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Kasare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1301
Experience:  Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
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, sorry if this isn't the type of question you'd usually

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Hi, sorry if this isn't the type of question you'd usually deal with but I could do with some help. I work in the customer service department of a supermarket and received a letter from a man who found some money that had been left in the cash machine and handed it in to customer service. He asked what would happen to the money if it wasn't claimed and was told it would be given to charity. He wants to know what right we have to do this. I found something on Wikipedia saying that when property handed in to a business is unclaimed after a certain amount of time, it becomes the property of that business. It also gave the legal difference between lost and mislaid so I put all this in my letter to him. He's now written back wanting to know where I found this information, it sounds like he wants a proper book source. Obviously I can't tell him that I found the information on Wikipedia, but if you could tell me if there's a certain law that this comes under I can at least give him this.
Thanks for any help you can give me.
Hi thanks for your question, my name is ***** ***** I will try and assist you with this.
It would appear that your customer is trying to reclaim the money. If he handed this to the police then if the rightful owner never claimed the money then the finder has the next best claim to this.
I appreciate that you thought that you were doing the right thing in trying to explain the company's action, but it has probably just caused you a lot of wasted time with person who will now try and use this to reclaim the money himself. Unfortunately what you have written is not legally correct per se. Lost and found property does not become the property of the business - the correct owner always retains that title.
Does your company not have a "lost and found" policy? Most do - I would suggest you review the company policies and write back to the client and advise him that it is the policy of the company that anything handed to the lost and found department that is not reclaimed after x days is donated to a charity of the company's choosing.
I hope that assists you. If you have any further questions, please ask.
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