Petition for expedited release in an administrative forfeiture action.
(a) Where property is seized for administrative forfeiture involving controlled substances in personal use quantities the owner may petition the seizing agency for expedited release of the property.
(b) Where property described in paragraph (a) of this section is a commercial fishing industry vessel proceeding to or from a fishing area or intermediate port of call or actually engaged in fishing operations, which would be subject to seizure for administrative forfeiture for a violation of law involving controlled substances in personal use quantities, a summons to appear shall be issued in lieu of a physical seizure. The vessel shall report to the port designated in the summons. The seizing agency shall be authorized to effect administrative forfeiture as if the vessel had been physically seized. Upon answering the summons to appear on or prior to the last reporting date specified in the summons, the owner of the vessel may file a petition for expedited release pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section and the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section and other provishons in this subpart pertaining to a petition for expedited release shall apply as if the vessel had been physically seized.
(c) The owner filing the petition for expedited release shall establish the following:
(1) The owner has a valid, good faith interest in the seized property as owner or otherwise;
(2) The owner reasonably attempted to ascertain the use of the property in a normal and customary manner; and
(3) The owner did not know or consent to the illegal use of the property, or in the event that the owner knew or should have known of the illegal use, the owner did what reasonably could be expected to prevent the violation.
(d) In addition to those factors listed in paragraph (c) of this section, if an owner can demonstrate that the owner has other statutory rights or defenses that would cause the owner to prevail on the issue of forfeiture, such factors shall also be considered in ruling on the petition for expedited release.
(e) A petition for expedited release must be filed in a timely manner to be considered by the seizing agency. In order to be filed in a timely manner, the petition must be received by the appropriate seizing agency within 20 days from the date of the first publication of the notice of seizure. The petition must be executed and sworn to by the owner and both the envelope and the request must be clearly marked “PETITION FOR EXPEDITED RELEASE.” Such petition shall be filed in triplicate with the Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) field office in the judicial district in which the property was seized, depending upon which agency seized the property. The petition shall be addressed to the Director of the FBI or to the Administrator of the DEA, depending upon which agency seized the property.
(f) The petition shall include the following:
(1) A complete description of the property, including identification numbers, if any, and the date and place of seizure;
(2) The petitioner's interest in the property, which shall be supported by title documentation, bills of sale, contracts, mortgages, or other satisfactory documentary evidence; and
(3) A statement of the facts and circumstances, to be established by satisfactory proof, relied upon by the petitioner to justify expedited release of the seized property.
Title 21 published on 2012-04-01
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