50 CFR 12.41 - Petition for restoration of proceeds.
(a) Any person claiming any property or interest therein which has been forfeited under the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531et seq.; Eagle Protection Act, 16 U.S.C. 668et seq.; Airborne Hunting Act, 16 U.S.C. 742j-1; or the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981, 16 U.S.C. 3371et seq., and sold according to law, or any person claiming cargo or an interest therein, of a vessel or other conveyance employed in unlawful taking which has been forfeited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, 16 U.S.C. 1361et seq., and sold according to law, may file with the Solicitor or, where forfeiture proceedings have been brought in U.S. District Court, the Attorney General, a petition for restoration of proceeds.
(b) A petition filed with the Solicitor need not be in any particular form, but it must be received within three months after the date of sale of the property and must contain the following:
(1) A description of the property;
(2) The time and place of seizure;
(3) Evidence of the petitioner's interest in the property, including contracts, bills of sale, invoices, security interests, certificates of title, and other satisfactory evidence;
(4) A request for restoration of the proceeds or such part thereof as is claimed by the petitioner; and
(5) A statement of all facts and circumstances relied upon by the petitioner to justify restoration of the proceeds, including proof that the petitioner did not know of the seizure before the declaration or order of forfeiture and was in such circumstances as prevented the petitioner from knowing of the same.
(c) The petition shall be signed by the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney at law. If the petitioner is a corporation, the petition must be signed by an authorized officer, supervisory employee, or attorney at law, and the corporate seal shall be properly affixed to the signature.
(d) A false statement in the petition may subject the petitioner to prosecution under title 18, U.S. Code, section 1001.
(e) Upon receiving the petition, the Solicitor shall decide whether or not to grant relief. In making a decision, the Solicitor shall consider the information submitted by the petitioner, as well as any other available information relating to the matter.
(f) If the Solicitor finds the existence of such mitigating circumstances as to justify restoration of the proceeds or any part thereof and that the petitioner did not know of the seizure before the declaration or order of forfeiture and was in such circumstances as prevented the petitioner from knowing of the same, the Solicitor may order the proceeds or any part thereof restored to the petitioner, after deducting from such proceeds the costs of seizure, storage, forfeiture and disposition, the duties, if any, accruing on the seized property, and any sum due on a lien for freight, charges, or contribution in general average, notice of which has been filed with the Solicitor according to law.
(g) If the Solicitor decides that relief should not be granted, the Solicitor shall so notify the petitioner in writing, stating in the notification the reasons for denying relief. The petitioner may then file a supplemental petition, but no supplemental petition shall be considered unless it is received within 60 days from the date of the Solicitor's notification denying the original petition.