This section comprises Maine's Lost Goods and Stray Beasts Act.
§ 1051 . Duty of finder of money or goods worth $3 or more
§ 1052 . Taking up stray beasts; notice
§ 1053 . Appraisal if value $10 or more
§ 1054 . Restitution to appearing owner; money or goods
§ 1055 . --strays
§ 1056 . Finder's rights when no owner appears
§ 1057 . Sale of strays when no owner appears
§ 1058 . Failure to give notice; penalty
§ 1059 . Recovery of strays without paying charges; penalty
§ 1060 . Damages by animals; remedy; lien
Whoever finds lost money or goods of the value of $3 or more shall, if the owner is unknown, within 7 days give notice thereof in writing to the clerk of the town where the money or goods are found and post a notification thereof in some public place in said town. If the value is $10 or more, the finder, in addition to the notice to the town clerk and the notification to be posted, shall, within one month after finding, publish a notice thereof in some newspaper published in the town, if any, otherwise in some newspaper published in the county.
R.S.1954, c. 179, § 10.
Whoever takes up a stray beast shall, within 7 days, give notice thereof in writing, containing a description of its color and its natural and artificial marks, to the clerk of the town where such beast is taken, and shall cause a notice thereof, containing a like description of the beast, to be posted, and if such beast is of the value of $10 or more, to be published in the manner provided in section 1051; otherwise he shall not be entitled to compensation for any expenses which he may incur relative thereto.
R.S.1954, c. 179, § 11.
Every finder of lost goods or stray beasts of the value of $10 or more shall, within 2 months after finding and before using them to their disadvantage, procure a warrant from the town clerk or a notary public, directed to 2 persons appointed by said clerk or notary, not interested except as inhabitants of the town, returnable at said clerk's office within 7 days from its date, to appraise said goods under oath.
R.S.1954, c. 179, § 12; 1995, c. 227, § 2.
If the owner of such lost money or goods appears within 6 months, and if the owner of such stray beasts appears within 2 months after said notice to the town clerk and gives reasonable evidence of ownership to the finder, the owner shall have restitution of them or the value of the money or goods, paying all necessary charges and reasonable compensation to the finder for keeping, to be adjudged by the district court, if the owner and finder cannot agree.
R.S.1954, c. 179, § 13; 1995, c. 227, § 3.
If such owner appears within 6 months after such notice is filed with the town clerk and proves his title to the beasts, he shall, if they have not been sold, have restitution of the same after paying the charges arising thereon as provided in section 1054. If the beasts have been sold, he shall be entitled to receive the money so deposited in the treasury from the proceeds of the sale. If no owner appears within 6 months, the beasts or the value or price thereof after deducting said charges shall, as prescribed in section 1056, be equally divided between the finder and the town.
R.S.1954, c. 179, § 16.
If no owner appears within 6 months, such money or lost goods shall belong to the finder by paying 1/2 their value after deducting all necessary charges to the treasurer of said town; but if he neglects to pay it on demand, it may be recovered in an action brought by said treasurer in the name of the town.
R.S.1954, c. 179, § 14.
If the owner does not appear and prove his title to the beasts within said 2 months, the finder may sell them at public auction, first giving notice of such sale at least 4 days before the time of sale in 2 public places in the town in which the beasts were taken up. The proceeds of the sale, after deducting all lawful charges, shall be deposited in the town treasury.
R.S.1954, c. 179, § 15.
If the finder of lost money or goods of the value of $3 or more or if the person taking up such stray beast neglects to give notice to the town clerk and to cause them to be advertised as provided, he forfeits to the owner the full value thereof unless he delivers or accounts therefor to the owner, in which case he shall forfeit not more than $20, 1/2 to the town and 1/2 to the prosecutor.
R.S.1954, c. 179, § 17.
Whoever takes away a beast held as a stray, without paying all lawful charges incurred in relation to the same, shall forfeit to the finder double the amount of said charges, not exceeding the value of the beast, and in addition thereto shall be liable for any trespass committed by him in so doing.
R.S.1954, c. 179, § 18.
Any person injured in his land by sheep, swine, horses, asses, mules, goats or neat cattle, in a common or general field, or in a close by itself, may recover his damages by taking up any of the beasts doing it, and giving the notice provided in section 1052, or in a civil action against the person owning or having possession of the beasts at the time of the damage, and there shall be a lien on said beasts, and they may be attached in such action and held to respond to the judgment as in other cases, whether owned by the defendant or only in his possession. If the beasts were lawfully on the adjoining lands, and escaped therefrom in consequence of the neglect of the person suffering the damage to maintain his part of the partition fence, their owner shall not be liable therefor.
R.S.1954, c. 179, § 19; 1961, c. 317, § 615.