Senate File 155 - Introduced SENATE FILE 155 BY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY (SUCCESSOR TO SSB 1014) A BILL FOR An Act relating to procedural requirements in in rem forfeiture 1 proceedings. 2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 3 TLSB 1256SV (1) 84 rh/nh
S.F. 155 Section 1. Section 809A.13, subsection 3, Code 2011, is 1 amended to read as follows: 2 3. Only an owner of or an interest holder in the property 3 who has timely filed a proper claim pursuant to section 809A.11 4 may file an answer in an action in rem. For the purposes of 5 this section , an owner of or interest holder in property who 6 has filed a claim and an answer shall be referred to as a 7 claimant. 8 EXPLANATION 9 This bill relates to procedural requirements in in rem 10 forfeiture proceedings. 11 Code section 809A.13 provides that an in rem forfeiture 12 action may be brought by a prosecuting attorney by serving a 13 notice of pending forfeiture on the owner or interested party 14 or by filing a verified complaint of forfeiture in court. In 15 a case where the owner or interested party is served notice 16 of the pending forfeiture, Code section 809A.11 provides that 17 the owner or interested property owner can file, within 30 18 days after the effective notice date, a claim in the property. 19 No similar notice or claim requirements exist if the in rem 20 forfeiture action is commenced through the filing of a verified 21 complaint. The bill eliminates the procedural limitation that 22 only allows an owner or an interest holder in property that is 23 the subject of an in rem forfeiture action who has been served 24 notice of the pending forfeiture and who has filed a timely 25 claim to file an answer in the action. 26 The bill is in response to an Iowa Supreme Court decision 27 filed on April 9, 2010 (In re Young, 780 N.W.2d 726), in which 28 the court held this statutory provision unconstitutional 29 because the plain meaning of the statute precludes an aggrieved 30 property owner or interested party from filing an answer to the 31 state’s in rem forfeiture complaint in violation of state and 32 federal due process guarantees. 33 -1- LSB 1256SV (1) 84 rh/nh 1/ 1