26-239 C.M.R. ch. 2, § 1 - Standards for Initiation of Civil Forfeiture Actions (5 M.R.S.A. section 5822)

Current through 2022-14, April 6, 2022

A. The State, after assessing all of the facts in the case, including any valid defenses, must be satisfied that it can meet its burden of proof, which is a preponderance of the evidence ( 15 M.R.S.A. §5822(3) ).
B. The State must evaluate the property to be seized. The evaluation of the property shall include the following considerations:
1. outstanding liens or third party claims:
2. physical condition;
3. problems and costs of preservation and storage;
4. title search;
5. value;
6. wrongdoer's interest in property;
7. whether appropriate reports and petitions have been filed in a timely manner. See, e.g., 15 M.R.S.A. §5823(1) & (2).
C. The State must be satisfied that the property to be forfeited has been useful in facilitating, perpetrating, or rewarding unlawful drug activity.
D. Requests for the written approval of the Attorney General of forfeitures pursuant to 15 M.R.S.A. §5822(1)(A) shall be accompanied by:
1. a letter signed by the requesting District Attorney or Assistant Attorney General explaining in detail the findings and basis thereof with regard to I(A)(B) & (C) above, together with all necessary documentation;
2. copies of all relevant police and laboratory reports; and,
3. a draft of the proposed civil complaint seeking forfeiture.
E. The State must be satisfied that the loss to be sustained by the owner of a forfeited asset by virtue of the forfeiture is proportional to the culpability of that owner. In making such determination, the State shall give due consideration to the relative significance of the owner as a drug distributor and to the quantity of scheduled drugs involved.


26-239 C.M.R. ch. 2, § 1

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