H. B. 2521
(By Delegates Skaff and Marcum)
[Introduced February 18, 2013; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §60A-7-705a, relating
to the West Virginia Contraband Forfeiture Act; revising
procedures for administrative forfeiture of certain types of
property involved in the trafficking of controlled substances;
establishing time frames; and providing for notice.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §60A-7-705a, to read as
ARTICLE 7. WEST VIRGINIA CONTRABAND FORFEITURE ACT.
§60A-7-705a. Additional procedures for forfeiture.
_____(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section seven hundred
five of this article, forfeitable moneys, securities, other negotiable instruments, conveyances and other personal property are
subject to administrative forfeiture by the prosecuting attorney of
a county or duly appointed special prosecutor.
_____(b) An administrative forfeiture notice shall be provided by
the prosecuting attorney after the seizure of the property in
question. The notice shall contain the following:
_____(1) A description of the property seized;
_____(2) A statement as to who is responsible for the seizure;
_____(3) A statement of the time and place of seizure;
_____(4) The identity of the owner or owners of the property, if
_____(5) The identity of the person or persons in possession of the
property at the time seized.
_____(c) The administrative forfeiture notice shall be provided to
the possessor and the owner or owners of the seized property, if
known, at their last known address by certified mail, return
_____(d) If no owner or possessor can be located with diligent
effort and if the notice, provided in subsection (c) of this
section to the last known address of any such person, is returned
unclaimed or refused, then no further notice is required.
_____(e) The administrative forfeiture notice shall include a
statement substantially as follows: "To any claimant to the within
described property: "The property is subject to administrative forfeiture unless you provide a written notice, within thirty days
of receipt of this notice, that you wish to contest this
forfeiture. If you fail to provide a notice to the prosecuting
attorney, you will immediately and forever lose all right, claim,
title and interest to the subject property, and the property will
be disposed of according to law."
_____(f) If, after thirty days of the delivery of notice from the
prosecuting attorney as provided in subsections (c), (d) and (e) of
this section, no notice is received from any person indicating a
desire to contest the administrative forfeiture, all right, title
and interest to the subject property shall immediately vest in the
state, and shall be disposed of in the same manner as in a civil
_____(g) If notice is received from any person, within the required
period of time, indicating a desire to contest the administrative
forfeiture, then no forfeiture may be obtained except through a
civil forfeiture proceeding under section seven hundred five of
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for the
prosecuting attorney of a county or duly appointed special
prosecutor additional procedures for forfeiture of contraband
property involved in the trafficking of controlled substances.
This section is new; therefore, it has been completely