CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
18-5623. PERSONAL PROPERTY — RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES. (1) Within five (5) days of any of the events specified in section 18-5622, Idaho Code, notice, including a copy of the request for forfeiture, shall be given to each co-owner or party in interest who has or claims any right, title or interest in any such personal property according to one (1) of the following methods:
(a) Upon each co-owner of or party in interest in a titled motor vehicle, aircraft or other conveyance, by mailing notice by certified mail to the address of each co-owner and party in interest as given upon the records of the appropriate department of state or federal government where records relating to such conveyances are maintained;
(b) Upon each secured party and assignee designated as such in any UCC-1 financing statement on file in an appropriate filing office covering any personal property sought to be forfeited, by mailing notice by certified mail to the secured party and the assignee, if any, at their respective addresses as shown on such financing statement; or
(c) Upon each co-owner or party in interest whose name and address is known, by mailing notice by registered mail to the last known address of such person.
(2) Within twenty (20) days after the mailing of the notice, the co-owner or party in interest may file a verified answer and claim to the property described in the notice.
(3) If a verified answer is filed within twenty (20) days after mailing of the notice, the forfeiture proceeding against all co-owners and parties in interest who have filed verified answers shall be set for hearing before the court without a jury on a day not less than sixty (60) days after the mailing of the notice; and the proceeding shall have priority over other civil cases.
(a) At the hearing, any co-owner or party in interest who has a verified answer on file may show by competent evidence that his interest in the titled motor vehicle, aircraft or other conveyance is not subject to forfeiture because he could not have known in the exercise of reasonable diligence that the titled motor vehicle, aircraft or other conveyance was being used, had been used or was intended to be used for the purposes described in section 18-5612, Idaho Code.
(b) A co-owner or claimant of any right, title or interest in the property may prove that his right, title or interest, whether under a lien, mortgage, security agreement, conditional sales contract or otherwise, was created without any knowledge or reason to believe that the property was being used, had been used or was intended to be used for the purpose alleged.
(i) In the event of such proof, the court shall order that portion of the property or interest released to the bona fide or innocent co-owner, purchaser, lienholder, mortgagee, secured party or conditional sales vendor.
(ii) If the amount due to such person is less than the value of the property, the property may be sold at public auction or in another commercially reasonable method by the attorney general or appropriate prosecuting attorney. If sold at public auction, the attorney general or appropriate prosecuting attorney shall publish a notice of the sale by at least one (1) publication in a newspaper published and circulated in the city, community or locality where the sale is to take place at least one (1) week prior to sale of the property. The proceeds from such sale shall be distributed as follows in the order indicated:
1. To the bona fide or innocent co-owner, purchaser, conditional sales vendor, lienholder, mortgagee or secured party of the property, if any, up to the value of his interest in the property;
2. The balance, if any, in the following order:
(A) To the attorney general or appropriate prosecuting attorney for all expenditures made or incurred in connection with the sale, including expenditure for any necessary repairs, storage or transportation of the property, and for all expenditures made or incurred by him in connection with the forfeiture proceedings including, but not limited to, expenditures for witnesses’ fees, reporters’ fees, transcripts, printing, traveling and investigation.
(B) To the law enforcement agency of this state that seized the property for all expenditures for traveling, investigation, storage and other expenses made or incurred after the seizure and in connection with the forfeiture of any property seized under the provisions of this chapter.
(C) The remainder, if any, to the crime victims compensation account as established in section 72-1009, Idaho Code.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, upon being satisfied that the interest of a co-owner or claimant should not be subject to forfeiture because they neither knew nor should have known that the personal property was being used or had been used for the purposes alleged, or that due to preexisting security interests in such property there is no equity that may be forfeited, the attorney general or appropriate prosecuting attorney may release the property to the co-owner, holder of the security interest or other claimant.
(5) In any case, the attorney general or appropriate prosecuting attorney may, within thirty (30) days after order of forfeiture, pay the balance due to the bona fide lienholder, mortgagee, secured party or conditional sales vendor and thereby purchase the property for use to enforce this chapter.
[18-5623, added 2013, ch. 249, sec. 6, p. 603; am. 2014, ch. 97, sec. 2, p. 266.]