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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Kentucky Abandoned Property

    My question involves personal property located in the State of: Kentucky

    My boyfriend of ten years left about two months ago. We lived together, no agreement or anything. It is my house and I am the only owner. He left all his stuff, including vehicles.

    I have research abandoned property laws but can't find any specifically for Kentucky. I'm looking for help to see, can I write him a note telling him how long he has to get his stuff or I will keep it/sell it? What am I supposed to do with the vehicles, they have taxes owed on them and one of them is not even paid off.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toledo, OH

    Default Re: Kentucky Abandoned Property

    It's my understanding that you can send either a 15 or 21 day "Notice to Recover or Forfeit Abandoned Personal Property", after which you may dispose of the property as you please.

    If he hasn't picked up his stuff at the end of the specified term, you can have the vehicles towed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Re: Kentucky Abandoned Property

    I can't find any official "notice" of that sort for Kentucky. However, there is some authority in case law (PDF), suggesting that Kentucky takes a very broad approach to abandonment of property and the claiming of abandoned property.
    Quote Quoting Kelley v. Nationwide Auto Restoration, LLC, 246 S.W.3d 470 (2007)
    The fundamental principles regarding ownership of abandoned property are succinctly set forth in 1 Am. Jur. 2nd Abandoned, Lost, and Unclaimed Property 24 (2007).
    Property which is abandoned becomes subject to appropriation by the first taker or finder who reduces it to possession. Such person thereupon acquires absolute ownership in the property abandoned, as against both the former owner and any person upon whose land it happens to have been left.
    (Citations omitted.) In other words,
    [p]ersonal property, upon being abandoned, ceases to be the property of any person, unless and until it is reduced to possession with the intent to acquire title to, or ownership of, it. Such property may, accordingly, be appropriated by anyone, if it has not been reclaimed by the former owner, and ownership of it vests by operation of law, in the person first lawfully appropriating it and reducing it to possession with the intention to become its owner, provided such taking is fair.
    1 C.J.S. Abandonment 12 (1993). Thus, ownership of abandoned property vests in the possessor by operation of law and a court need not resort to its injunctive or equitable powers in order to recognize that ownership. Although Kelley strongly contests this point, he offers no legal basis for his contrary position beyond the definitions of "equitable remedy" and "injunction" contained in Black's Law Dictionary. Those general definitions are simply insufficient to contravene established law regarding abandoned property.
    The plaintiff in that case played it safe by seeking a court ruling that they were the owner of the abandoned property. But this appears to set up a context where you could send a notice to the effect of, "Anything left here after [DATE] will be deemed abandoned" and, as long as you provide a reasonable time, bring a District Court action to claim ownership over anything left behind. The alternative, treating the property as your own and letting him sue you if he wants it back, is riskier as the court may agree with part or all of his claim.

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