§ 63-11-49. Seizure and forfeiture of vehicle
63-11-49. Seizure and forfeiture of vehicle
(1) When a vehicle is seized under Section 63-11-30(2)(c) or (d), the arresting officer shall impound the vehicle and the vehicle shall be held as evidence until a court of competent jurisdiction makes a final disposition of the case and the vehicle may be forfeited by the administrative forfeiture procedures provided for in this section upon final disposition as provided in Section 63-11-30(2)(c).
(2) The attorney for the law enforcement agency shall provide notice of intention to forfeit the seized vehicle administratively, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to all persons who are required to be notified pursuant to Section 63-11-51.
(3) In the event that notice of intention to forfeit the seized vehicle administratively cannot be given as provided in subsection (2) of this section because of refusal, failure to claim, insufficient address or any other reason, the attorney for the law enforcement agency shall provide notice by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the seizure occurred for once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks.
(4) Notice pursuant to subsections (2) and (3) of this section shall include the following information:
(a) A description of the vehicle;
(b) The approximate value of the vehicle;
(c) The date and place of the seizure;
(d) The connection between the vehicle and the violation of Section 63-11-30;
(e) The instructions for filing a request for judicial review; and
(f) A statement that the vehicle will be forfeited to the law enforcement agency if a request for judicial review is not timely filed.
(5) In the event that a spouse of the owner of the seized vehicle makes a showing to the department that the seized vehicle is the only source of transportation for the spouse, the chief law enforcement officer shall declare that the vehicle is thereby forfeited to such spouse. A written declaration of forfeiture of a vehicle pursuant to this subsection shall be sufficient cause for the title to the vehicle to be transferred to the spouse. The provisions of this subsection shall apply only to one (1) forfeiture per vehicle; if the vehicle is the subject of a subsequent forfeiture proceeding by virtue of a subsequent conviction of either spouse, the spouse to whom the vehicle was forfeited pursuant to the first forfeiture proceeding may not utilize the remedy provided herein in another forfeiture proceeding.
(6) Persons claiming an interest in the seized vehicle may initiate judicial review of the seizure and proposed forfeiture by filing a request for judicial review with the attorney for the law enforcement agency within thirty (30) days after receipt of the certified letter or within thirty (30) days after the first publication of notice, whichever is applicable.
(7) If no request for judicial review is timely filed, the attorney for the law enforcement agency shall prepare a written declaration of forfeiture of the subject vehicle and the forfeited vehicle shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Section 63-11-53.
(8) Upon receipt of a timely request for judicial review, the attorney for the law enforcement agency shall promptly file a petition for forfeiture and proceed as provided in Section 63-11-51.