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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 466-S.F.No. 3036 
                  An act relating to penalties; providing for seizure 
                  and administrative forfeiture of certain firearms and 
                  abandoned property; modifying authority to issue 
                  trespass citations; modifying provisions for forfeited 
                  vehicles; requiring a report of gross violations of 
                  game and fish law; providing civil penalties; amending 
                  Minnesota Statutes 1998, sections 97B.002, subdivision 
                  1; 169.1217, by adding a subdivision; and 609.5312, 
                  subdivision 4; Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, 
                  section 169.1217, subdivision 7a; proposing coding for 
                  new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 97A. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  [97A.223] [SEIZURE AND ADMINISTRATIVE 
        FORFEITURE OF CERTAIN FIREARMS AND ABANDONED PROPERTY.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [PROPERTY SUBJECT TO SEIZURE AND 
        FORFEITURE.] (a) An enforcement officer must seize: 
           (1) firearms possessed in violation of state or federal law 
        or court order; and 
           (2) property described in section 97A.221, subdivision 1, 
        where no owner can be determined. 
           (b) Property seized under this section is subject to 
        administrative forfeiture. 
           Subd. 2.  [NOTICE OF SEIZURE AND INTENT TO FORFEIT.] When 
        property is seized under subdivision 1, the enforcement officer 
        shall serve any known owner and person possessing the property 
        with a notice of the seizure and intent to forfeit the 
        property.  The notice must be in writing, describing the 
        property seized, the date of seizure, and notice of the right to 
        appeal the seizure and forfeiture as described in subdivision 3. 
           Subd. 3.  [APPEAL; FINAL ORDER.] Seizure and administrative 
        forfeiture of property under this section may be appealed under 
        the procedures in section 116.072, subdivision 6, if the owner 
        or other person from whom the property was seized requests a 
        hearing by notifying the commissioner in writing within 45 days 
        after seizure of the property.  For purposes of this section, 
        the terms "commissioner" and "agency" as used in section 116.072 
        mean the commissioner of natural resources.  If a hearing is not 
        requested within 45 days of seizure, the forfeiture becomes a 
        final order and not subject to further review.  
           Subd. 4.  [OTHER REMEDIES.] The authority to forfeit 
        firearms and other property under this section is in addition to 
        other remedies available under state and federal law. 
           Subd. 5.  [DISPOSAL OF FORFEITED PROPERTY.] Forfeited 
        property under this section may be disposed of as contraband 
        according to section 97A.221, subdivision 4. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 97B.002, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [AUTHORITY TO ISSUE.] Conservation 
        officers, sheriffs, and deputies may issue citations to a person 
        who trespasses in violation of section 84.90 or 97B.001 or 
        removes a sign posted to prevent trespass without permission of 
        the owner of the property. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, 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, 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." 
           (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 $7,500 or less, the claimant may file an action in 
        conciliation court for recovery of the seized vehicle.  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, at the option of the 
        prosecuting authority, may take place at the same time as any 
        judicial review of the person's license revocation under section 
        169.123.  If the judicial review and hearing under this section 
        do not take place at the same time as the judicial review of the 
        person's license revocation under section 169.123, the review 
        and hearing must take place at the earliest practicable date.  
        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 sanctions 
        under section 549.211.  
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 169.1217, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [SALE OF FORFEITED VEHICLE BY SECURED 
        PARTY.] (a) A financial institution with a valid security 
        interest in or a valid lease covering a forfeited vehicle may 
        choose to dispose of the vehicle under this subdivision, in lieu 
        of the appropriate agency disposing of the vehicle under 
        subdivision 9.  A financial institution wishing to dispose of a 
        vehicle under this subdivision shall notify the appropriate 
        agency of its intent, in writing, within 30 days after receiving 
        notice of the seizure and forfeiture.  The appropriate agency 
        shall release the vehicle to the financial institution or its 
        agent after the financial institution presents proof of its 
        valid security agreement or of its lease agreement and the 
        financial institution agrees not to sell the vehicle to a member 
        of the violator's household, unless the violator is not 
        convicted of the offense on which the forfeiture is based.  The 
        financial institution shall dispose of the vehicle in a 
        commercially reasonable manner as defined in section 336.9-504. 
           (b) After disposing of the forfeited vehicle, the financial 
        institution shall reimburse the appropriate agency for its 
        seizure, storage, and forfeiture costs.  The financial 
        institution may then apply the proceeds of the sale to its 
        storage costs, to its sale expenses, and to satisfy the lien or 
        the lease on the vehicle.  If any proceeds remain, the financial 
        institution shall forward the proceeds to the state treasury, 
        which shall credit the appropriate fund as specified in 
        subdivision 9. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 609.5312, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [VEHICLE FORFEITURE FOR FLEEING A PEACE OFFICER.] 
        (a) A motor vehicle is subject to forfeiture under this 
        subdivision if it was used to commit a violation of section 
        609.487 and endanger life or property.  A motor vehicle is 
        subject to forfeiture under this subdivision only if the offense 
        is established by proof of a criminal conviction for the 
        offense.  Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, a 
        forfeiture under this subdivision is governed by sections 
        609.531, 609.5312, 609.5313, and 609.5315, subdivision 6. 
           (b) When a motor vehicle subject to forfeiture under this 
        subdivision is seized in advance of a judicial forfeiture order, 
        a hearing before a judge or referee must be held within 96 hours 
        of the seizure.  Notice of the hearing must be given to the 
        registered owner within 48 hours of the seizure.  The 
        prosecuting authority shall certify to the court, at or in 
        advance of the hearing, that it has filed or intends to file 
        charges against the alleged violator for violating section 
        609.487.  After conducting the hearing, the court shall order 
        that the motor vehicle be returned to the owner if:  
           (1) the prosecutor has failed to make the certification 
        required by this paragraph; 
           (2) the owner of the motor vehicle has demonstrated to the 
        court's satisfaction that the owner has a defense to the 
        forfeiture, including but not limited to the defenses contained 
        in subdivision 2; or 
           (3) the court determines that seizure of the vehicle 
        creates or would create an undue hardship for members of the 
        owner's family. 
           (c) If the defendant is acquitted or the charges against 
        the defendant are dismissed, neither the owner nor the defendant 
        is responsible for paying any costs associated with the seizure 
        or storage of the vehicle. 
           (d) A vehicle leased or rented under section 168.27, 
        subdivision 4, for a period of 180 days or less is not subject 
        to forfeiture under this subdivision. 
           (e) A motor vehicle that is an off-road recreational 
        vehicle as defined in section 169.01, subdivision 86, or a 
        motorboat as defined in section 169.01, subdivision 87, is not 
        subject to paragraph (b). 
           Sec. 6.  [ASSESSING GROSS VIOLATIONS; REPORT.] 
           The commissioner of natural resources must review and 
        assess gross violations of taking game and fish resources.  A 
        report on increased penalties for gross violations must be 
        completed by the commissioner by February 1, 2001, and delivered 
        to the house and senate committees on natural resources policy 
        and finance. 
           Sec. 7.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 to 6 are effective the day following final 
        enactment. 
           Presented to the governor May 11, 2000 
           Signed by the governor May 15, 2000, 10:48 a.m.