16-11-159. Forfeiture of contraband and property used in transporting contraband
(1) Upon the seizure of any contraband and within 10 working days after seizure of any equipment or property, the officer making the seizure shall:
(a) deliver an inventory of the property or contraband seized to the person from whom the seizure was made or to any other person having a right or interest in the seized property or contraband, if known; and
(b) file a copy of the inventory with the department if the tobacco product is contraband under part 1 of this chapter or with the department of justice if the tobacco product is contraband under parts 4 or 5 of this chapter.
(2) If a person other than the person from whom the property or contraband was seized, as described in subsection (1), does not notify the department that issued the notice of a written claim of ownership or right of possession of the items seized within 15 days of the date of the inventory required in subsection (1), the seized property or contraband is considered forfeited.
(3) If a person notifies the appropriate department in writing of a claim of ownership or right of possession of the items seized within 15 days of the date of inventory required in subsection (1), the person is entitled to a hearing on the claim or right. The hearing must be held before the issuing department's director or the director's designee, in accordance with the Montana Administrative Procedure Act. If the aggregate value of the seized property or contraband is more than $500, a person seeking the return of the property or contraband may, in lieu of requesting a hearing, bring an action in the district court of the county in which the property or contraband was seized.
(4) All property and contraband forfeited must be disposed of as provided in 16-11-158 .