2019 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 11 - General Provisions
Part 7 - Disposition of Forfeited Property
§ 39-11-712. Sale of forfeited property.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 39-11-712 (2019)
  • (a) Whenever a judgment of forfeiture is rendered under this part, the court may authorize the attorney general to sell the property at public auction, subject to the orders and approval of the court. The court, in lieu of such sale, may order that the property be sold by any person having an interest in the real property whose interest has not been forfeited. The proceeds of the sale shall be subject to the orders of the court.

  • (b)

    • (1) If the court orders a property interest in property owned as tenants in common forfeited under this section to be sold, whether by a public official or by a person having an interest in the property as in subsection (a), the innocent spouse of a person whose property interest has been forfeited shall have the same right to the property interest as granted an innocent spouse in subdivision (b)(2) or (b)(3). If there is no spouse or if the spouse does not elect to pursue the rights provided in subdivision (b)(2) or (b)(3), then any other person or persons whose interest in the property has not been forfeited shall have the first right to purchase the forfeited interest for its fair market value prior to the court ordered sale. In order to exercise the first right to purchase, the person or persons must petition the appropriate circuit or criminal court at least thirty (30) days prior to the date the court ordered sale is to be conducted. If the person or persons do not purchase the forfeited property, the sale shall be conducted as provided by law. For the purposes of this subdivision (b)(1), “fair market value” is determined by taking an average of three (3) appraisals conducted by separate and qualified real estate appraisers selected by the court. Before any such purchase, the court shall approve the average of the appraisals for fair market value as reasonable.

    • (2)

      • (A) Notwithstanding subdivision (b)(1) to the contrary, if a court orders property forfeited under this section pursuant to subsection (a) and the property is held through tenancy by the entirety and one spouse's interest is not forfeited, then that spouse shall have the first right to purchase the forfeited expectancy interest in the property.

      • (B) A spouse purchasing the forfeited property interest in the manner specified in subdivision (b)(2)(A) shall take the property subject to all bona fide liens on the property. In order to exercise the right of purchase, the spouse shall petition the court that ordered the forfeiture for the purchase at fair market value at least fifteen (15) days prior to the court ordered sale.

      • (C) If the spouse does not purchase the forfeited expectancy interest, the spouse shall retain that spouse's interest as a tenant in common subject to all bona fide liens, and the forfeited expectancy interest shall be sold at public auction and the proceeds disbursed as provided for in § 39-11-713.

      • (D) If a party possessing a security interest in property being held by an innocent spouse institutes proceedings pursuant to its deed of trust or otherwise that results in the foreclosure and sale of the property, the innocent spouse shall be entitled to receive from the first proceeds of the sale an amount equal to an elective share as provided in § 31-4-101, subject to bona fide outstanding liens not satisfied by the remainder of the proceeds.

      • (E) If the innocent spouse predeceases the defendant spouse, if there are children of the innocent and guilty spouses, at least one (1) of whom is eighteen (18) years of age or younger on the date of the sale, and if the entity holding the right of expectancy is the state, then upon the sale of the property, one third (⅓) of the proceeds from the sale shall be allocated and divided equally among all the children, subject to all outstanding bona fide liens not satisfied by the remainder of the proceeds.

    • (3)

      • (A) Notwithstanding subdivision (b)(1) to the contrary, if the property subject to forfeiture under this section is property titled solely in the name of a guilty spouse or titled in the name of the guilty spouse as tenants in common with any other person or persons, the innocent spouse may petition the court, at least thirty (30) days prior to the court ordered forfeiture sale, to have the court vest the ownership of the property in the couple as tenants by the entirety; and the innocent spouse shall have the same rights as provided in subdivision (b)(2). If the petition is timely filed, it shall be granted.

      • (B) The filing of the petition shall act as a stay of any court ordered sale of the property and the stay shall remain in effect until disposition is made of the petition.

      • (C) If the innocent spouse does not petition the court to vest the property ownership in the couple as tenants by the entirety, then the property shall be forfeited and disposed of as provided by this section.

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