A. In the event of a seizure for forfeiture under section 13-4305, the property is not subject to replevin, conveyance, sequestration or attachment but is deemed to be in the custody of the law enforcement agency making the seizure for forfeiture. The seizing agency or the attorney for the state may authorize the release of the seizure for forfeiture of the property if forfeiture or retention is unnecessary, may transfer the property to any other state agency or may transfer the action to another attorney for the state by discontinuing forfeiture proceedings in favor of forfeiture proceedings initiated by the other agency or attorney. Except as provided in subsections I and J of this section, the seizing agency or the attorney for the state may not transfer or refer seized property to a federal agency.  An action pursuant to this chapter shall be consolidated with any other action or proceeding pursuant to this title relating to the same property on motion by the attorney for the state in either action.

Terms Used In Arizona Laws 13-4306

  • Action: includes any matter or proceeding in a court, civil or criminal. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
  • Attorney for the state: means an attorney designated by the attorney general, by a county attorney or by a city attorney to investigate, commence and prosecute an action under this chapter. See Arizona Laws 6-237
  • Conduct: means an act or omission and its accompanying culpable mental state. See Arizona Laws 3-1703
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Fair market value: The price at which an asset would change hands in a transaction between a willing, informed buyer and a willing, informed seller.
  • Government: means the state, any political subdivision of the state or any department, agency, board, commission, institution or governmental instrumentality of or within the state or political subdivision. See Arizona Laws 3-1703
  • including: means not limited to and is not a term of exclusion. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • Owner: means a person who is not a secured party within the meaning of section 47-9102 and who has an interest in property, whether legal or equitable. See Arizona Laws 6-237
  • Peace officer: means any person vested by law with a duty to maintain public order and make arrests and includes a constable. See Arizona Laws 3-1703
  • Person: means a human being and, as the context requires, an enterprise, a public or private corporation, an unincorporated association, a partnership, a firm, a society, a government, a governmental authority or an individual or entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property. See Arizona Laws 3-1703
  • Possession: means a voluntary act if the defendant knowingly exercised dominion or control over property. See Arizona Laws 3-1703
  • Property: means anything of value, tangible or intangible. See Arizona Laws 3-1703
  • Seizing agency: means any department or agency of this state or its political subdivisions which regularly employs peace officers, and which employs the peace officer who seizes property for forfeiture, or such other agency as the seizing agency may designate in a particular case by its chief executive officer or his designee. See Arizona Laws 6-237
  • Seizure for forfeiture: means seizure of property by a peace officer coupled with an assertion by the seizing agency or by an attorney for the state that the property is subject to forfeiture. See Arizona Laws 6-237

B. If property is seized for forfeiture under section 13-4305, pending forfeiture and final disposition, the seizing agency may do any of the following:

1. Remove the property to a storage area for safekeeping or, if the property is a negotiable instrument or money, deposit it in an interest bearing account.

2. Remove the property to a place designated by the court.

3. Provide for another custodian or agency to take custody of the property and remove it to an appropriate location within the jurisdiction of the court.

C. As soon as practicable after seizure for forfeiture, the seizing agency shall conduct an inventory and estimate the value of the property seized. Within twenty days the seizing agency or the attorney for the state shall make reasonable efforts to provide notice of seizure for forfeiture to all persons known to have an interest in the seized property.

D. A person who acts in good faith and in a reasonable manner to comply with an order of the court or a request of a peace officer is not liable to any person for acts done in compliance with the order or request.

E. A possessory lien of a person from whose possession property is seized is not affected by the seizure.

F. In the event of a seizure for forfeiture under section 13-4305, the seizing agency shall send to an attorney for the state a written request for forfeiture within twenty days, which shall include a statement of facts and circumstances of the seizure, including the names of witnesses then known, the appraised or estimated value of the property and a summary of the facts relied on for forfeiture.

G. An owner of property seized for forfeiture may obtain the release of the seized property by posting with the attorney for the state a surety bond or cash in an amount equal to the full fair market value of the property as determined by the attorney for the state. The state may refuse to release the property if any of the following applies:

1. The bond or cash tendered is inadequate.

2. The property is retained as contraband or evidence.

3. The property is particularly altered or designed for use in conduct giving rise to forfeiture.

H. If an owner of property posts a surety bond or cash and the property is forfeited the court shall forfeit the surety bond or cash in lieu of the property.

I. The seizing agency or the attorney for the state may not enter into any agreement to transfer or refer seized property to a federal agency for the purpose of forfeiture if the property was seized pursuant to an investigation that either:

1. Did not involve a federal agency.

2. Involves a violation of a state law and no violation of a federal law is alleged.

J. Property that is seized in a joint investigation may not be transferred or referred to a federal agency for the purpose of forfeiture unless the gross estimated value of the seized property is more than seventy-five thousand dollars.

K. This section does not prohibit:

1. The federal government or any of its agencies from seizing property, seeking forfeiture pursuant to federal law and sharing property that is forfeited pursuant to federal law with a state or local law enforcement agency that participates in a joint investigation.

2. A state or local law enforcement agency from participating in a joint investigation.

L. For the purposes of this section, "joint investigation" means an investigation in which a state or local law enforcement agency directly participates in the investigation or enforcement of a federal criminal law with a federal agency and the investigation or enforcement results in a seizure.