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AGO 1954 No. 269 - June 10, 1954
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

LOG PATROL ACT ‑- UNBRANDED STRAY LOGS ‑- RIVERS ‑- BOOM COMPANIES ‑- ESCHEATS.

An unbranded log which has broken loose from private storage on a river and has floated down the river to be captured by a booming company is a stray log within the meaning of the log patrol act and the net proceeds of sale thereof escheat to the state pursuant to RCW 76.40.050.

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                                                                   June 10, 1954

Mr. E. C. Huntley,Chairman
Inheritance Tax Division
Tax Commission
Insurance Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 269

Dear Sir:

            You have asked our opinion on the following question: Where an unbranded log breaks loose from private storage on a river and floats down the river and is captured by a booming company, is that log a stray log within the meaning of the log patrol act (chapter 76.40 RCW), and do the net proceeds of the sale thereof escheat to the state?

            Our answer is in the affirmative.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The logs in question must be stray logs before the state is entitled to the net proceeds of sale thereof.  A stray log is defined in RCW 76.40.010 (2) as

            "'Stray logs' mean and include any and all logs, piling, poles, and boom sticks that are adrift or have been adrift and stranded on beaches, marshes,  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] or tidal and shorelands, which have escaped in any manner from the owner or from a transportation agency, from storage or while being transported;"

            "Escape" means

            "To get away, as by flight or other conscious effort; to break away, get free, or get clear,from or out of detention, danger, discomfort, or the like; as, to escape from prison."  [Webster's International Dictionary, Second Edition]

            "Adrift" is defined as

            "Floating, unmoored and unanchored, at the mercy of the wind and wave.  * * *"  [Webster's International Dictionary, Second Edition]

            Unquestionably, a log in breaking loose from private storage has escaped therefrom.  In floating down the river it obviously is also adrift.

            We conclude that an unbranded log which has broken loose from private storage on a river and has floated down the river to be captured by a booming company is a stray log within the meaning of the log patrol act and the net proceeds of sale thereof escheat to the state pursuant to RCW 76.40.050.

Very truly yours,

DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General

E. ALBERT MORRISON
Assistant Attorney General

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