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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

609.5314 ADMINISTRATIVE FORFEITURE OF CERTAIN PROPERTY SEIZED IN
CONNECTION WITH A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES SEIZURE.
    Subdivision 1. Property subject to administrative forfeiture; presumption. (a) The
following are presumed to be subject to administrative forfeiture under this section:
(1) all money, precious metals, and precious stones found in proximity to:
(i) controlled substances;
(ii) forfeitable drug manufacturing or distributing equipment or devices; or
(iii) forfeitable records of manufacture or distribution of controlled substances;
(2) all conveyance devices containing controlled substances with a retail value of $100 or
more if possession or sale of the controlled substance would be a felony under chapter 152; and
(3) all firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories found:
(i) in a conveyance device used or intended for use to commit or facilitate the commission of
a felony offense involving a controlled substance;
(ii) on or in proximity to a person from whom a felony amount of controlled substance is
seized; or
(iii) on the premises where a controlled substance is seized and in proximity to the controlled
substance, if possession or sale of the controlled substance would be a felony under chapter 152.
(4) The Department of Corrections' Fugitive Apprehension Unit shall not seize items listed
in clauses (2) and (3) for the purposes of forfeiture.
(b) A claimant of the property bears the burden to rebut this presumption.
    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, 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."
    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 $7,500 or less, the claimant may file an action in conciliation court for recovery
of the seized property. 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.
History: 1988 c 665 s 14; 1989 c 290 art 3 s 31; 1991 c 323 s 2,3; 1993 c 326 art 1 s 8,9;
1997 c 213 art 2 s 5; 1999 c 225 s 3,4; 2005 c 136 art 13 s 14