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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 18 : Health

Chapter 084 : Possession and Control of Regulated Drugs

Subchapter 002 : Forfeiture

(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 4243)
  • § 4243. Judicial forfeiture procedure

    (a) Conviction or agreement required. An asset is subject to forfeiture by judicial determination under section 4241 of this title and 13 V.S.A. § 364 if:

    (1) a person is convicted of the criminal offense related to the action for forfeiture; or

    (2) a person enters into an agreement with the prosecutor under which he or she is not charged with a criminal offense related to the action for forfeiture.

    (b) Evidence. The State may introduce into evidence in the judicial forfeiture case the fact of a conviction in the Criminal Division of the Superior Court.

    (c) Burden of proof. The State bears the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the property is an instrument of or represents the proceeds of the underlying offense.

    (d) Notice. Within 60 days from when the seizure occurs, the State shall notify any owners, possessors, and lienholders of the property of the action, if known or readily ascertainable. Upon motion by the State, a court may extend the time period for sending notice for a period not to exceed 90 days for good cause shown.

    (e) Return of property. If notice is not sent in accordance with subsection (d) of this section, and no time extension is granted or the extension period has expired, the law enforcement agency shall return the property to the person from whom the property was seized. An agency’s return of property due to lack of proper notice does not restrict the agency’s authority to commence a forfeiture proceeding at a later time. Nothing in this subsection shall require the agency to return contraband, evidence, or other property that the person from whom the property was seized is not entitled to lawfully possess.

    (f) Filing of petition. The State shall file a petition for forfeiture of any property seized under section 4242 of this title promptly, but not more than 14 days from the date the preliminary order or process is issued. The petition shall be filed in the Superior Court of the county in which the property is located or in any court with jurisdiction over a criminal proceeding related to the property.

    (g) Service of petition. A copy of the petition shall be served on all persons named in the petition as provided for in Rule 4 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure. In addition, the State shall cause notice of the petition to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the State, as ordered by the court. The petition shall state:

    (1) the facts upon which the forfeiture is requested, including a description of the property subject to forfeiture, and the type and quantity of regulated drug involved;

    (2) the names of the apparent owner or owners, lienholders who have properly recorded their interests, and any other person appearing to have an interest; and, in the case of a conveyance, the name of the person holding title, the registered owner, and the make, model, and year of the conveyance. (Added 1985, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2015, No. 53, § 5; 2015, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 50.)