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Procedure when goods are confiscated.

In all cases of seizure of any goods, wares, merchandise, or other property hereafter made as being subject to forfeiture under provisions of this article:

(1) The officer or person making the seizure shall cause a list containing a particular description of the goods, wares, merchandise or other property seized to be prepared in duplicate.  The list shall be properly attested by the officer.

(2) The Department of Revenue shall then proceed to post a notice for three weeks on its web site describing the articles and stating the time and place and cause of their seizure and requiring any person claiming them to appear and make such claim in writing within 30 days from the date of the first posting of such notice.

(3) Any person claiming the goods, wares or merchandise, or other property so seized as contraband within the time specified in the notice may file with the Department of Revenue a claim in writing, stating the person’s interest in the articles seized and may execute a bond to the Department of Revenue in a penal sum equal to double the value of the goods so seized, but in no case shall the bond be less than the sum of $200, with sureties to be approved by the clerk of the circuit court in the county in which the goods are seized, conditioned that in the case of condemnation of the articles so seized, the obligors shall pay to the Department of Revenue the full value of the goods so seized and all costs and expenses of the proceedings to obtain such condemnation, including a reasonable attorney's fee.  And upon the delivery of such bond to the Department of Revenue, it shall transmit the same with the duplicate list or description of the goods seized to the district attorney of the circuit in which such seizure was made, and the district attorney shall file a complaint in the circuit court of the county where the seizure was made to secure the forfeiture of the goods, wares, merchandise or other property.  Upon the filing of the bond, the goods shall be delivered to the claimant pending the outcome of the case;  provided, that the claimant must purchase the proper stamps to be affixed to each article of tobacco before the goods are delivered to the claimant by the Department of Revenue.

(4) If no claim is interposed and no bond given within the time above specified, such goods, wares, merchandise or other property shall be forfeited without further proceedings and the same shall be destroyed, if tobacco goods, or sold at auction, if a vehicle.  The proceeds of sale when received by the Department of Revenue shall be turned in to the Treasury as other revenues are required by law to be turned in.   The proceedings against goods, merchandise or other property pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be considered as proceedings in rem unless otherwise provided.  Should the Department of Revenue have to resort to the courts for collection of the tax due and assessed, no advertisement shall be made and the confiscated tobaccos may be held as evidence pending the results of court action.

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