2013 Mississippi Code
Title 41 - PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 29 - POISONS, DRUGS AND OTHER CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
Article 3 - UNIFORM CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES LAW
§ 41-29-177 - Procedure for disposition of seized property; petition of forfeiture; inquiry into ownership; failure to discover owner


MS Code § 41-29-177 (2013) What's This?

(1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 41-29-176, Mississippi Code of 1972, when any property, other than a controlled substance, raw material or paraphernalia, is seized under the Uniform Controlled Substances Law, proceedings under this section shall be instituted within thirty (30) days from the date of seizure or the subject property shall be immediately returned to the party from whom seized.

(2) A petition for forfeiture shall be filed in the name of the State of Mississippi, the county or the municipality and may be filed in the county in which the seizure is made, the county in which the criminal prosecution is brought or the county in which the owner of the seized property is found. Forfeiture proceedings may be brought in the circuit court or the county court if a county court exists in the county and the value of the seized property is within the jurisdictional limits of the county court as set forth in Section 9-9-21, Mississippi Code of 1972. A copy of such petition shall be served upon the following persons by service of process in the same manner as in civil cases:

(a) The owner of the property, if address is known;

(b) Any secured party who has registered his lien or filed a financing statement as provided by law, if the identity of such secured party can be ascertained by the Bureau of Narcotics or the local law enforcement agency by making a good faith effort to ascertain the identity of such secured party as described in subsections (3), (4), (5), (6) and (7) of this section;

(c) Any other bona fide lienholder or secured party or other person holding an interest in the property in the nature of a security interest of whom the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics or the local law enforcement agency has actual knowledge;

(d) Any holder of a mortgage, deed of trust, lien or encumbrance of record, if the property is real estate, by making a good faith inquiry as described in subsection (8) of this section; and

(e) Any person in possession of property subject to forfeiture at the time that it was seized.

(3) If the property is a motor vehicle susceptible of titling under the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Title Law and if there is any reasonable cause to believe that the vehicle has been titled, the Bureau of Narcotics or the local law enforcement agency shall make inquiry of the State Tax Commission as to what the records of the State Tax Commission show as to who is the record owner of the vehicle and who, if anyone, holds any lien or security interest which affects the vehicle.

(4) If the property is a motor vehicle and is not titled in the State of Mississippi, then the Bureau of Narcotics or the local law enforcement agency shall attempt to ascertain the name and address of the person in whose name the vehicle is licensed, and if the vehicle is licensed in a state which has in effect a certificate of title law, the bureau or the local law enforcement agency shall make inquiry of the appropriate agency of that state as to what the records of the agency show as to who is the record owner of the vehicle and who, if anyone, holds any lien, security interest or other instrument in the nature of a security device which affects the vehicle.

(5) If the property is of a nature that a financing statement is required by the laws of this state to be filed to perfect a security interest affecting the property and if there is any reasonable cause to believe that a financing statement covering the security interest has been filed under the laws of this state, the Bureau of Narcotics or the local law enforcement agency shall make inquiry of the appropriate office designated in Section 75-9-501, Mississippi Code of 1972, as to what the records show as to who is the record owner of the property and who, if anyone, has filed a financing statement affecting the property.

(6) If the property is an aircraft or part thereof and if there is any reasonable cause to believe that an instrument in the nature of a security device affects the property, then the Bureau of Narcotics or the local law enforcement agency shall make inquiry of the Mississippi Department of Transportation as to what the records of the Federal Aviation Administration show as to who is the record owner of the property and who, if anyone, holds an instrument in the nature of a security device which affects the property.

(7) In the case of all other personal property subject to forfeiture, if there is any reasonable cause to believe that an instrument in the nature of a security device affects the property, then the Bureau of Narcotics or the local law enforcement agency shall make a good faith inquiry to identify the holder of any such instrument.

(8) If the property is real estate, the Bureau of Narcotics or the local law enforcement agency shall make inquiry of the chancery clerk of the county wherein the property is located to determine who is the owner of record and who, if anyone, is a holder of a bona fide mortgage, deed of trust, lien or encumbrance.

(9) In the event the answer to an inquiry states that the record owner of the property is any person other than the person who was in possession of it when it was seized, or states that any person holds any lien, encumbrance, security interest, other interest in the nature of a security interest, mortgage or deed of trust which affects the property, the Bureau of Narcotics or the local law enforcement agency shall cause any record owner and also any lienholder, secured party, other person who holds an interest in the property in the nature of a security interest, or holder of an encumbrance, mortgage or deed of trust which affects the property to be named in the petition of forfeiture and to be served with process in the same manner as in civil cases.

(10) If the owner of the property cannot be found and served with a copy of the petition of forfeiture, or if no person was in possession of the property subject to forfeiture at the time that it was seized and the owner of the property is unknown, the Bureau of Narcotics or the local law enforcement agency shall file with the clerk of the court in which the proceeding is pending an affidavit to such effect, whereupon the clerk of the court shall publish notice of the hearing addressed to "the Unknown Owner of ," filling in the blank space with a reasonably detailed description of the property subject to forfeiture. Service by publication shall contain the other requisites prescribed in Section 11-33-41, and shall be served as provided in Section 11-33-37, Mississippi Code of 1972, for publication of notice for attachments at law.

(11) No proceedings instituted pursuant to the provisions of this article shall proceed to hearing unless the judge conducting the hearing is satisfied that this section has been complied with. Any answer received from an inquiry required by subsections (3) through (8) of this section shall be introduced into evidence at the hearing.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Mississippi may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.