2015 ORS 131.564¹
Status of seized property
  • release
  • maintenance and use

(1)(a) Except as otherwise provided in ORS 131.550 (Definitions for ORS 131.550 to 131.600) to 131.600 (Record keeping and reporting requirements), property seized for criminal forfeiture is not subject to replevin, conveyance, sequestration or attachment. The seizure of property or the commencement of a criminal forfeiture proceeding under ORS 131.550 (Definitions for ORS 131.550 to 131.600) to 131.600 (Record keeping and reporting requirements) does not abate, impede or in any way delay the initiation or prosecution of a suit or action by a financial institution for the possession of seized property in which the financial institution has or purports to have a lien or security interest or for the foreclosure of such lien or security interest. A financial institution may proceed with any suit or action involving property in which it has a lien or security interest even though a seizure has occurred and criminal forfeiture proceedings have been or will be commenced. If property that may be subject to criminal forfeiture is sold prior to the conclusion of the forfeiture proceedings, the sheriff, trustee or other person who is conducting the sale and who has actual notice of the forfeiture proceedings shall distribute the sale proceeds as follows:

(A) To the expenses of the sale;

(B) If the property is a motor vehicle with a hidden compartment, to reimburse the seizing agency for the cost of disabling the hidden compartment;

(C) To the payment of the obligations owed to the foreclosing financial institution that are secured by the property and to any other person whose lien or security interest in the property has been foreclosed in the suit or action in the order determined by the court; and

(D) The surplus, if any, shall be distributed to the seizing agency, or to the court in which the forfeiture proceedings are pending.

(b) The sheriff, trustee or other person who distributes the sale proceeds as provided in this subsection is not liable to any person who has or asserts an interest in the property.

(2) Within 30 days following seizure of property for criminal forfeiture, the seizing agency, in consultation with the district attorney of the county in which the property was seized for forfeiture, shall determine whether it will seek the forfeiture of the property. If the seizing agency elects not to seek forfeiture, it shall pay all costs and expenses relating to towing and storage of the property, and shall cause to be discharged any possessory chattel liens arising under ORS 87.152 (Possessory lien for labor or material expended on chattel) to 87.162 (Landlord's lien) that have attached to the property since its seizure and release the property. The property may be released to a person other than the person from whose custody or control the property was taken if the seizing agency or forfeiture counsel first mails to the last-known addresses of all persons known to have an interest in the property a notice of intent to release the property. The notice must specify the person to whom the property is to be released and must detail the time and place of the release. An agency that complies with the provisions of this subsection by paying costs and expenses of towing and storage, discharging possessory liens, mailing any required notices and releasing the property is not liable for its actions under this subsection or for any consequences thereof. If the property is a motor vehicle with a hidden compartment, the seizing agency is not liable for any diminution in the value of the property as a result of disabling the compartment.

(3) A seizing agency shall, pending criminal forfeiture and final disposition and subject to the need to retain the property in any criminal proceeding, provide that property in the physical custody of the seizing agency be serviced or maintained as may be reasonably appropriate to preserve the value of the property.

(4) A seizing agency may, pending criminal forfeiture and final disposition and subject to the need to retain seized property in any criminal proceeding:

(a) Provide that the seized property be transferred for criminal forfeiture to any city, county, state or federal agency with criminal forfeiture authority, provided that no such transfer may have the effect of diminishing or reducing the rights of any third party under ORS 131.550 (Definitions for ORS 131.550 to 131.600) to 131.600 (Record keeping and reporting requirements).

(b) Apply to the court for an order providing that the seized property may be sold, leased, rented or operated in the manner and on the terms that may be specified in the court’s order. The court shall deny any application unless the sale, lease, rental or operation of the property will be conducted in a commercially reasonable manner and will not result in a material reduction of the property’s value. The court may enter an order only:

(A) After notice and opportunity to be heard is provided to all persons known to have or to claim an interest in the property; and

(B) With the consent of all persons holding security interests of record in the property.

(c) Provide that the seized property be removed to a storage area for safekeeping.

(5) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the seizing agency shall hold the proceeds of the sale, leasing, renting or operation under subsection (4) of this section and the rights of holders of security interests of record in the property attach to the proceeds of the sale, leasing, renting or operation in the same order of priority as interests attached to the property.

(6)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection and except for currency with apparent or known intrinsic collector value, all cash seized for criminal forfeiture, together with all cash received from the sale, leasing, renting or operation of the property, must be immediately deposited in an insured interest-bearing forfeiture trust account or accounts maintained by the seizing agency exclusively for this purpose. Cash may be retained as evidence in a criminal proceeding but must be deposited immediately when the need to retain it as evidence is discharged.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this subsection, all cash seized for criminal forfeiture that at the time of seizure is deposited in any form of account in a financial institution may remain in the account in the financial institution. From the time of seizure until the criminal forfeiture proceeding is abandoned, or until a court ultimately enters a judgment granting or denying criminal forfeiture or enters a judgment of dismissal, all deposits except the deposit of interest by the financial institution, withdrawals or other transactions involving the account are prohibited, unless approved by the court.

(c) Subject to any court order, interest earned upon cash deposited in a forfeiture trust account or held in an account in a financial institution under this subsection must be disbursed as follows:

(A) If the criminal forfeiture proceeding is abandoned, or if the court ultimately enters a judgment denying criminal forfeiture or a judgment of dismissal, the seizing agency shall pay any interest earned, together with the cash deposited in the forfeiture trust account in connection with the seizure in question, to the person from whom it was seized, and the seizing agency shall release any interest earned, together with the cash deposited in an account in a financial institution, to the person from whom it was seized.

(B) If a judgment of criminal forfeiture is entered, but parties other than the seizing agency establish rights to portions of the amount that are in the aggregate larger than or equal to the cash on deposit plus interest earned thereon, the seizing agency shall disburse the interest, together with the cash on deposit, to the parties in the order of their priority.

(C) If a judgment of criminal forfeiture is entered and the total amount arising out of the seizure that is on deposit in the forfeiture trust account or in an account in a financial institution, including interest earned on moneys deposited, is greater than the aggregate amount needed to satisfy the established interests of security interest holders, lienholders and other claimants, the seizing agency shall retain the balance remaining after payment by the seizing agency to parties.

(7) If the property seized for criminal forfeiture consists of stocks, bonds, promissory notes or other security or evidence of indebtedness, and the property is held in some form of account in a financial institution, the property may remain in the account pending a final decision in the criminal forfeiture proceedings. Unless otherwise allowed by order of the court, no transactions involving the account may be permitted other than the deposit or reinvestment of dividends or other normally recurring payments on the property. Any accrual to the value of the property during the pendency of criminal forfeiture proceedings must be disbursed in the manner provided for the disbursement of interest under subsection (6) of this section.

(8) When property has been seized for criminal forfeiture or a notice of criminal forfeiture has been filed, an owner of or interest holder in the property may file a motion seeking an order to show cause. The motion must be filed no later than 15 days after the owner or interest holder received notice or actual knowledge of the seizure, whichever is earlier. At the time a person files a motion under this subsection, the person must serve a copy of the motion on the forfeiture counsel and the defendant, if any. When a motion is filed under this subsection, the court shall issue an order to show cause to the seizing agency for a hearing on the sole issue of whether probable cause for criminal forfeiture of the property exists. If the court finds that there is no probable cause for criminal forfeiture of the property, the property seized for criminal forfeiture or subjected to the notice of criminal forfeiture must be released pending the outcome of a judicial proceeding under ORS 131.582 (Prosecution of criminal forfeiture). As used in this subsection, "owner" or "interest holder" does not include the defendant. [2005 c.830 §6; 2009 c.874 §4]


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 131—Preliminary Provisions; Limitations; Jurisdiction; Venue; Criminal Forfeiture; Crime Prevention, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors131.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.