Sec. 3 . (a) The prosecuting attorney for the county in which the seizure occurs may, within twenty-one (21) days after receiving written notice from the owner demanding return of the seized property or within ninety (90) days after the property is seized, whichever occurs first, cause an action for forfeiture to be brought by filing a complaint in the circuit or superior court in the jurisdiction where the seizure occurred. The action must be brought:
(1) in the name of the state; and
(2) within the period that a prosecution may be commenced under IC 35-41-4-2 for the offense that is the basis for the seizure.
(b) If the property seized was a vehicle or real property, the prosecuting attorney shall serve, under the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure, a copy of the complaint upon each person whose right, title, or interest is of record in the bureau of motor vehicles, in the county recorder's office, or other office authorized to receive or record vehicle or real property ownership interests.
(c) If, after the expiration of the twenty-one (21) or ninety (90) day period described in subsection (a), the prosecuting attorney has not filed a complaint initiating an action for forfeiture, the property shall be returned immediately to the owner, or to a lienholder or bona fide purchaser for value. If the property is returned without a complaint for forfeiture having been filed, the owner, lienholder, or bona fide purchaser for value is not liable for any costs or fees incurred in storing, transporting, or maintaining the property.
(d) The owner of the seized property, or any person whose right, title, or interest is of record may, within twenty (20) days after service of the complaint under the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure, file an answer to the complaint and may appear at the hearing on the action.
(e) If, at the end of the time allotted for an answer, there is no answer on file, the court, upon motion, shall enter judgment in favor of the state and shall order the property disposed of in accordance with section 4 of this chapter.
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