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(720 ILCS 5/36-2.7)
Innocent owner hearing.
(a) After a complaint for forfeiture has been filed and all claimants have appeared and answered, a claimant may file a motion with the court for an innocent owner hearing prior to trial. This motion shall be made and supported by sworn affidavit and shall assert the following along with specific facts that support each assertion:
(1) that the claimant filing the motion is the true
owner of the conveyance as interpreted by case law; and
(2) that the claimant did not know or did not have
reason to know the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture was likely to occur.
The claimant's motion shall include specific facts that support these assertions.
(b) Upon the filing, a hearing may only be conducted after the parties have been given the opportunity to conduct limited discovery as to the ownership and control of the property, the claimant's knowledge, or any matter relevant to the issues raised or facts alleged in the claimant's motion. Discovery shall be limited to the People's requests in these areas but may proceed by any means allowed in the Code of Civil Procedure.
(c) After discovery is complete and the court has allowed for sufficient time to review and investigate the discovery responses, the court shall conduct a hearing. At the hearing, the fact that the conveyance is subject to forfeiture shall not be at issue. The court shall only hear evidence relating to the issue of innocent ownership.
(d) At the hearing on the motion, the claimant shall bear the burden of proving each of the assertions listed in subsection (a) of this Section by a preponderance of the evidence. If a claimant meets the burden of proof, the court shall grant the motion and order the conveyance returned to the claimant. If the claimant fails to meet the burden of proof, the court shall deny the motion and the forfeiture case shall proceed according to the Code of Civil Procedure.
(Source: P.A. 100-512, eff. 7-1-18; 100-699, eff. 8-3-18.)