New York Railroad Law
Unclaimed Freight and Baggage
Every railroad or other transportation corporation, doing business in this state, which shall have unclaimed freight or baggage, not live stock or perishable, in its possession for the period of sixty days, may deliver the same to any warehouse company, or person or persons engaged in the warehouse business, within this state, and take a warehouse receipt for the storage thereof. Upon such delivery and upon taking such warehouse receipt, every such railroad or other transportation corporation shall be discharged of all liability in respect to any such unclaimed freight or baggage from and after such delivery. At any time within two years after such delivery, such railroad or other transportation corporation shall surrender and transfer such warehouse receipt to the owner of any such unclaimed freight or baggage upon demand, and upon payment of all charges and expenses for transportation and storage then due, if any, to any such railroad or other transportation corporation. In case any such railroad or other transportation company shall have had unclaimed freight or baggage, not live stock or perishable, in its possession for a period of one year and shall not have delivered the same to a warehouse company or person or persons engaged in the warehouse business as above provided, then such railroad or other transportation company may proceed to sell the same at public auction, and out of the proceeds may retain the charges of transportation, handling and storage of such unclaimed freight or baggage, and the expenses of advertising and sale thereof; but no such sale shall be made until the expiration of four weeks from the first publication of notice of such sale, to be published weekly in a newspaper published in or nearest the town or city to which such unclaimed freight or baggage was consigned, or at which it was directed to be left, and also at the town or city where such sale is to take place; and said notice shall contain a general description of such unclaimed freight or baggage, the name of the shipper thereof, if known, and a statement of the consignment thereof, whether to a designated consignee or to order, if known, or the place at which the same was to be left, as near as may be; and the expenses incurred for advertising shall be a lien upon such unclaimed freight or baggage in a ratable proportion, according to the value of each article, package or parcel, if more than one. Such railroad or other transportation company shall make an entry of the balance of the proceeds of the sale, if any, of the unclaimed freight or baggage consigned to the same consignee or covered by each consignment, as near as can be ascertained, and at any time within five years thereafter, shall refund any surplus so retained to the owner of such unclaimed freight or baggage, his personal representatives or assigns, on satisfactory proof of such ownership. In case such balance shall not be claimed by the rightful owner within five years after the sale as above specified, then it shall be paid to the county treasurer, for the use of the county poor of the county where the sale is made. Unclaimed live stock and perishable freight or baggage may be sold by any such railroad or other transportation corporation without notice, as soon as it can be, upon the best terms that can be obtained. All moneys arising from the sale of any such unclaimed live stock, perishable freight or baggage, after deducting therefrom all charges and expenses for transportation, storage, keeping, commissions for selling the property, and any amount previously paid for its loss or non-delivery, shall be deposited by the corporation making such sale with a report thereof, and proof that the property was live stock or perishable freight, with the comptroller for the benefit of the general fund of the state, and shall be held by him in trust for reclamation by the person or persons entitled to receive the same.