An Act To Strengthen Protections against Civil Asset Forfeiture
Sec. 1. 15 MRSA §5821, first ¶, as amended by IB 1999, c. 1, §2, is further amended to read:
Except as provided in section 5821-A, the following are subject to forfeiture to the State and no property right may exist in them if the owner of the following is convicted of a crime in which the following was involved:
Sec. 2. 15 MRSA §5821, sub-§3-A, as repealed and replaced by PL 2013, c. 588, Pt. A, §19, is amended to read:
Post-hearing procedures are as provided in section 5822.
A confiscated or forfeited firearm that was confiscated or forfeited because it was used to commit a homicide must be destroyed by the State unless the firearm was stolen and the rightful owner was not the person who committed the homicide, in which case the firearm must be returned to the owner if ascertainable . ;
Sec. 3. 15 MRSA §5821, sub-§3-B, as enacted by PL 2013, c. 328, §2, is amended to read:
A firearm subject to forfeiture pursuant to this subsection that is declared by a court to be forfeited pursuant to section 5822 must be promptly destroyed, or caused to be promptly destroyed, by the law enforcement agency that has custody of the firearm . ;
Sec. 4. 15 MRSA §5821, sub-§7-A, as amended by PL 2011, c. 597, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 5. 15 MRSA §5821, sub-§10 is enacted to read:
Sec. 6. 15 MRSA §5825, as amended by PL 1991, c. 780, Pt. Y, §116, is further amended to read:
§ 5825. Records
The records shall must be open to inspection by all federal and state officers responsible for enforcing federal and state drug control laws. A copy of each record must be filed with the Department of Public Safety. Persons making final disposition or destruction of the property under court order shall report, under oath, to the court the exact circumstances or of the disposition or destruction.
This bill requires that for property to be forfeited under the criminal forfeiture laws the owner of the property be convicted of a crime in which the property was involved, and it prohibits a law enforcement agency or other entity from circumventing the law by an agreement to transfer or refer the property seized to a federal agency. This bill also requires that the records of forfeited property be posted by the Department of Public Safety on a publicly accessible website.