18 U.S. Code § 3668 - Remission or mitigation of forfeitures under liquor laws; possession pending trial
Whenever, in any proceeding in court for the forfeiture, under the internal-revenue laws, of any vehicle or aircraft seized for a violation of the internal-revenue laws relating to liquors, such forfeiture is decreed, the court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to remit or mitigate the forfeiture.
In any such proceeding the court shall not allow the claim of any claimant for remission or mitigation unless and until he proves (1) that he has an interest in such vehicle or aircraft, as owner or otherwise, which he acquired in good faith, (2) that he had at no time any knowledge or reason to believe that it was being or would be used in the violation of laws of the United States or of any State relating to liquor, and (3) if it appears that the interest asserted by the claimant arises out of or is in any way subject to any contract or agreement under which any person having a record or reputation for violating laws of the United States or of any State relating to liquor has a right with respect to such vehicle or aircraft, that, before such claimant acquired his interest, or such other person acquired his right under such contract or agreement, whichever occurred later, the claimant, his officer or agent, was informed in answer to his inquiry, at the headquarters of the sheriff, chief of police, principal Federal internal-revenue officer engaged in the enforcement of the liquor laws, or other principal local or Federal law-enforcement officer of the locality in which such other person acquired his right under such contract or agreement, of the locality in which such other person then resided, and of each locality in which the claimant has made any other inquiry as to the character or financial standing of such other person, that such other person had no such record or reputation.
Upon the request of any claimant whose claim for remission or mitigation is allowed and whose interest is first in the order of priority among such claims allowed in such proceeding and is of an amount in excess of, or equal to, the appraised value of such vehicle or aircraft, the court shall order its return to him; and, upon the joint request of any two or more claimants whose claims are allowed and whose interests are not subject to any prior or intervening interests claimed and allowed in such proceedings, and are of a total amount in excess of, or equal to, the appraised value of such vehicle or aircraft, the court shall order its return to such of the joint requesting claimants as is designated in such request. Such return shall be made only upon payment of all expenses incident to the seizure and forfeiture incurred by the United States. In all other cases the court shall order disposition of such vehicle or aircraft as provided in section 1306 of title 40, and if such disposition be by public sale, payment from the proceeds thereof, after satisfaction of all such expenses, of any such claim in its order of priority among the claims allowed in such proceedings.
In any proceeding in court for the forfeiture under the internal-revenue laws of any vehicle or aircraft seized for a violation of the internal-revenue laws relating to liquor, the court shall order delivery thereof to any claimant who shall establish his right to the immediate possession thereof, and shall execute, with one or more sureties approved by the court, and deliver to the court, a bond to the United States for the payment of a sum equal to the appraised value of such vehicle or aircraft. Such bond shall be conditioned to return such vehicle or aircraft at the time of the trial and to pay the difference between the appraised value of such vehicle or aircraft as of the time it shall have been so released on bond and the appraised value thereof as of the time of trial; and conditioned further that, if the vehicle or aircraft be not returned at the time of trial, the bond shall stand in lieu of, and be forfeited in the same manner as, such vehicle or aircraft. Notwithstanding this subsection or any other provisions of law relating to the delivery of possession on bond of vehicles or aircraft sought to be forfeited under the internal-revenue laws, the court may, in its discretion and upon good cause shown by the United States, refuse to order such delivery of possession.
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