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(720 ILCS 5/36-2.5)
Judicial in rem procedures.
(a) The laws of evidence relating to civil actions shall apply to judicial in rem proceedings under this Article.
(b) Only an owner of or interest holder in the property may file an answer asserting a claim against the property in the action in rem. For purposes of this Section, the owner or interest holder shall be referred to as claimant. A person not named in the forfeiture complaint who claims to have an interest in the property may petition to intervene as a claimant under Section 2-408 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(c) The answer shall be filed with the court within 45 days after service of the civil in rem complaint.
(d) The trial shall be held within 60 days after filing of the answer unless continued for good cause.
(e) In its case in chief, the State shall show by a preponderance of the evidence that:
(1) the property is subject to forfeiture; and
(2) at least one of the following:
(i) the claimant knew or should have known that
the conduct was likely to occur; or
(ii) the claimant is not the true owner of the
property that is subject to forfeiture.
In any forfeiture case under this Article, a claimant may present evidence to overcome evidence presented by the State that the property is subject to forfeiture.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, the State's burden of proof at the trial of the forfeiture action shall be by clear and convincing evidence if:
(1) a finding of not guilty is entered as to all
counts and all defendants in a criminal proceeding relating to the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture action; or
(2) the State receives an adverse finding at a
preliminary hearing and fails to secure an indictment in a criminal proceeding related to the factual allegations of the forfeiture action.
(g) If the State does not meet its burden of proof, the court shall order the interest in the property returned or conveyed to the claimant and shall order all other property in which the State does meet its burden of proof forfeited to the State. If the State does meet its burden of proof, the court shall order all property forfeited to the State.
(h) A defendant convicted in any criminal proceeding is precluded from later denying the essential allegations of the criminal offense of which the defendant was convicted in any proceeding under this Article regardless of the pendency of an appeal from that conviction. However, evidence of the pendency of an appeal is admissible.
(i) An acquittal or dismissal in a criminal proceeding shall not preclude civil proceedings under this Act; however, for good cause shown, on a motion by either party, the court may stay civil forfeiture proceedings during the criminal trial for a related criminal indictment or information alleging a violation of law authorizing forfeiture under Section 36-1 of this Article.
(j) Title to all property declared forfeited under this Act vests in this State on the commission of the conduct giving rise to forfeiture together with the proceeds of the property after that time. Except as otherwise provided in this Article, any property or proceeds subsequently transferred to any person remain subject to forfeiture unless a person to whom the property was transferred makes an appropriate claim under or has the claim adjudicated at the judicial in rem hearing.
(k) No property shall be forfeited under this Article from a person who, without actual or constructive notice that the property was the subject of forfeiture proceedings, obtained possession of the property as a bona fide purchaser for value. A person who purports to transfer property after receiving actual or constructive notice that the property is subject to seizure or forfeiture is guilty of contempt of court and shall be liable to the State for a penalty in the amount of the fair market value of the property.
(l) A civil action under this Article shall be commenced within 5 years after the last conduct giving rise to forfeiture became known or should have become known or 5 years after the forfeitable property is discovered, whichever is later, excluding any time during which either the property or claimant is out of the State or in confinement or during which criminal proceedings relating to the same conduct are in progress.
(m) If property is ordered forfeited under this Article from a claimant who held title to the property in joint tenancy or tenancy in common with another claimant, the court shall determine the amount of each owner's interest in the property according to principles of property law.
(Source: P.A. 100-512, eff. 7-1-18; 100-699, eff. 8-3-18; 100-1163, eff. 12-20-18.)