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.