Civil forfeiture

S.E.A. 99, P.L. 47
Effective: July 1, 2018

Requires the prosecuting attorney to file an affidavit of probable cause with a court not later than seven days after property is seized and provides for the return of the property to the owner if the court does not find probable cause. Establishes a procedure for an owner of real property or of a vehicle (if the owner was not operating the vehicle at the time of the seizure) to obtain provisional custody of the seized property pending a final forfeiture determination. Makes the time limit for filing a forfeiture action: (1) 21 days, if the owner has filed a written demand for return of the property; or (2) 90 days, if the owner has not filed a written demand for return of the property. Provides that an owner whose property is returned is not liable for the costs of storage, transportation, or maintenance. Specifies how the proceeds of a forfeiture action are to be distributed. Requires a prosecuting attorney to report certain information concerning forfeitures to the prosecuting attorneys council. Imposes certain requirements on the use and compensation of outside counsel in forfeiture actions and prohibits a prosecuting attorney or deputy prosecuting attorney from receiving a contingency fee for a forfeiture action. (The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the interim study committee on courts and the judiciary.)

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