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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 225-S.F.No. 1831 
                  An act relating to crime prevention; making 
                  miscellaneous changes to certain forfeiture 
                  provisions; amending Minnesota Statutes 1998, sections 
                  169.1217, subdivisions 7 and 7a; and 609.5314, 
                  subdivisions 2 and 3. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 169.1217, 
        subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 7.  [LIMITATIONS ON FORFEITURE OF MOTOR VEHICLE.] (a) 
        A vehicle is subject to forfeiture under this section only if: 
           (1) the driver is convicted of the designated offense upon 
        which the forfeiture is based; 
           (2) the driver fails to appear with respect to the 
        designated offense charge in violation of section 609.49; or 
           (3) the driver's conduct results in a designated license 
        revocation and the driver either fails to seek administrative or 
        judicial review of the revocation in a timely manner as required 
        by section 169.123, subdivision 5b or 5c, or the revocation is 
        sustained under section 169.123, subdivision 5b or 6. 
           (b) A vehicle encumbered by a bona fide security interest, 
        or subject to a lease that has a term of 180 days or more, is 
        subject to the interest of the secured party or lessor unless 
        the party or lessor had knowledge of or consented to the act 
        upon which the forfeiture is based.  However, when the proceeds 
        of the sale of a seized vehicle do not equal or exceed the 
        outstanding loan balance, the appropriate agency shall remit all 
        proceeds of the sale to the secured party.  If the sale of the 
        vehicle is conducted in a commercially reasonable manner 
        consistent with the provisions of section 336.9-504, clause (3), 
        the agency is not liable to the secured party for any amount 
        owed on the loan in excess of the sale proceeds if the secured 
        party received notification of the time and place of the sale at 
        least three days prior to the sale. 
           (c) Notwithstanding paragraph paragraphs (b) and (d), the 
        secured party's or, lessor's, or owner's interest in a vehicle 
        is not subject to forfeiture based solely on the secured party's 
        or, lessor's, or owner's knowledge of the act or omission upon 
        which the forfeiture is based if the secured party or, lessor, 
        or owner took reasonable steps to terminate use of the vehicle 
        by the offender. 
           (d) A motor vehicle is subject to forfeiture under this 
        section only if its owner knew or should have known of the 
        unlawful use or intended use. 
           (e) A vehicle subject to a security interest, based upon a 
        loan or other financing arranged by a financial institution, is 
        subject to the interest of the financial institution.  
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 169.1217, 
        subdivision 7a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 7a.  [ADMINISTRATIVE FORFEITURE PROCEDURE.] (a) A 
        motor vehicle used to commit a designated offense or used in 
        conduct resulting in a designated license revocation is subject 
        to administrative forfeiture under this subdivision. 
           (b) When a motor vehicle is seized under subdivision 2, the 
        appropriate agency shall serve the driver or operator of the 
        vehicle with a notice of the seizure and intent to forfeit the 
        vehicle.  Additionally, when a motor vehicle is seized under 
        subdivision 2, or within a reasonable time after that, all 
        persons known to have an ownership or, possessory, or security 
        interest in the vehicle must be notified of the seizure and the 
        intent to forfeit the vehicle.  The notification to a person 
        known to have a security interest in the vehicle is required 
        only if the vehicle is registered under chapter 168 and the 
        interest is listed on the vehicle's title.  Notice mailed by 
        certified mail to the address shown in department of public 
        safety records is sufficient notice to the registered owner of 
        the vehicle.  Otherwise, notice may be given in the manner 
        provided by law for service of a summons in a civil action. 
           (c) The notice must be in writing and contain:  
           (1) a description of the vehicle seized; 
           (2) the date of seizure; and 
           (3) notice of the right to obtain judicial review of the 
        forfeiture and of the procedure for obtaining that judicial 
        review, printed in English, Hmong, and Spanish.  Substantially 
        the following language must appear conspicuously:  "IF YOU DO 
        NOT DEMAND JUDICIAL REVIEW EXACTLY AS PRESCRIBED IN MINNESOTA 
        STATUTES, SECTION 169.1217, SUBDIVISION 7a, YOU LOSE THE RIGHT 
        TO A JUDICIAL DETERMINATION OF THIS FORFEITURE AND YOU LOSE ANY 
        RIGHT YOU MAY HAVE TO THE ABOVE DESCRIBED PROPERTY.  YOU MAY NOT 
        HAVE TO PAY THE FILING FEE FOR THE DEMAND IF DETERMINED YOU ARE 
        UNABLE TO AFFORD THE FEE.  IF THE PROPERTY IS WORTH $7,500 OR 
        LESS, YOU MAY FILE YOUR CLAIM IN CONCILIATION COURT.  YOU DO NOT 
        HAVE TO PAY THE CONCILIATION COURT FILING FEE IF THE PROPERTY IS 
        WORTH LESS THAN $500 AND YOU FILE YOUR CLAIM IN CONCILIATION 
        COURT." 
           (d) Within 30 days following service of a notice of seizure 
        and forfeiture under this subdivision, a claimant may file a 
        demand for a judicial determination of the forfeiture.  The 
        demand must be in the form of a civil complaint and must be 
        filed with the court administrator in the county in which the 
        seizure occurred, together with proof of service of a copy of 
        the complaint on the prosecuting authority having jurisdiction 
        over the forfeiture, and the standard filing fee for civil 
        actions unless the petitioner has the right to sue in forma 
        pauperis under section 563.01.  If the value of the seized 
        property is less than $500 $7,500 or less, the claimant may file 
        an action in conciliation court for recovery of the seized 
        vehicle without paying.  If the value of the seized property is 
        less than $500, the claimant does not have to pay the 
        conciliation court filing fee.  No responsive pleading is 
        required of the prosecuting authority and no court fees may be 
        charged for the prosecuting authority's appearance in the 
        matter.  Except as provided in this section, judicial reviews 
        and hearings are governed by section 169.123, subdivisions 5c 
        and 6, and shall take place at the same time as any judicial 
        review of the person's license revocation under section 
        169.123.  The proceedings may be combined with any hearing on a 
        petition filed under section 169.123, subdivision 5c, and are 
        governed by the rules of civil procedure.  
           (e) The complaint must be captioned in the name of the 
        claimant as plaintiff and the seized vehicle as defendant, and 
        must state with specificity the grounds on which the claimant 
        alleges the vehicle was improperly seized and the plaintiff's 
        interest in the vehicle seized.  Notwithstanding any law to the 
        contrary, an action for the return of a vehicle seized under 
        this section may not be maintained by or on behalf of any person 
        who has been served with a notice of seizure and forfeiture 
        unless the person has complied with this subdivision. 
           (f) If the claimant makes a timely demand for a judicial 
        determination under this subdivision, the appropriate agency 
        must conduct the forfeiture under subdivision 8.  
           (g) If a demand for judicial determination of an 
        administrative forfeiture is filed under this subdivision and 
        the court orders the return of the seized vehicle, the court 
        shall order that filing fees be reimbursed to the person who 
        filed the demand.  In addition, the court may order the payment 
        of reasonable costs, expenses, and attorney fees under section 
        549.21, subdivision 2.  
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 609.5314, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [ADMINISTRATIVE FORFEITURE PROCEDURE.] (a) 
        Forfeiture of property described in subdivision 1 is governed by 
        this subdivision.  When seizure occurs, or within a reasonable 
        time after that, all persons known to have an ownership or, 
        possessory, or security interest in seized property must be 
        notified of the seizure and the intent to forfeit the property.  
        In the case of a motor vehicle required to be registered under 
        chapter 168, notice mailed by certified mail to the address 
        shown in department of public safety records is deemed 
        sufficient notice to the registered owner.  The notification to 
        a person known to have a security interest in seized property 
        required under this paragraph applies only to motor vehicles 
        required to be registered under chapter 168 and only if the 
        security interest is listed on the vehicle's title. 
           (b) Notice may otherwise be given in the manner provided by 
        law for service of a summons in a civil action.  The notice must 
        be in writing and contain: 
           (1) a description of the property seized; 
           (2) the date of seizure; 
           (3) notice of the right to obtain judicial review of the 
        forfeiture and of the procedure for obtaining that judicial 
        review, printed in English, Hmong, and Spanish.  Substantially 
        the following language must appear conspicuously:  "IF YOU DO 
        NOT DEMAND JUDICIAL REVIEW EXACTLY AS PRESCRIBED IN MINNESOTA 
        STATUTES, SECTION 609.5314, SUBDIVISION 3, YOU LOSE THE RIGHT TO 
        A JUDICIAL DETERMINATION OF THIS FORFEITURE AND YOU LOSE ANY 
        RIGHT YOU MAY HAVE TO THE ABOVE DESCRIBED PROPERTY.  YOU MAY NOT 
        HAVE TO PAY THE FILING FEE FOR THE DEMAND IF DETERMINED YOU ARE 
        UNABLE TO AFFORD THE FEE.  IF THE PROPERTY IS WORTH $7,500 OR 
        LESS, YOU MAY FILE YOUR CLAIM IN CONCILIATION COURT.  YOU DO NOT 
        HAVE TO PAY THE CONCILIATION COURT FILING FEE IF THE PROPERTY IS 
        WORTH LESS THAN $500 AND YOU FILE YOUR CLAIM IN CONCILIATION 
        COURT."  
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 609.5314, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [JUDICIAL DETERMINATION.] (a) Within 60 days 
        following service of a notice of seizure and forfeiture under 
        this section, a claimant may file a demand for a judicial 
        determination of the forfeiture.  The demand must be in the form 
        of a civil complaint and must be filed with the court 
        administrator in the county in which the seizure occurred, 
        together with proof of service of a copy of the complaint on the 
        county attorney for that county, and the standard filing fee for 
        civil actions unless the petitioner has the right to sue in 
        forma pauperis under section 563.01.  If the value of the seized 
        property is less than $500 $7,500 or less, the claimant may file 
        an action in conciliation court for recovery of the seized 
        property without paying.  If the value of the seized property is 
        less than $500, the claimant does not have to pay the 
        conciliation court filing fee.  No responsive pleading is 
        required of the county attorney and no court fees may be charged 
        for the county attorney's appearance in the matter.  The 
        proceedings are governed by the Rules of Civil Procedure. 
           (b) The complaint must be captioned in the name of the 
        claimant as plaintiff and the seized property as defendant, and 
        must state with specificity the grounds on which the claimant 
        alleges the property was improperly seized and the plaintiff's 
        interest in the property seized.  Notwithstanding any law to the 
        contrary, an action for the return of property seized under this 
        section may not be maintained by or on behalf of any person who 
        has been served with a notice of seizure and forfeiture unless 
        the person has complied with this subdivision. 
           (c) If the claimant makes a timely demand for judicial 
        determination under this subdivision, the appropriate agency 
        must conduct the forfeiture under section 609.531, subdivision 
        6a.  The limitations and defenses set forth in section 609.5311, 
        subdivision 3, apply to the judicial determination. 
           (d) If a demand for judicial determination of an 
        administrative forfeiture is filed under this subdivision and 
        the court orders the return of the seized property, the court 
        shall order that filing fees be reimbursed to the person who 
        filed the demand.  In addition, the court may order sanctions 
        under section 549.211.  If the court orders payment of these 
        costs, they must be paid from forfeited money or proceeds from 
        the sale of forfeited property from the appropriate law 
        enforcement and prosecuting agencies in the same proportion as 
        they would be distributed under section 609.5315, subdivision 5. 
           Sec. 5.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 to 4 are effective August 1, 1999, and apply to 
        forfeitures initiated on or after that date. 
           Presented to the governor May 21, 1999 
           Signed by the governor May 25, 1999, 11:40 a.m.