§ 41–303. Seizure; pre-seizure hearings for real property.
(a) Property subject to forfeiture under this chapter may be seized by the District:
(1) By judicial order; or
(2) Upon the District’s determination that there is probable cause to believe that the property is subject to forfeiture.
(b)(1) Property seized for forfeiture under this chapter is deemed to be in the custody of the District. When property is seized pursuant to this chapter, the District shall:
(A) Place the property in an area designated by the District for safe storage until disposition;
(B) Ensure that the seized property is inventoried, including providing a full description of all property seized and all property contained therein;
(C) Assign an individual property identification number to each specific item of property seized, including any additional property contained therein; and
(D) Maintain the property identification numbers and description of all items seized.
(2) For the purposes of this subsection, a sum of currency shall be deemed to be a single item of property.
(c) If the District retains possession of the property pending the outcome of the forfeiture proceedings in Court, the District is responsible for the following:
(1) The costs of storage; and
(2) Keeping the interest or rent earned by the property and distributing the interest or rent earned to the owner of the property if the property is not ultimately declared forfeited.
(d) When property is seized by a law enforcement officer, the officer shall give to the person from whom the property was seized a receipt that provides a description of the property seized.
(e)(1) If seized property is likely to perish, or be greatly reduced in value by its seizure, or the expense of keeping the property is disproportionate to its value, the District may dispose of the property.
(A) If, pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the District sells seized property, the sale proceeds shall become substitute property for the original seized property and shall be subject to forfeiture in accordance with the standards and procedures set forth in this chapter; provided, that determination of whether the property is subject to forfeiture shall be made based on the nature of the original seized property and not based on its current form of proceeds.
(B) If, pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the District discards seized property, the fair market value of the discarded property before its disposal shall become substitute property for the original seized property and shall be subject to forfeiture in accordance with the standards and procedures set forth in this chapter; provided, that determination of whether the property is subject to forfeiture shall be made based on the nature of the original seized property and not based on its current form of currency value.
(2) The District shall provide notice to the owner of seized property regarding its intent to dispose of the seized property in accordance with § 41-304.
(f)(1) The District may not seize real property for forfeiture unless, before the seizure, the owner of the property is afforded notice and an opportunity to be heard at a hearing requested by the District and conducted in accordance with § 41-306(f).
(2)(A) A hearing requested pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection need not be held if, before the hearing, the District reaches a written agreement with the owner as to conditions for the owner to retain the real property pending forfeiture proceedings.
(B) Permissible conditions are limited to the following:
(i) An agreement by the owner to prohibit certain individuals from using the real property;
(ii) An agreement by the owner to prohibit the use of the real property to facilitate illegal conduct;
(iii) An agreement by the owner that he or she will not intentionally destroy, substantially damage, dispose of, or transfer title to the property;
(iv) A requirement that the owner present proof of ownership, which the owner may prove by the presentation of the title to the property; and
(v) An agreement by the owner to maintain property insurance.
(C) If, before the hearing under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the District reaches an agreement with the owner under paragraph (2) of this subsection, the District shall immediately notify the Court that it withdraws its request for a hearing.
(3) Any decision reached at a hearing conducted pursuant to this subsection shall be appealable pursuant to § 41-306(k).
(4) If the District alleges that the owner has violated a condition to retain custody of the real property pending final forfeiture proceedings, the allegation shall be made and heard in accordance with § 41-306(l).