7 CFR 356.4 - Property valued at $10,000 or less; notice of seizure administrative action to obtain forfeiture.
(a) When authorized. The Secretary shall take measures to obtain forfeiture in accordance with this section of any property specified in § 356.1 and determined under § 356.2 to have a value of $10,000 or less.
(b) Waiver of forfeiture procedures by owner of seized property. A person claiming to be an owner or to have an interest in any property specified in § 356.1 with a value of $10,000 or less may waive any rights to any procedures relating to forfeiture under this subpart by signing a statement providing for waiver of such rights.
(1) The Deputy Administrator shall publish a copy of the notice of seizure and proposed forfeiture as provided in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, by posting for 21 days in a conspicuous place accessible to the public at the Plant Protection and Quarantine Enforcement office nearest the place of seizure. The time and date of posting shall be indicated on the notice.
(2) Upon the execution of such statement and following publication of the notice for 21 days as provided in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, any interest in such property by such owner shall become forfeited under the Act without further action under this subpart, and the Deputy Administrator shall not be required to send such owner any notices or declarations otherwise required by this subpart.
(c) Procedure absent waiver of forfeiture procedures by owner.
(1) Notice of seizure and proposed forfeiture. Promptly following seizure of property, the Deputy Administrator shall issue a notice of seizure and proposed forfeiture. The notice shall be in substantially the same form as a complaint for forfeiture filed in the U.S. District Court. The notice shall describe the seized property, including any identification numbers, such as the license, registration, motor, and serial numbers for a motor vehicle. The notice shall state the time, date, and place of seizure; the reason for seizure; and shall specify the value of the property as determined under § 356.2. The notice shall contain specific reference to the provisions of the Act, permit, certificate, or regulations allegedly violated and under which the property is subject to forfeiture. The notice shall state that any person desiring to claim the property must file a claim and a bond in accordance with paragraph (c)(2) of this section, and shall state that if a proper claim and bond are not received by the specified office within the time prescribed by such paragraph, the property will be declared forfeited to the United States and disposed of according to law. The notice shall also advise interested persons of their right to file a petition for remission or mitigation of forfeiture in accordance with § 356.7.
(i) Promptly following the seizure, The Deputy Administrator shall mail a copy of the notice by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to persons known or reasonably ascertained to be the owner or agent of the seized property, and to any other person having an interest in the property, if such owner or agent or other person and their address is known or reasonably ascertainable.
(ii) Publication. Promptly following the seizure, the Deputy Administrator shall publish a copy of the notice by posting for 21 days in a conspicuous place accessible to the public at the Plant Protection and Quarantine enforcement office nearest the place of seizure. The time and date of posting shall be indicated on the notice.
(2) Filing a claim and bond. Upon issuance of the notice of proposed forfeiture, any person claiming ownership of or other interest in the seized property may file with the office specified in the notice a claim to the property and a bond in the amount of $250, with sureties to be approved by the Deputy Administrator, conditioned that in case of condemnation of the articles so claimed, the obligor shall pay all the costs and expenses of the proceedings to obtain such condemnation. Any claim and bond must be received in such office within 20 days after posting of the notice of proposed forfeiture, and shall state claimant's interest in the property. The Deputy Administrator may extend the 20 day period with an appropriate statement on the posted notice of proposed forfeiture, if necessary, to allow a person deemed to have an interest in the property at least 10 days to file such a claim and bond after receipt of a notice of proposed forfeiture. The bond shall be on a U.S. Customs Form 4615 or on a similar form provided by Plant Protection and Quarantine. There shall be endorsed on the bond a list or schedule in substantially the following form which shall be signed by the claimant in the presence of the witnesses to the bond, and attested by the witnesses:
The foregoing list is correct.
(3) Transmittal to U.S. Attorney. As soon as practicable after timely receipt by the specified office of a proper claim and bond in accordance with paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the Secretary shall transmit such claim, bond (with a duplicate list and description of the articles seized), and a report as described in § 356.3 to the U.S. Attorney for the district in which seizure was made for forfeiture proceedings in the U.S. District Court.
(d) Summary forfeiture. If a proper claim and bond are not received by the specified office within the time periods as specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the property shall be forfeited and the Deputy Administrator shall prepare a declaration of forfeiture. The declaration of forfeiture shall be in writing, and the Deputy Administrator shall send such declaration by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to each person whose whereabouts and prior interests in the seized property are known or reasonably ascertainable. The declaration shall be in substantially the same form as a default judgment of forfeiture entered in U.S. District Court. The declaration shall describe the property and state the time, date, place, and reason for its seizure. The declaration shall identify the notice of proposed forfeiture, describing the dates and manner of publication of the notice and any efforts made to serve the notice personally or by mail. The declaration shall state that in response to the notice a proper claim and bond were not timely received by the proper office from any claimant, and that, therefore, all potential claimants are deemed to admit the truth of the allegations of the notice. The declaration shall conclude with an order of condemnation and forfeiture of the property to the United States for disposition according to law.