(1) Any person who finds property that is not unlawful to possess, the owner of which is unknown, and who wishes to claim the found property, shall:
(a) Within seven days of the finding acquire a signed statement setting forth an appraisal of the current market value of the property prepared by a qualified person engaged in buying or selling like items or by a district court judge, unless the found property is cash; and
(b) Within seven days report the find of property and surrender, if requested, the property and a copy of the evidence of the value of the property to the chief law enforcement officer, or his or her designated representative, of the governmental entity where the property was found, and serve written notice upon the officer of the finder's intent to claim the property if the owner does not make out his or her right to it under this chapter.
(2) Within thirty days of the report the governmental entity shall cause notice of the finding to be published at least once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the property was found, unless the appraised value of the property is less than the cost of publishing notice. If the value is less than the cost of publishing notice, the governmental entity may cause notice to be posted or published in other media or formats that do not incur expense to the governmental entity.
[1997 c 237 § 1; 1979 ex.s. c 85 § 1.]