297A.91 Seizure; court review.
Subdivision 1. Seizure of property used in illegal transport. (a) If the retailer does not have a sales or use tax permit and has been engaging in transporting personal property into the state without payment of the tax, the commissioner of revenue or the commissioner's agents may seize in the name of the state any truck, automobile, or means of transportation not owned or operated by a common carrier, used in the illegal importation and transportation of any tangible personal property by a retailer or the retailer's agent or employee. The commissioner may demand the forfeiture and sale of the truck, automobile, or other means of transportation together with the property being transported illegally, unless the owner establishes to the satisfaction of the commissioner or the court that the owner had no notice or knowledge or reason to believe that the vehicle was used or intended to be used in any such violation.
(b) Within two days after the seizure, the person making the seizure shall deliver an inventory of the vehicle and property seized to the person from whom the seizure was made, if known, and to any person known or believed to have any right, title, interest, or lien on the vehicle or property. The person making the seizure shall also file a copy of the inventory with the commissioner.
Subd. 2. Court review of forfeiture. (a) Within ten days after the date of service of the inventory, the person from whom the vehicle and property were seized or any person claiming an interest in the vehicle or property may file with the commissioner a demand for a judicial determination of the question of whether the vehicle or property was lawfully subject to seizure and forfeiture. The commissioner, within 30 days, shall institute an action in the district court of the county where the seizure was made to determine the issue of forfeiture.
(b) The action must be brought in the name of the state and prosecuted by the county attorney or the attorney general. The court shall hear the action without a jury and shall determine the issues of fact and law involved. If a judgment of forfeiture is entered and is not stayed pending an appeal, the commissioner may have the forfeited vehicle and property sold at public auction as provided by law.
Subd. 3. Treatment of seized property. If a demand for judicial determination is made and no action is commenced as provided in this subdivision, the vehicle and property must be released by the commissioner and redelivered to the person entitled to it. If no demand is made, the vehicle and property seized are considered forfeited to the state by operation of law and may be disposed of by the commissioner as if there were a judgment of forfeiture. The forfeiture and sale of the automobile, truck, or other means of transportation, and of the property being transported illegally in it, are a penalty for the violation of this chapter. After deducting the expense of keeping the vehicle and property, the fee for seizure, and the costs of the sale, the commissioner shall pay liens from the funds collected. The commissioner shall pay all liens, according to their priority, that are established at the hearing as being bona fide and as existing without the lienor having any notice or knowledge that the vehicle or property was being used or was intended to be used for or in connection with any such violation as specified in the order of the court. The commissioner shall pay the balance of the proceeds into the state treasury to be credited to the general fund. The state is not liable for any liens in excess of the proceeds from the sale after allowable deductions. A sale under this section frees the vehicle and property sold from all liens. The order of the district court may be appealed as in other civil cases.
HIST: 2000 c 418 art 1 s 34
* NOTE: This section, as added by Laws 2000, chapter 418, *article 1, section 34, is effective for seizures after June 30, *2001. Laws 2000, chapter 418, article 1, section 46.