28 CFR 8.9 - Notice of administrative forfeiture.
(a) Notice by publication.
(1) After seizing property subject to administrative forfeiture, the appropriate official of the seizing agency shall select from the following options a means of publication reasonably calculated to notify potential claimants of the seizure and intent to forfeit and sell or otherwise dispose of the property:
(i) Publication once each week for at least three successive weeks in a newspaper generally circulated in the judicial district where the property was seized; or
(ii) Posting a notice on an official internet government forfeiture site for at least 30 consecutive days.
(2) The published notice shall:
(i) Describe the seized property;
(ii) State the date, statutory basis, and place of seizure;
(iii) State the deadline for filing a claim when personal written notice has not been received, at least 30 days after the date of final publication of the notice of seizure; and
(iv) State the identity of the appropriate official of the seizing agency and address where the claim must be filed.
(b) Personal written notice.
(1) Manner of providing notice. After seizing property subject to administrative forfeiture, the seizing agency, in addition to publishing notice, shall send personal written notice of the seizure to each interested party in a manner reasonably calculated to reach such parties.
(2) Content of personal written notice. The personal written notice sent by the seizing agency shall:
(i) State the date when the personal written notice is sent;
(ii) State the deadline for filing a claim, at least 35 days after the personal written notice is sent;
(iii) State the date, statutory basis, and place of seizure;
(iv) State the identity of the appropriate official of the seizing agency and the address where the claim must be filed; and
(v) Describe the seized property.
(c) Timing of notice.
(1) Date of personal notice. Personal written notice is sent on the date when the seizing agency causes it to be placed in the mail, delivered to a commercial carrier, or otherwise sent by means reasonably calculated to reach the interested party. The personal written notice required by § 8.9(b) shall be sent as soon as practicable, and in no case more than 60 days after the date of seizure (or 90 days after the date of seizure by a state or local law enforcement agency if the property was turned over to a federal law enforcement agency for the purpose of forfeiture under federal law).
(2) Civil judicial forfeiture. If, before the time period for sending notice expires, the Government files a civil judicial forfeiture action against the seized property and provides notice of such action as required by law, personal notice of administrative forfeiture is not required under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
(3) Criminal indictment. If, before the time period for sending notice under paragraph (c)(1) of this section expires, no civil judicial forfeiture action is filed, but a criminal indictment or information is obtained containing an allegation that the property is subject to forfeiture, the seizing agency shall either:
(i) Send timely personal written notice and continue the administrative forfeiture proceeding; or
(ii) After consulting with the U.S. Attorney, terminate the administrative forfeiture proceeding and notify the custodian to return the property to the person having the right to immediate possession unless the U.S. Attorney takes the steps necessary to maintain custody of the property as provided in the applicable criminal forfeiture statute.
(4) Subsequent federal seizure. If property is seized by a state or local law enforcement agency, but personal written notice is not sent to the person from whom the property is seized within the time period for providing notice under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, then any administrative forfeiture proceeding against the property may commence if:
(i) The property is subsequently seized or restrained by the seizing agency pursuant to a federal seizure warrant or restraining order and the seizing agency sends notice as soon as practicable, and in no case more than 60 days after the date of the federal seizure; or
(ii) The owner of the property consents to forfeiture of the property.
(i) In states or localities where orders are obtained from a state court authorizing the turnover of seized assets to a federal seizing agency, the period from the date an application or motion is presented to the state court for the turnover order through the date when such order is issued by the court shall not be included in the time period for providing notice under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
(ii) If property is detained at an international border or port of entry for the purpose of examination, testing, inspection, obtaining documentation, or other investigation relating to the importation of the property into, or the exportation of the property from, the United States, such period of detention shall not be included in the period described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. In such cases, the 60-day period shall begin to run when the period of detention ends, if a seizing agency seizes the property for the purpose of forfeiture to the United States.
(6) Identity of interested party. If a seizing agency determines the identity or interest of an interested party after the seizure or adoption of the property, but before entering a declaration of forfeiture, the agency shall send written notice to such interested party under paragraph (c)(1) of this section not later than 60 days after determining the identity of the interested party or the interested party's interest.
(7) Extending deadline for notice. The appropriate official of the seizing agency may extend the period for sending personal written notice under the regulations in this part in a particular case for a period not to exceed 30 days (which period may not be further extended except by a court pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 983(a)(1)(C) and (D)), if the appropriate official determines, and states in writing, that there is reason to believe that notice may have an adverse result, including: Endangering the life or physical safety of an individual; flight from prosecution; destruction of or tampering with evidence; intimidation of potential witnesses; or otherwise seriously jeopardizing an investigation or unduly delaying a trial.
(8) Certification. The appropriate official of the seizing agency shall provide the written certification required under 18 U.S.C. 983(a)(1)(C) when the Government requests it and the conditions described in section 983(a)(1)(D) are present.