☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 513

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  513.647.  Transfer of property seized by state to federal agency, procedure — transfer not to be made unless violation is a felony — property owner may challenge, procedure. — 1.  No state or local law enforcement agency may transfer any property seized by the state or local agency to any federal agency for forfeiture under federal law until the prosecuting attorney and the circuit judge of the county in which the property was seized first review the seizure and approve the transfer to a federal agency, regardless of the identity of the seizing agency.  The prosecuting attorney and the circuit judge shall not approve any transfer unless it reasonably appears the activity giving rise to the investigation or seizure involves more than one state or unless it is reasonably likely to result in federal criminal charges being filed, based upon a written statement of intent to prosecute from the United States attorney with jurisdiction.  No transfer shall be made to a federal agency unless the violation would be a felony under Missouri law or federal law.

  2.  Prior to transfer, in an ex parte proceeding, the prosecuting attorney shall file with the court a statement setting forth the facts and circumstances of the event or occurrence which led to the seizure of the property and the parties involved, if known.  The court shall certify the filing, and notify by mailing to the last known address of the property owner that his property is subject to being transferred to the federal government and further notify the property owner of his right to file a petition stating legitimate grounds for challenging the transfer.  If within ninety-six hours after the filing of the statement by the prosecuting attorney, the property owner by petition shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the property should not be transferred to the federal government for forfeiture, the court shall delay such transfer until a hearing may be held.  If the court orders a delay in transfer, no later than ten days after the filing of a petition under this section and sections 513.649 and 513.651, a hearing shall be held unless the court deems, for good cause shown, that a continuance should be granted.  At the hearing, if the prosecutor has proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the investigation or seizure involved more than one state or that the nature of the investigation or seizure would be better pursued under the federal forfeiture statutes, the court shall order that the transfer shall be made.


(L. 1993 H.B. 562 § 6 subsecs. 1, 2, A.L. 2001 S.B. 5 & 21)

(1997) Section does not require a conviction for transfer to federal agency of seized property.  The application for transfer must cite the specific felony statute with the elements of the offense as well as sufficient evidence to find by a preponderance of the evidence that the property is sufficiently connected to the felony.  State v. Sledd, 949 S.W.2d 643 (W.D.Mo.).

(2000) Seizure occurred when city police stopped and arrested claimant for traffic violations and took possession of money found in car; divestment of claimant's possessory interests occurred at that point and not when money was transferred to federal agents. Also, transfer was improper without first obtaining approval from circuit judge and prosecutor.  Karpierz v. Easley, 31 S.W.3d 505 (Mo.App.W.D.).

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2001 ----

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