28 CFR § 9.4 - Petitions in judicial forfeiture cases.

(a) Notice of seizure. The notice of seizure and intent to forfeit the property shall advise any persons who may have a present ownership interest in the property to submit their petitions for remission or mitigation within 30 days of the date they receive the notice in order to facilitate processing. Petitions shall be considered any time after notice until such time as the forfeited property is placed in official use, sold, or otherwise disposed of according to law, except in cases involving petitions to restore property. A notice of seizure shall include the title of the ruling official and the mailing and street address of the official to whom petitions should be sent, the name of the agency seizing the property, an asset identifier number, and the district court docket number.

(b) Persons who may file. A petition for remission or mitigation must be filed by a petitioner as defined in § 9.2 or as prescribed in § 9.9(g) and (h).

(c) Contents of petition.

(1) All petitions must include the following information in clear and concise terms:

(i) The name, address, and social security or other taxpayer identification number of the person claiming an interest in the seized property who is seeking remission or mitigation;

(ii) The name of the seizing agency, the asset identifier number, and the date and place of seizure;

(iii) The district court docket number;

(iv) A complete description of the property, including the address or legal description of real property, and make, model, and serial numbers of personal property, if any; and

(v) A description of the petitioner's interest in the property as owner, lienholder, or otherwise, supported by original or certified bills of sale, contracts, mortgages, deeds, or other documentary evidence.

(2) Any factual recitation or documentation of any type in a petition must be supported by a declaration under penalty of perjury that meets the requirements of 28 U.S.C. 1746.

(d) Releases. In addition to the content of the petition for remission or mitigation set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, the petitioner, upon request, also shall furnish the agency with an instrument executed by the titled or registered owner and any other known claimant of an interest in the property releasing the interest in such property.

(e) Filing petition with Department of Justice. A petition for remission or mitigation of a judicial forfeiture shall be addressed to the Attorney General; shall be sworn to by the petitioner or by the petitioner's attorney upon information and belief, supported by the client's sworn notice of representation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746, as set forth in § 9.9(g); and shall be submitted to the U.S. Attorney for the district in which the judicial forfeiture proceedings are brought.

(f) Agency investigation and recommendation; U.S. Attorney's recommendation. Upon receipt of a petition, the U.S. Attorney shall direct the seizing agency to investigate the merits of the petition based on the information provided by the petitioner and the totality of the agency's investigation of the underlying basis for forfeiture. The agency shall submit to the U.S. Attorney a report of its investigation and its recommendation on whether the petition should be granted or denied. Upon receipt of the agency's report and recommendation, the U.S. Attorney shall forward to the Chief, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, the petition, the seizing agency's report and recommendation, and the U.S. Attorney's recommendation on whether the petition should be granted or denied.

(g) Ruling. The Chief shall rule on the petition. No hearing shall be held. The Chief shall not rule on any petition for remission if such remission was previously denied by the agency pursuant to § 9.3.

(h) Petitions under Internal Revenue Service liquor laws. The Chief shall accept and consider petitions submitted in judicial forfeiture proceedings under the Internal Revenue Service liquor laws only prior to the time a decree of forfeiture is entered. Thereafter, the district court has exclusive jurisdiction.

(i) Petitions granted. If the Chief grants a remission or mitigates the forfeiture, the Chief shall mail a copy of the decision to the petitioner (or, if represented by an attorney, to the petitioner's attorney) and shall mail or transmit electronically a copy of the decision to the appropriate U.S. Attorney, the USMS or other property custodian, and the seizing agency. The written decision shall include the terms and conditions, if any, upon which the remission or mitigation is granted and the procedures the petitioner must follow to obtain release of the property or the monetary interest therein. The Chief shall advise the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney to consult with the U.S. Attorney as to such terms and conditions. The U.S. Attorney shall confer with the seizing agency regarding the release and shall coordinate disposition of the property with that office and the USMS or other property custodian.

(j) Petitions denied. If the Chief denies a petition, a copy of that decision shall be mailed to the petitioner (or, if represented by an attorney, to the petitioner's attorney of record) and mailed or transmitted electronically to the appropriate U.S. Attorney, the USMS or other property custodian, and to the seizing agency. The decision shall specify the reason that the petition was denied. The decision shall advise the petitioner that a request for reconsideration of the denial of the petition may be submitted to the Chief at the address provided in the decision, in accordance with paragraph (k) of this section.

(k) Request for reconsideration.

(1) A request for reconsideration of the denial shall be considered if:

(i) It is postmarked or received by the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section at the address contained in the decision denying the petition within 10 days from the receipt of the notice of denial of the petition by the petitioner;

(ii) A copy of the request is also received by the appropriate U.S. Attorney within 10 days of the receipt of the denial by the petitioner; and

(iii) The request is based on information or evidence not previously considered that is material to the basis for the denial or presents a basis clearly demonstrating that the denial was erroneous.

(2) In no event shall a request for reconsideration be decided by the ruling official who ruled on the original petition.

(3) Only one request for reconsideration of a denial of a petition shall be considered.

(4) Upon receipt of the request for reconsideration of the denial of a petition, disposition of the property will be delayed pending notice of the decision at the request of the Chief. If the request for reconsideration is not received within the prescribed period, the USMS or other property custodian may dispose of the property.

(l) Restoration of proceeds from sale.

(1) A petition for restoration of the proceeds from the sale of forfeited property, or for the appraised value of forfeited property when the forfeited property has been retained by or delivered to a government agency for official use, may be submitted by an owner or lienholder in cases in which the petitioner:

(i) Did not know of the seizure prior to the entry of a final order of forfeiture; and

(ii) Could not reasonably have known of the seizure prior to the entry of a final order of forfeiture.

(2) Such a petition must be submitted pursuant to paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section within 90 days of the date the property was sold or otherwise disposed of.