Hearing — Appeal — Removal to court — Release after ruling.
(1) Any person may submit a written request for a hearing to establish a claim of ownership or right to lawful possession of the vehicle, watercraft, camper, or component part thereof seized pursuant to this section.
(2) Upon receipt of a request for hearing, one shall be held before the chief law enforcement officer of the seizing agency or an administrative law judge appointed under chapter 34.12 RCW.
(3) Such hearing shall be held within a reasonable time after receipt of a request therefor. Reasonable investigative activities, including efforts to establish the identity of the article or articles and the identity of the person entitled to the lawful possession or custody of the article or articles shall be considered in determining the reasonableness of the time within which a hearing must be held.
(4) The hearing and any appeal therefrom shall be conducted in accordance with Title 34 RCW.
(5) The burden of producing evidence shall be upon the person claiming to be the lawful owner or to have the lawful right of possession to the article or articles.
(6) Any person claiming ownership or right to possession of an article or articles subject to disposition under RCW 46.12.725 through 46.12.740 may remove the matter to a court of competent jurisdiction if the aggregate value of the article or articles involved is two hundred dollars or more. In a court hearing between two or more claimants to the article or articles involved, the prevailing party shall be entitled to judgment for costs and reasonable attorney's fees. For purposes of this section the seizing law enforcement agency shall not be considered a claimant.
(7) The seizing law enforcement agency shall promptly release the article or articles to the claimant upon a determination by the administrative law judge or court that the claimant is the present lawful owner or is lawfully entitled to possession thereof.
[2011 c 171 § 40; 1981 c 67 § 27; 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 91 § 4. Formerly RCW 46.12.330.]
| Intent -- Effective date -- 2011 c 171: See notes following RCW 4.24.210.|
Effective dates -- Severability -- 1981 c 67: See notes following RCW 34.12.010.
Severability -- Effective date -- 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 91: See notes following RCW 46.12.720.