26-239 C.M.R. ch. 2, § 2 - Standards for Settlement of Civil Forfeiture Actions

Current through 2022-14, April 6, 2022

A. Settlement of a civil forfeiture action shall occur separate and apart from the resolution and disposition of related criminal charges and shall not be tied to the resolution and disposition of a criminal case.
B. The State, after assessing all of the facts including those listed in II (C) below, must be satisfied that the settlement is in the best interest of the State and that the property to be forfeited has been useful in facilitating, perpetrating or rewarding unlawful drug activity.
C. The State must evaluate the settlement. The evaluation shall include the following considerations:
1. the State's ability to meet its burden of proof;
2. the effect of delay on both the forfeiture case and the assets;
3. the extent of the wrongdoer's criminal activity;
4. the presence or absence of exculpatory evidence;
5. the strength of the evidence; and,
6. the value of the asset in excess of liens.
D. The State, after assessing and evaluating the case pursuant to II(B) and (C) above, may settle a forfeiture case if:
1. the settlement is a final disposition of the forfeiture case;
2. neither the State of Maine nor any of its agencies, departments, employees or officers are obligated to engage in any conduct which exposes or may expose the State of Maine, its agencies, departments, employees or officers to liability;
3. the settlement is confirmed by court order and written agreement; and,
4. the settlement has been reached independently of the resolution of criminal charges and does not involve a compromise of a criminal case.
E. Settlements involving real estate must be approved in writing by the Attorney General prior to settlement. A request for such approval shall include the materials required in I (D) (1-3) together with a letter signed by the appropriate District Attorney explaining in detail the proposed settlement and explaining why the settlement is recommended in light of the criteria of II (B) (C) & (D) above.
F. Settlements involving the equitable transfer of property to a state agency, county or municipality must also comply with the requirements of III below.

Notes

26-239 C.M.R. ch. 2, § 2

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