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Title XX ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Chapter 311

previous next Effective - 02 Jan 1979, see footnotebottom

  311.840.  Action to forfeit seized liquor as contraband — notice — intervention — judgment — appeal — sale of forfeited liquor — liability of officers — prosecutor's duties. — 1.  Whenever any intoxicating liquor or other property having a value of more than fifty dollars is seized as contraband under any section of the liquor control law, the officer seizing such property, or the supervisor of liquor control, if the seizure is made by one of his agents, shall commence an action in the circuit court of the county in which such property is seized by filing a petition in the office of the clerk of said court in the name of the state of Missouri as plaintiff against the person from whom the property was seized as defendant, and there shall be a rebuttable presumption that said property is the property of the defendant from whom it was seized.  Said petition shall describe the property seized and the circumstances of the seizure and shall pray the court to make an order, declaring said liquor or other property to be contraband and directing said seizing officer or the supervisor of liquor control, if the seizure was made by the supervisor or one of his agents, to sell said property at public or private sale, subject to the approval of the said circuit court.  A summons shall be issued and process served on the defendant as in other civil suits.  The defendant shall file his answer within thirty days after service of process upon him, whether such service is personal service, service by mail, or service by publication.  After defendant's time for filing answer has expired, the court shall fix a day for hearing and said action shall be heard by the court without a jury and shall be conducted, except as otherwise in this chapter provided, as other cases under the code of civil procedure of the state of Missouri.

  2.  However, in addition to any other process provided by the civil code, the clerk of the circuit court shall cause to be published one time in some newspaper having a general circulation in the county where the action is pending, or if there be no newspaper of general circulation in the county, then in some newspaper of an adjoining county, a notice to all persons whom it may concern that said petition has been filed in said court, briefly describing the property seized, the time and circumstances of the seizure, the person from whom seized, and stating that any person claiming any interest in the property may, upon his own request, be made a party to the action and assert any claim he may have thereto within thirty days after the publication of said notice.

  3.  Any person claiming any interest in said property may intervene in said action within thirty days after the publication of said notice, setting forth any claim he may have to said property.

  4.  The court shall render such judgment as to it shall seem meet and just, and if it shall appear that any person who has made claim to said property is the owner thereof and was ignorant of the illegal use thereof and such illegal use was without his connivance or consent, express or implied, or if the court shall find that said property was not being illegally used at the time of seizure, the court shall relieve said property from forfeiture and restore it to the rightful owner, or if it shall appear that the claimant is the holder of a bona fide lien against the property, and that he was ignorant of the illegal use thereof and that such use was without his connivance or consent, express or implied, the court shall, first, if the lien so established is equal to or more than the value of the property, order said property to be delivered to the lienor.  Or, if the property is valued at more than the established lien and all costs of proceedings and sale, an order shall be made for the sale of said property by the seizing officer or by the supervisor of liquor control, if the seizure was made by him or one of his agents, at public or private sale, subject to the approval of the court, and out of the proceeds of such sale shall be paid:  Storage, if any, the lien, the cost of the proceedings, and the residue, if any, shall be paid into the general revenue fund of the state of Missouri.  If it shall be determined that no person, other than the defendant, has any interest in said property or that the person or persons having any interest in said property knew of or connived or gave consent, express or implied, to the illegal use thereof, and if it shall be found by the court that said property was, at the time it was seized, being illegally used and was contraband, as declared by any section of the liquor control law of the state of Missouri, the said property shall be declared to be forfeited to the state of Missouri, and the court shall order the officer who seized said property or the supervisor of liquor control, if the property was seized by one of his agents, to sell said property at public or private sale, subject to the approval of the court, and out of the proceeds of said sale shall be paid: The cost of storage, if any, cost of the proceedings of the case and the balance thereof shall be paid into the general revenue fund of the state of Missouri.

  5.  Appeals shall be allowed from the judgment of the circuit court as in other civil actions.

  6.  Whenever any liquor is sold under the provisions of this section, the officer selling it shall procure the proper excise stamps from the director of revenue and attach them to the container thereof, unless such liquor is already properly stamped, and he shall be reimbursed for the cost of said stamps out of the proceeds of the sale.

  7.  Under no circumstances shall the officer commencing said action on behalf of the state be liable for any costs or storage.

  8.  The supervisor of liquor control and his agents and any other officer authorized to make seizures of contraband under the liquor control law are each hereby authorized and empowered to call upon the prosecuting attorneys of the respective counties and the circuit attorney of the city of St. Louis and the attorney general of the state of Missouri to represent them in any proceeding hereunder, and thereafter it shall be the duty of such prosecuting or circuit attorney or the attorney general to proceed on behalf of the officer making such call according to the provisions of this chapter.

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(L. 1949 p. 320 § 4917, A.L. 1978 H.B. 1634)

Effective 1-02-79


---- end of effective   02 Jan 1979 ----

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