70.77.435  <<  70.77.440 >>   70.77.450

RCW 70.77.440

Seizure of fireworks—Proceedings for forfeiture—Disposal of confiscated fireworks.

(1) In the event of seizure under RCW 70.77.435, proceedings for forfeiture shall be deemed commenced by the seizure. The chief of the Washington state patrol or a designee, through the director of fire protection or the agency conducting the seizure, under whose authority the seizure was made shall cause notice to be served within fifteen days following the seizure on the owner of the fireworks seized and the person in charge thereof and any person having any known right or interest therein, of the seizure and intended forfeiture of the seized property. The notice may be served by any method authorized by law or court rule including but not limited to service by certified mail with return receipt requested. Service by mail shall be deemed complete upon mailing within the fifteen-day period following the seizure.
(2) If no person notifies the chief of the Washington state patrol, through the director of fire protection or the agency conducting the seizure, in writing of the person's claim of lawful ownership or right to lawful possession of seized fireworks within thirty days of the seizure, the seized fireworks shall be deemed forfeited.
(3) If any person notifies the chief of the Washington state patrol, through the director of fire protection or the agency conducting the seizure, in writing of the person's claim of lawful ownership or possession of the fireworks within thirty days of the seizure, the person or persons shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard as to the claim or right. The hearing shall be before an administrative law judge appointed under chapter 34.12 RCW, except that any person asserting a claim or right may remove the matter to a court of competent jurisdiction if the aggregate value of the seized fireworks is more than five hundred dollars. The hearing before an administrative law judge and any appeal therefrom shall be under Title 34 RCW. In a court hearing between two or more claimants to the article or articles involved, the prevailing party shall be entitled to a judgment for costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. The burden of producing evidence shall be upon the person claiming to have the lawful right to possession of the seized fireworks. The chief of the Washington state patrol, through the director of fire protection or the agency conducting the seizure, shall promptly return the fireworks to the claimant upon a determination by the administrative law judge or court that the claimant is lawfully entitled to possession of the fireworks.
(4) When fireworks are forfeited under this chapter the chief of the Washington state patrol, through the director of fire protection or the agency conducting the seizure, may:
(a) Dispose of the fireworks by summary destruction at any time subsequent to thirty days from such seizure or ten days from the final termination of proceedings under this section, whichever is later; or
(b) Sell the forfeited fireworks and chemicals used to make fireworks, that are legal for use and possession under this chapter, to wholesalers or manufacturers, authorized to possess and use such fireworks or chemicals under a license issued by the chief of the Washington state patrol, through the director of fire protection. Sale shall be by public auction after publishing a notice of the date, place, and time of the auction in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the auction is to be held, at least three days before the date of the auction. The proceeds of the sale of the seized fireworks under this section may be retained by the agency conducting the seizure and used to offset the costs of seizure and/or storage costs of the seized fireworks. The remaining proceeds, if any, shall be deposited in the fire services trust fund and shall be used as follows: At least fifty percent is for a statewide public education campaign developed by the chief of the Washington state patrol, through the director of fire protection, and the licensed fireworks industry emphasizing the safe and responsible use of legal fireworks; and the remainder is for statewide efforts to enforce this chapter.
NOTES:
Severability2002 c 370: See note following RCW 70.77.126.
SeverabilityEffective date1997 c 182: See notes following RCW 70.77.160.
SeverabilityEffective date1995 c 61: See notes following RCW 70.77.111.
SeverabilityEffective date1994 c 133: See notes following RCW 70.77.146.
Severability1986 c 266: See note following RCW 38.52.005.
Site Contents
Selected content listed in alphabetical order under each group