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Georgia State Code
Title       3
Chapter      10  
Section Navigation     1 ... 10           11 ... 15      
Section<<< 11 12 13 14 15  
Title 3, Chapter 10, Section 11 (3-10-11)

(a)(1) All apparatus or appliances which are used for the purpose of distilling or manufacturing any distilled spirits are declared to be contraband.

(2) No person shall have any property right in or to the contraband specified in this subsection.

(3) Whenever apparatus or appliances used or about to be used for the purpose of manufacturing, using, holding, or containing any distilled spirits are found or discovered by any sheriff, deputy sheriff, or other law enforcement officer of this state, the same shall be summarily destroyed and rendered useless by him without any formal order of the court.

(b)(1) All vehicles and conveyances of every kind and description in this state and all boats and vessels of every kind and description in any of the waters of this state, which vehicles and vessels are used in conveying, removing, concealing, or storing any distilled spirits, the transportation, possession, or storing of which is in violation of law, shall be seized and condemned by any sheriff or other arresting officer. Such vehicles, conveyances, boats, and vessels shall be subject to seizure and condemnation as specified in this Code section in any county or municipality of this state, including those counties and municipalities in which the sale of distilled spirits is lawful. The law enforcement officer making a seizure shall report the seizure within ten days after the seizure to the prosecuting attorney of the county, city, or superior court having jurisdiction in the county where the seizure was made.

(2) Within 30 days from the time the prosecuting attorney receives the notice, he shall institute condemnation proceedings by petition, a copy of which shall be served upon the owner or lessee, if known, and, if the owner or lessee is unknown, notice of the proceedings shall be published once a week for two weeks in the newspaper in which the sheriff's advertisements are published.

(3) If at the expiration of 30 days after the filing of a petition pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection no claimant has appeared to defend against the petition, the court shall order the disposition of the property as otherwise provided in this subsection.

(4) Should it appear upon the trial of the case that the vehicle, conveyance, boat, or vessel was used as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection with the knowledge of the owner or lessee, it shall be disposed of by order of the court after such advertisement as the court may direct.

(5) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, property forfeited pursuant to this subsection shall be disposed of by order of the court as follows:

(A) Upon application of the seizing law enforcement agency or any other law enforcement agency of state, county, or municipal government, the court shall permit the agency to retain the property for official use in law enforcement work; (B) That property which is not required to be destroyed by law and which is not harmful to the public shall be sold. The proceeds of such sale shall be used for payment of all proper expenses of the forfeiture and sale, including, but not limited to, the expenses of seizure, maintenance of custody, advertising, and court costs. The remainder of the proceeds of a sale of forfeited property, after the deductions authorized in this subparagraph for proper expenses, shall be paid into the general fund of the county in which the seizure is made.

(c) Where the owner or lessee of any property seized for purposes of condemnation absconds or conceals himself so that actual notice of the condemnation proceeding cannot be served upon him, he shall be served by publication as provided for in paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of this Code section in the case of an unknown owner or lessee.

(d)(1) All condemnation proceedings against any vehicle, conveyance, boat, or vessel shall be proceedings in rem against the property seized. The property shall be described only in general terms, and it is no ground for defense that the person who had the property in possession at the time of its illegal use and seizure had not been convicted of such violation.

(2) Any party at interest may appear, by answer under oath, and make defense. The owner or lessee shall be permitted to defend by showing that the property seized, if used illegally by another, was used without the knowledge, connivance, or consent, express or implied, of the owner or lessee and by showing also that the property seized, if a motor vehicle, was legally registered with the department in the true name and address of the owner or his predecessor in title, unless the vehicle is a new vehicle bought from a dealer within 30 days of the time of seizure. The holder of any bona fide lien on the property so seized shall be protected to the full extent of his lien if the holder shows that the illegal use of the property was without his knowledge, connivance, or consent, express or implied.

(e) The court to whom a petition for condemnation is referred may at its discretion allow any party at interest to give bond and take possession of the vehicle seized. In such cases the court shall determine whether the bond shall be a forthcoming bond or an eventual condemnation money bond and shall also determine the amount of the bond. The enforcement of any bond so given shall be regulated by the general law applicable to such cases.

(f) The court may permit a settlement between the parties at any stage of the proceeding by permitting the value of the vehicle or the value of the equity in the vehicle, as determined by the court, to be paid into court. Money so paid shall be distributed as provided by law in all cases of condemnation.

(g) The agency, state, county, or municipality seizing any contraband article may use any vessel, vehicle, aircraft, or other conveyance described in subsection (b) of this Code section for covert police activity for a period of up to 60 days prior to the sale of such vessel, vehicle, aircraft, or other conveyance, except that no vessel, vehicle, aircraft, or other conveyance shall be utilized for covert police activity prior to final judicial adjudication of lawful seizure.

Saturday May 23 20:51 EDT

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