28 CFR § 8.14 - Disposition of property before forfeiture.

§ 8.14 Disposition of property before forfeiture.

(a) Whenever it appears to the seizing agency that any seized property is liable to perish or to waste, or to be greatly reduced in value during its detention for forfeiture, or that the expense of keeping the property is or will be disproportionate to its value, the appropriate official of the seizing agency may order destruction, sale, or other disposition of such property prior to forfeiture. In addition, the owner may obtain release of the property by posting a substitute monetary amount with the seizing agency to be held subject to forfeiture proceedings in place of the seized property to be released. Upon approval by the appropriate official of the seizing agency, the property will be released to the owner after the payment of an amount equal to the Government appraised value of the property if the property is not evidence of a violation of law, is not contraband, and has no design or other characteristics that particularly suit it for use in illegal activities. This payment must be in the form of a money order, an official bank check, or a cashier's check made payable to the United States Marshals Service. A bond in the form of a cashier's check or official bank check will be considered as paid once the check has been accepted for payment by the financial institution that issued the check. If a substitute amount is posted and the property is administratively forfeited, the seizing agency will forfeit the substitute amount in lieu of the property. The pre-forfeiture destruction, sale, or other disposition of seized property pursuant to this section shall not extinguish any person's rights to the value of the property under applicable law. The authority vested in the appropriate official under this subsection may not be delegated.

(b) The seizing agency shall commence forfeiture proceedings, regardless of the disposition of the property under § 8.14(a). A person with an interest in the property that was destroyed or otherwise disposed of under § 8.14(a) may file a claim to contest the forfeiture of the property or a petition for remission or mitigation of the forfeiture. No government agent or employee shall be liable for the destruction or other disposition of property made pursuant to § 8.14(a). The destruction or other disposition of the property pursuant to this section does not impair in rem jurisdiction.

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