A person other than the inmate can pick up property.
If the Inmate is Still in Jail
First, the inmate must fill out and submit a property release form at his or her facility. It may take at least 3 weeks for the property release form to be approved. A pick-up appointment is required for property at Rikers. You do not need an appointment if the inmate is at a non-Rikers facility. You should not make your Rikers property pick-up appointment or go to the facility until the inmate’s form has been approved.
If another person is going to pick up money for the inmate, the inmate must first complete and sign a withdrawal form at the facility. No appointment is required, but you should call the cashier’s office to be sure the funds are available.
The person picking up the property or money must provide a valid State photo ID (such as a driver’s license or benefit card). Birth certificates and Social Security cards are not acceptable forms of ID.
If the Inmate Has Been Released
You must pick up the inmate’s property within 30 days of the inmate’s release from DOC custody. The person picking up the property must have a notarized letter from the former inmate giving them permission to pick up the property. This letter is required regardless of the former inmate's age, even if a parent or guardian is picking up the belongings. In the notarized letter, the former inmate must specifically name and authorize the person who will pick up the property.
The person picking up the property must provide identification such as a driver's license, birth certificate, or social security card.
DOC will not give checks to any other person once the inmate is released. If the inmate requests it, DOC will write a check to the inmate, and send it to his or her mailing address on record. Checks will not be made out or mailed to anyone else.
If the Inmate Has Died
You must pick up the inmate’s property within 30 days of the inmate’s release from or death in DOC custody.
If an inmate dies while in DOC custody or after being released, only the closest living relative may claim the inmate's property or money. The closest living relative of a married inmate is the inmate's spouse. If the inmate was not married but has a child, the inmate's child is the closest living relative. If the inmate was an adolescent, the inmate's parent is the closest living relative.
If you are the closest living relative, you must contact the Surrogate Court in the borough where the inmate lived. You must have a certified Death Certificate. At the Surrogate Court, you must complete the Small Estates Affidavit application form.
The Surrogate Court will forward your application to DOC. After receiving the application, DOC will contact you to schedule an appointment for pickup of the inmate's belongings.