Washington Revised Code Title 9A. Washington Criminal Code § 9A.83.030. Seizure and forfeiture




(1) Proceeds traceable to or derived from specified unlawful activity or a violation of RCW 9A.83.020 are subject to seizure and forfeiture.  The attorney general or county prosecuting attorney may file a civil action for the forfeiture of proceeds.  Unless otherwise provided for under this section, no property rights exist in these proceeds.  All right, title, and interest in the proceeds shall vest in the governmental entity of which the seizing law enforcement agency is a part upon commission of the act or omission giving rise to forfeiture under this section.

(2) Real or personal property subject to forfeiture under this chapter may be seized by any law enforcement officer of this state upon process issued by a superior court that has jurisdiction over the property.  Any agency seizing real property shall file a lis pendens concerning the property.  Real property seized under this section shall not be transferred or otherwise conveyed until ninety days after seizure or until a judgment of forfeiture is entered, whichever is later.  Real property seized under this section may be transferred or conveyed to any person or entity who acquires title by foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure of a security interest.  Seizure of personal property without process may be made if:

(a) The seizure is incident to an arrest or a search under a search warrant or an inspection under an administrative inspection warrant issued pursuant to RCW 69.50.502 ;  or

(b) The property subject to seizure has been the subject of a prior judgment in favor of the state in a criminal injunction or forfeiture proceeding based upon this chapter.

(3) A seizure under subsection (2) of this section commences proceedings for forfeiture.  The law enforcement agency under whose authority the seizure was made shall cause notice of the seizure and intended forfeiture of the seized proceeds to be served within fifteen days after the seizure on the owner of the property seized and the person in charge thereof and any person who has a known right or interest therein, including a community property interest.  Service of notice of seizure of real property shall be made according to the rules of civil procedure.  However, the state may not obtain a default judgment with respect to real property against a party who is served by substituted service absent an affidavit stating that a good faith effort has been made to ascertain if the defaulted party is incarcerated within the state, and that there is no present basis to believe that the party is incarcerated within the state.  The notice of seizure in other cases may be served by any method authorized by law or court rule including but not limited to service by certified mail with return receipt requested.  Service by mail is complete upon mailing within the fifteen-day period after the seizure.

(4) If no person notifies the seizing law enforcement agency in writing of the person's claim of ownership or right to possession of the property within forty-five days of the seizure in the case of personal property and ninety days in the case of real property, the property seized shall be deemed forfeited.  The community property interest in real property of a person whose spouse or domestic partner committed a violation giving rise to seizure of the real property may not be forfeited if the person did not participate in the violation.

(5) If a person notifies the seizing law enforcement agency in writing of the person's claim of ownership or right to possession of property within forty-five days of the seizure in the case of personal property and ninety days in the case of real property, the person or persons shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard as to the claim or right.  The provisions of RCW 69.50.505(5) shall apply to any such hearing.  The seizing law enforcement agency shall promptly return property to the claimant upon the direction of the administrative law judge or court.

(6) Disposition of forfeited property shall be made in the manner provided for in RCW 69.50.505 (8) through (10) and (14) .





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