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60-4109. Commencement of forfeiture proceedings. (a) Forfeiture proceedings shall be commenced by filing a notice of pending forfeiture or a judicial forfeiture action:

(1) If the plaintiff's attorney fails to initiate forfeiture proceedings by notice of pending forfeiture within 90 days against property seized for forfeiture or if the seizing agency fails to pursue forfeiture of the property upon which a proper claim has been timely filed by filing a judicial forfeiture proceeding within 90 days after notice of pending forfeiture, the property shall be released on the request of an owner or interest holder to such owner's or interest holder's custody, as custodian for the court, pending further proceedings pursuant to this act. Such custodianship shall not exceed 90 days following the release to the owner or interest holder unless an extension is authorized by the court for good cause shown.

(2) If, after notice of pending forfeiture, a claimant files a petition for recognition of exemption pursuant to K.S.A. 60-4110, and amendments thereto, the plaintiff's attorney may delay filing the judicial forfeiture proceeding for a total of 180 days after the notice of pending forfeiture except that if an interest holder timely files a proper petition documenting the complete nature and extent of such holder's interest, including all of the contractual terms and current status, the plaintiff's attorney may delay filing a judicial forfeiture proceeding only if such attorney provides each such petitioner with a written recognition of exemption within 60 days after the effective date of the notice of pending forfeiture, recognizing the interest of such petitioner to the extent of documented outstanding principal plus interest at the contract rate until paid and any attorney fees ordered by a court pursuant to such contract.

(3) Whenever notice of pending forfeiture or service of an in rem complaint or notice of a recognition of exemption and statement of nonexempt interests is required under this act, notice or service shall be given in accordance with one of the following:

(A) If the owner's or interest holder's name and current address are known, by either personal service by any person qualified to serve process or by any law enforcement officer or by mailing a copy of the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the known address, pursuant to the code of civil procedure;

(B) if the owner's or interest holder's name and address are required by law to be on record with a municipal, county, state or federal agency to perfect an interest in the property, and the owner's or interest holder's current address is not known, by mailing a copy of the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to any address of record with any of the described agencies, pursuant to the code of civil procedure; or

(C) if the owner's or interest holder's address is not known and is not on record as provided in subparagraph (B), or the owner's or interest holder's interest is not known, or if service by certified mail was attempted pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B) and was not effective, by publication in one issue of the official county newspaper, as defined by K.S.A. 64-101, and amendments thereto, in the county in which the seizure occurred.

(4) Notice is effective pursuant to the code of civil procedure, except that notice of pending forfeiture of real property is not effective until it is recorded. Notice of pending forfeiture shall include a description of the property, the date and place of seizure, the conduct giving rise to forfeiture or the violation of law alleged and a summary of procedures and procedural rights applicable to the forfeiture action. An affidavit describing the essential facts supporting forfeiture shall be included with the notice. Copies of judicial council forms for petitioning for recognition of an exemption pursuant to K.S.A. 60-4110, and amendments thereto, and for making a claim pursuant to K.S.A. 60-4111, and amendments thereto, shall be provided with the notice.

(b) The plaintiff's attorney, without a filing fee, may file a lien for the forfeiture of property upon the initiation of any civil or criminal proceeding relating to conduct giving rise to forfeiture under this act or upon seizure for forfeiture. Court costs may be assessed and, if assessed, shall include the amount of the docket fee prescribed by K.S.A. 60-2001, and amendments thereto, and any additional court costs accrued in the action. A plaintiff's attorney may also file a forfeiture lien in this state in connection with a proceeding or seizure for forfeiture in any other state under a state or federal statute substantially similar to the relevant provisions of this act. The filing constitutes notice to any person claiming an interest in the seized property or in property owned by the named person.

(1) The lien notice shall set forth the following:

(A) The name of the person and, in the discretion of the lienor, any alias, or the name of any corporation, partnership, trust or other entity, including nominees, that are owned entirely or in part or controlled by the person; and

(B) the description of the seized property, the criminal or civil proceeding that has been brought relating to conduct giving rise to forfeiture under this act, the amount claimed by the lienor, the name of the district court where the proceeding or action has been brought, and the case number of the proceeding or action if known at the time of filing.

(2) A lien filed pursuant to this subsection applies to the described seized property or to one named person, any aliases, fictitious names, or other names, including the names of any corporation, partnership, trust, or other entity, owned entirely or in part, or controlled by the named person, and any interest in real property owned or controlled by the named person. A separate forfeiture lien shall be filed for each named person.

(3) The notice of lien creates, upon filing, a lien in favor of the lienor as it relates to the seized property or the named person or related entities. The lien secures the amount of potential liability for civil judgment, and if applicable, the fair market value of seized property relating to all proceedings under this act enforcing the lien. The notice of forfeiture lien referred to in this subsection shall be filed in accordance with the provisions of the laws of this state relating to the type of property that is subject to the lien. The validity and priority of the forfeiture lien shall be determined in accordance with applicable law pertaining to liens. The lienor may amend or release, in whole or in part, a lien filed under this subsection at any time by filing, without a filing fee, an amended lien in accordance with this subsection which identifies the lien amended. The lienor, as soon as practical after filing the lien, shall furnish to any person named in the lien a notice of the filing of the lien. Failure to furnish notice under this subsection shall not invalidate or otherwise affect the lien.

(4) Upon entry of judgment in the seizing agency's favor, the seizing agency may proceed to execute on the lien as provided by law.

(5) A trustee, constructive or otherwise, who has notice that a notice of forfeiture lien, or a notice of pending forfeiture, or a civil forfeiture proceeding has been filed against the property or against any person or entity for whom the person holds title or appears as record owner, shall furnish within 14 days, to the seizing agency or the plaintiff's attorney all of the following information, unless all of the information is of record in the public records giving notice of liens on that type of property:

(A) The name and address of each person or entity for whom the property is held;

(B) the description of all other property whose legal title is held for the benefit of the named person; and

(C) a copy of the applicable trust agreement or other instrument, if any, under which the trustee or other person holds legal title or appears as record owner of the property.

(6) A trustee with notice who knowingly fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a class B nonperson misdemeanor.

(7) A trustee with notice who fails to comply with paragraph (5) is subject to a civil penalty of $100 for each day of noncompliance. The court shall enter judgment ordering payment of $100 for each day of noncompliance from the effective date of the notice until the required information is furnished or the seizing agency executes the seizing agency's judgment lien under this section.

(8) To the extent permitted by the constitutions of the United States and the state of Kansas, the duty to comply with paragraph (5) shall not be excused by any privilege or provision of law of this state or any other state or country which authorizes or directs that testimony or records required to be furnished pursuant to paragraph (5) are privileged, confidential and otherwise may not be disclosed.

(9) A trustee who furnishes information pursuant to paragraph (5) is immune from civil liability for the release of the information.

(10) An employee of the seizing agency or the plaintiff's attorney who releases the information obtained pursuant to paragraph (5), except in the proper discharge of official duties, is guilty of a class B nonperson misdemeanor.

(11) If any information furnished pursuant to paragraph (5) is offered in evidence, the court may seal that portion of the record or may order that the information be disclosed in a designated way.

(12) A judgment or an order of payment entered pursuant to this section becomes a judgment lien against the property alleged to be subject to forfeiture.

History: L. 1994, ch. 339, § 9; L. 2010, ch. 135, § 192; L. 2011, ch. 96, § 7; L. 2018, ch. 26, § 6; July 1.

Attorney General's Opinions:

Docket fees in asset forfeiture cases. 2012-13.


1. Ninety-day limit imposed on initiation of forfeiture proceedings does not deprive a district court of jurisdiction over such proceedings even when that limit is exceeded. State ex rel. Drug Enforcement Unit v. 17,023 in U.S. Currency, 50 K.A.2d 526, 532, 329 P.3d 551 (2014).

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