2015 Georgia Code
Title 9 - CIVIL PRACTICE
Chapter 16 - UNIFORM CIVIL FORFEITURE PROCEDURE ACT
§ 9-16-11 - Quasi-judicial forfeiture for property valued at $25,000.00 or less; notice; procedure

GA Code § 9-16-11 (2015) What's This?

(a) If the estimated value of personal property seized is $25,000.00 or less, the state attorney shall post a notice of the seizure of such property in a prominent location in the courthouse of the county in which the property was seized. Such notice shall include:

(1) A description of the property;

(2) The date and place of seizure;

(3) The conduct giving rise to forfeiture;

(4) The alleged violation of law; and

(5) A statement that the owner or interest holder of such property has 30 days within which a claim must be served on the state attorney by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, and that such claim shall be signed by the owner or interest holder and shall provide:

(A) The name of the claimant;

(B) The address at which the claimant resides;

(C) A description of the claimant's interest in the property;

(D) A description of the circumstances of the claimant's obtaining an interest in the property and, to the best of the claimant's knowledge, the date the claimant obtained the interest and the name of the person or entity that transferred the interest to the claimant;

(E) The nature of the relationship between the claimant and the person who possessed the property at the time of the seizure;

(F) A copy of any documentation in the claimant's possession supporting his or her claim; and

(G) Any additional facts supporting his or her claim.

(b) The state attorney shall serve a copy of the notice specified in subsection (a) of this Code section upon an owner, interest holder, and person in possession of the property at the time of seizure as follows:

(1) If the name and current address of the person in possession of the property at the time of the seizure, owner, or interest holder are known, provide notice by either personal service or mailing a copy of the notice by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to that address;

(2) If the name and address of the person in possession of the property at the time of seizure, owner, or interest holder are required by law to be on public record with a governmental agency to perfect an interest in the property but the owner's or interest holder's current address is not known, mail a copy of the notice by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to any address on the record; or

(3) If the current address of the person in possession of the property at the time of the seizure, owner, or interest holder is not known and is not on record as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection or the name of the person in possession of the property at the time of the seizure, owner, or interest holder is not known, publish a copy of the notice of seizure once a week for two consecutive weeks in the legal organ for the county in which the seizure occurs.

(c) (1) The owner or interest holder may serve a claim to the seized property within 30 days after being served or within 30 days after the second publication of the notice of seizure, whichever occurs last, by sending the claim to the state attorney by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested.

(2) The claim shall be signed by the owner or interest holder and shall provide:

(A) The name of the claimant;

(B) The address at which the claimant resides;

(C) A description of the claimant's interest in the property;

(D) A description of the circumstances of the claimant's obtaining an interest in the property and, to the best of the claimant's knowledge, the date the claimant obtained the interest and the name of the person or entity that transferred the interest to the claimant;

(E) The nature of the relationship between the claimant and the person who possessed the property at the time of the seizure;

(F) A copy of any documentation in the claimant's possession supporting his or her claim; and

(G) Any additional facts supporting his or her claim.

(3) If any claim is served, even when the state attorney determines that the information provided by the claimant pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection is insufficient, the state attorney shall file a complaint for forfeiture as provided in Code Section 9-16-12 or 9-16-13 within 30 days of the actual receipt of the claim. Such complaint shall be filed specifically as to the property claimed and the state attorney shall join as a party any person who serves the state attorney with a claim.

(4) As to any property to which no claim is received within 30 days after service of the notice of seizure or the second publication of the notice of seizure, whichever occurs last, all right, title, and interest in the property shall be forfeited to the state by operation of law and the state attorney shall dispose of the property as provided in Code Section 9-16-19. The state attorney shall serve a copy of the order forfeiting the property by first-class mail upon any person who was served with a notice of seizure.

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