Chapter 10.46
CIVIL FORFEITURE ACTIONS

Sections:

10.46.010    Definitions.

10.46.020    Authority of prosecuting attorney.

10.46.030    Authority of the Sheriff.

10.46.040    Civil forfeiture property - Duties.

10.46.050    Civil forfeiture property - Disposition of surplus property.

10.46.010 Definitions.

In this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise,

(1) "Civil forfeiture action" means a judicial or non-judicial proceeding authorized by chapter 69.50, 9.41, 9A.82, 9A.83, or 10.105 of the Revised Code of Washington as now or hereafter amended.

(2) "Civil forfeiture property" means property acquired or held by the county as a result of a civil forfeiture action unless and until the property is retained for official use.

(3) "Task force commander" has the meaning given in SCC 3.67.010.

(Added Ord. 00-005, § 1, March 22, 2000, Eff date April 2, 2000; Ord. 04-014, Feb. 11, 2004, Eff date Mar. 4, 2004).

10.46.020 Authority of prosecuting attorney.

(1) The prosecuting attorney shall have the authority and discretion to bring, join, compromise or settle civil forfeiture actions on behalf of the county, or on behalf of the county and other jurisdictions where authorized by interlocal agreement, without the need for further approval from the county executive or council. The prosecuting attorney shall obtain approval from the Sheriff before compromising or settling any civil forfeiture action in which the forfeitable property interest at issue has a fair market value in excess of $50,000.

(2) Upon bringing or joining a civil forfeiture action against real property, the prosecuting attorney shall provide the property management division with all information in his or her possession or control relating to the condition of the property. Within a reasonable time after receiving the information, the property management division shall provide the prosecuting attorney with a written report stating the results of an environmental or other risk assessment or that no risk assessment will be performed. The prosecuting attorney shall consider the report before obtaining an interest in the real property for the county.

(3) The prosecuting attorney shall provide a report of actions taken by the prosecuting attorney under this section to the county executive and county council on a quarterly basis.

(Added Ord. 00-005, § 1, March 22, 2000, Eff date April 2, 2000; Ord. 04-014, Feb. 11, 2004, Eff date Mar. 4, 2004).

10.46.030 Authority of the Sheriff.

The Sheriff shall have the authority and discretion to initiate civil forfeiture actions against personal property by seizing the property on behalf of the county, or on behalf of the county and other jurisdictions where authorized by interlocal agreement, to the extent permitted by law, and may request that the prosecuting attorney initiate civil forfeiture actions against real or personal property.

(Added Ord. 00-005, § 1, March 22, 2000, Eff date April 2, 2000).

10.46.040 Civil forfeiture property - Duties.

(1) The sheriff shall notify the property management division in writing when the county acquires civil forfeiture property and when the county retains civil forfeiture property for official use. The sheriff and property management division shall inventory civil forfeiture property and property retained for official use under the procedures set forth in SCC 4.46.115 through 4.46.125 and SCC 4.46.151 through 4.46.161, and shall manage and dispose of property retained for official use under chapter 4.46 SCC. The sheriff shall be the custodial department for civil forfeiture property and property retained for official use.

(2) Upon the written recommendation of the sheriff or task force commander, the property management division may declare real or personal civil forfeiture property surplus to the needs of the county and may sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of such property as provided in this chapter.

(3) The property management division may approve and sign all contracts with real estate agents, appraisers, escrow agents, environmental risk analysts and other professionals for professional services relating to the management and disposition of civil forfeiture property and all contracts related to assessing environmental contamination and other risk factors relevant to the decision to acquire civil forfeiture property. In selecting professional service contractors, the property management division shall consider the recommendations of the sheriff and the task force commander and shall follow any applicable county selection processes.

(4) The property management division shall advertise the sale, lease, or other disposition of surplus civil forfeiture property under SCC 10.46.050 by publishing notice in a legal newspaper of general circulation at least once a week for two consecutive weeks before an offer is accepted by the county. In the case of real property, the advertisement shall describe the property by both its legal description and street address or, if there is no street address, by a vicinity description.

(5) The property management division is granted signature authority to execute all contracts, deeds, leases, licenses and other documents relating to the management and disposition of civil forfeiture property under chapter 10.46 SCC.

(Added Ord. 04-014, Feb. 11, 2004, Eff date Mar. 4, 2004; Amended by Ord. 14-080, Sep. 24, 2014, Eff date Oct. 10, 2014)

10.46.050 Civil forfeiture property - Disposition of surplus property.

(1) The county may dispose of surplus civil forfeiture property by:

(a) Public sale to the highest responsible bidder at public auction, sealed bid auction, or any other auction method through which the county or contracted auctioneer can receive bids from the general public within advertised terms.

(b) Selling real property by private negotiation based upon the written recommendation of the sheriff, approval of the property management division, and under terms that include:

(i) Consideration that is no less than the appraised fair market value of the property as established by a qualified appraiser working in accordance with the standards of the profession;

(ii) Cash due at closing; and

(iii) Title transfer by quitclaim deed.

(c) Leasing real property by private negotiation, based upon the written recommendation of the sheriff, approval of the property management division, and under terms that include:

(i) Consideration that is no less than the appraised fair market rental value of the property as established by a qualified appraiser working in accordance with the standards of the profession;

(ii) The prevailing wage provisions set out in SCC 4.46.335;

(iii) A lease term of no more than two years;

(iv) The limitations on improvements, assignment, and subleasing set out in SCC 4.46.370(2); and

(v) Provision for the collection and payment of applicable leasehold excise taxes.

(d) Selling personal property valued in excess of $5,000 by private negotiation based upon the written recommendation of the sheriff and approval of the property management division.

(e) Selling personal property valued at equal to or less than $5,000 by private negotiation with approval of the property management division.

(f) Destroying or otherwise disposing of personal property valued at equal to or less than $5,000 based upon the written recommendation of the sheriff or task force commander and with the approval of the property management division.

(2) No interest in civil forfeiture property leased, sold, or otherwise disposed of under this section may be sold, leased or otherwise transferred, directly or indirectly, to an employee of the county or, if the property is held by the county on behalf of itself and other jurisdictions under the terms of an interlocal agreement, an employee of a jurisdiction participating in the interlocal agreement. In addition to its ordinary meaning, the term "employee" for purposes of this section includes former employees involved in the criminal investigation that led to forfeiture of the civil forfeiture property at issue and any person involved in an action authorized under this chapter with respect to that property.

(Added Ord. 04-014, Feb. 11, 2004, Eff date Mar. 4, 2004; Amended by Ord. 14-080, Sep. 24, 2014, Eff date Oct. 10, 2014)