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New Jersey Statutes, Title: 33, INTOXICATING LIQUORS
Section: 33:1-66: Seizure of unlawful property; bond or cash for return; replevin; forfeiture, sale, etc., of unclaimed property; hearing; certain property subject to s
a. Any officer knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe, that any person is engaged in unlawful alcoholic beverage activity, it shall be his duty to investigate, under proper search warrant when necessary, which it shall be his further duty to apply for, and to seize all property which he shall know, or have reasonable ground to believe is unlawful property, including in the case of illicit alcoholic beverages within any vehicle, the vehicle containing the same, and to arrest all persons whom he shall know, or have reasonable ground to believe, are committing, or have committed, a misdemeanor under this chapter and to make complaint against such persons as in other cases of misdemeanors. All property when seized shall be under the jurisdiction of the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control subject to this chapter.
Any seized property shall be returned to any person claiming the same upon execution and delivery by him to the director of a bond in a form and with sureties satisfactory to the director in a sum double the retail value of the property, as appraised by the director, conditioned, (1) to pay to the director for the use of the State the full retail value of such property in case the same shall appear to have been unlawful property, and (2) in case it shall appear that said property was not unlawful property, to pay such part of the retail value thereof as may represent the value of the outstanding right, title, interest, lien or claim of any other person, to such other person, which bond shall be enforceable, as other obligations for payment of money, by civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction, first by the director, to be instituted within one year from the date thereof, and, secondly, by such other person as third party beneficiaries, at any time after final judgment in such action by the director, or after the expiration of said year in case no such action shall have been instituted by the director in the meantime.
In lieu of such bond, the claimant to the seized property may pay to the director for the use of the State the retail value thereof in cash, as appraised by the director, under protest, subject to the right of the person making the payment to recover such sum upon establishing that the property was not unlawful property by an action to be commenced within one year from the date of such payment, and not thereafter, in any court of competent jurisdiction.
Such claimant may, in lieu of either remedy, bring an action for the replevin of the property against the director in any court of competent jurisdiction according to the forms and procedure including the delivery of a bond, of such court, such action to be commenced within thirty days from the seizure of such property and not thereafter.
If the director shall be satisfied that property seized was not unlawful property he may return the same to the person from whom or the place from which the same was taken. If any seized property shall not be reclaimed within thirty days, after determination by him that such property is unlawful property, and subject to rules and regulations, the director shall forfeit such property and may, in his discretion, order that the seized property in whole or in part be sold, destroyed or retained for the use of hospitals and State, county and municipal institutions. The forfeiture of any seized property shall terminate all property interests therein and in any proceeds therefrom, including the interests of the owner, any conditional vendor, chattel mortgagee or other lienor and all other persons.
No such forfeiture, sale, destruction or retention for use of hospitals and State, county and municipal institutions shall be had except after hearing, of which notice, of not less than fifteen nor more than thirty days, shall be given by mail to all persons known or believed by the director to have an interest in the seized property and by publication twice in a newspaper to be designated by the director and circulating in the county where the property was seized, once in each of the two consecutive calendar weeks preceding such hearing. After such hearing, the director shall file his determination in the form of an order which shall be subject to review by the Superior Court in a proceeding in lieu of prerogative writ.
All moneys received by the director hereunder shall be reserved during the time allowed any person an opportunity of establishing a right thereto and shall immediately thereafter be accounted for by the director as in the case of license fees received hereunder.
All sales by the director shall convey the director's right, title and interest which shall be that of sole and absolute ownership, free and clear of all outstanding title, rights, interest and liens.
Property seized and released shall thereafter be subject to further seizure because of ownership, possession or use thereof in connection with further unlawful alcoholic beverage activities.
b. All alcoholic beverages, fixtures and personal property located in or upon any premises, building, yard or inclosure connected with a building, in which an illicit beverage is found, possessed, stored or kept, are hereby declared unlawful property and shall be seized, forfeited and disposed of in the same manner as other unlawful property seized under this section.
c. All alcoholic beverages manufactured, sold, imported or transported in violation of rules and regulations, together with any vehicle containing the same, are hereby declared unlawful property and shall be seized, forfeited and disposed of in the same manner as other unlawful property seized under this section.
d. Any contrivance, preparation, compound, tablet, substance or recipe advertised, designed or intended for use in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages for personal consumption or otherwise in violation of this chapter is hereby declared unlawful property and shall be seized, forfeited and disposed of in the same manner as other unlawful property seized under this section. Any person who shall advertise, manufacture, sell or possess for sale, or cause to be advertised, manufactured, sold or possessed for sale property declared unlawful under this paragraph, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) and not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), or imprisonment for not less than thirty days and not more than six months, or both.
e. The director upon being satisfied that a person whose property has been seized or forfeited pursuant to the provisions of this section has acted in good faith and has unknowingly violated the provisions thereof, may order that such property be returned upon payment of the reasonable costs incurred in connection with the seizure, such costs to be determined by the director.
The director may, upon being satisfied that a common carrier, whose vehicle has been seized under the provisions of this chapter, has acted in good faith and had no knowledge at the time of the seizure, that the vehicle contained illicit alcoholic beverages, order that the seized vehicle be returned to the common carrier.
f. The director, upon being satisfied that a person having a bona fide and valid lien upon or interest in property seized or forfeited pursuant to the provisions of this section has acted in good faith and had no knowledge of the unlawful use to which the property was put or of such facts as would have led a person of ordinary prudence to discover such use, may, in his discretion and subject to rules and regulations, recognize the validity and priority of such claim or interest. Where the validity and priority of a lien or interest have been so recognized by the director, he may (1) order, where it appears that the amount or value of such lien or interest exceeds the value of the property plus costs, that the property be returned to the innocent claimant upon payment of the reasonable costs incurred in connection with the seizure, such costs to be determined by the director, or (2) order that the property be sold and that the amount of the lien or value of the interest, which amount or value shall be established to the satisfaction of the director, be paid out of the proceeds of sale after having deducted therefrom the reasonable costs incurred in connection with the seizure, such costs to be determined by the director.
Amended by L.1953, c. 32, p. 577, s. 3, eff. March 19, 1953.
This section added to the Rutgers Database: 2012-09-26 13:37:50.
Older versions of 33:1-66 (if available):
Court decisions that cite this statute: CLICK HERE.