§ 41–305. Contesting forfeiture.
(a) An owner may contest the seizure and forfeiture of the property by filing a claim with the District stating his or her interest in the property and intent to contest forfeiture. When filing a claim, the owner may also request interim release of the property or a portion of the property. The owner may request interim release of the property or of a portion of the property at any time before the District files a libel of information under § 41-307.
(b)(1) For purposes of making a claim of interest and intent to contest forfeiture pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the owner shall be required to assert his or her claim under penalty of perjury. Neither a notarized statement nor additional documentary proof shall be required to make a claim. The owner filing the form provided pursuant to § 41-304(a)(2)(D), when signed by the owner under penalty of perjury, shall suffice to make a claim of interest and intent under this section.
(2) A claim of interest and intent filed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section must be made within 90 days after the owner of the seized property receives notice of the seizure pursuant to § 41-304.
(c)(1) If the District has on file a return receipt or a sworn document by the District indicating that the owner has received notice as required by § 41-304 and the owner has not filed a claim under § 41-304 within 90 days after the receipt of the notice, the District does not need to file a libel of information as required by § 41-307, but shall determine pursuant to this chapter whether the property is forfeitable and determine whether the forfeiture is proportional to the seriousness of the violation of District law that gave rise to the forfeiture.
(2) If the District determines that the property is forfeitable, the District shall declare the property forfeited and shall dispose of the property in accordance with § 41-310.
(3) If the District determines that the seized property, or a portion of the seized property, is not forfeitable, the District shall return the property, or, if applicable, the portion of the property, to its owner as soon as practicable.
(d)(1) If the District does not have on file a return receipt or a sworn document by the District indicating that the owner has received notice as required by § 41-304 within 180 days after the seizure if the property was not subject to an evidentiary hold or within 180 days after receiving written notice from the prosecutorial authority that the property will not be needed as evidence in a criminal case if the property was subject to an evidentiary hold, the District shall not pursue forfeiture.
(2) If the District is precluded from pursuing forfeiture pursuant to this subsection, the custody of the property, notification, and release to the owner or disposition by the District of the seized property shall be pursuant to §§ 5-119.01 through 5-119.10 and §§ 5-119.12 through 5-119.19, and § 5-119.11.