-119.01 through 5-119.10 and 5-119.12 through 5-119.18 shall be held to require the Property Clerk to make disposition of any abandoned intangible personal property except as provided for in Chapter 1 of Title 41.


(R.S., D.C., § 424a; as added Mar. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 3-160, § 203, 27 DCR 5150.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-170.