The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 001 : GENERAL PROVISIONS(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 4522)
§ 4522. Unclaimed evidence
(a) Notwithstanding 27 V.S.A. chapter 14, upon final disposition of a charge relating to a violation of this part, a person shall reclaim and remove his or her property seized as evidence of the violation from the fish and wildlife warden or officer in possession of the property, or risk forfeiture of the property as provided in this section.
(b) At any time after the final disposition of a charge relating to a violation of this part, the Commissioner may serve notice upon the defendant, stating that the property shall be forfeited unless the defendant reclaims and removes the property within 60 days of receipt of written notice.
(c) Written notice may be delivered personally or by certified mail. If notice is provided by mail, notice shall be deemed received three days after mailing by the Department. Written notice that is mailed shall be sent to the defendant at the address indicated on the citation on which the seizure was based.
(d) Property unclaimed after 60 days from the date of receipt of notice shall be forfeited to the State and, at the discretion of the Commissioner, may be destroyed, sold, or donated to a governmental entity, nonprofit organization, or children's camp.
(e) If the State has knowledge that the seized property is owned by a person other than the defendant and the State wishes to dispose of the property, the State shall make a reasonable attempt to identify the owner and provide notice to that person in accordance with subsections (b) and (c) of this section.
(f) A person claiming to be the bona fide owner of the seized property who is not the defendant may provide evidence of ownership to the fish and wildlife warden or officer in possession of the property, and, if satisfied that the person is the bona fide owner, the warden or officer shall release the property to such person.
(g) After final disposition of a charge related to the seizure of the property, if the owner of the seized property is unknown, the Commissioner may publish notice twice, 14 days apart, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the evidence was seized. The notice shall include a description of the property, and if known, the date when the property was seized and the place where the property was seized. The notice shall state that the property is in the possession of the Commissioner, and that claims should be directed to the Commissioner. If no person claims the property within 60 days of the date of the first publication of notice, the property shall be forfeited to the Commissioner. At the discretion of the Commissioner, the property may be destroyed, sold, or donated to a governmental entity, nonprofit organization, or children's camp.
(h) This section shall not apply to property seized as evidence of a violation of section 4513, 4606, or 4747 of this title.
(i) Proceeds realized from property that the Commissioner has sold under this section shall be deposited in the Fish and Wildlife Fund. (Added 2001, No. 80 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 17, 2002; amended 2015, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 27.)