28-4595. Verified claim disputing contraband status; hearing; disposition
A. Within thirty days after the date of service of the notice required by section 28-4594, any person claiming an interest in the item seized may file a verified claim, signed by the claimant, disputing the contraband status of the item seized. The verified claim shall include the following:
1. A statement that the claimant is the lawful owner of the item seized and the basis, including documentation, for the claim of ownership.
2. A statement setting forth which portions of the seized item are claimed not to be contraband and the basis for each claim.
B. If a verified claim is filed within the time period provided in subsection A of this section, the court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the item seized is contraband. Notice of the hearing shall be provided to all persons who filed verified claims in accordance with this section.
C. If a claimant does not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the original identification numbers can be permanently restored to the item or that the item can be rendered noncontraband, the court shall declare the item contraband and forfeit the item to this state for use or other appropriate disposition by the law enforcement agency that seized the item or for other disposition as the state deems appropriate.
D. If a claimant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that all or any portion of the item seized is not contraband, the claimant proving lawful ownership of that portion of the seized item, within thirty days or within a reasonable time period set by the court, may segregate and retrieve at the claimant's cost all or any portion of the seized item determined by the court not to be contraband. The seizing agency shall sell or otherwise dispose of all or any portion of the item not retrieved by the claimant within the prescribed time period, and the proceeds of the disposition, less any costs incurred by the seizing agency, shall be returned to the claimant proving lawful ownership at the claimant's address of record.
E. On return of a motor vehicle or a major component part of a vehicle that can be rendered noncontraband by obtaining a special serial number pursuant to section 28-2165, the person who is awarded possession of the item shall apply to the department within ten days after taking possession for assignment of a special serial number pursuant to section 28-2165 and shall file with the court proof that the application was made. After the granting or denial of an application for a special serial number, the person who is awarded possession of the item shall file proof with the court that a special serial number was obtained or denied. If the application is denied:
1. The court shall order the person awarded possession of the item to return the item to the seizing agency.
2. The seizing agency shall sell or otherwise dispose of the item.
3. The proceeds of the disposition, less any costs incurred by the seizing agency, shall be returned to the claimant proving lawful ownership at the claimant's address of record.
F. An item defined as contraband in section 28-4594, subsection A shall not be returned to a claimant under any circumstances.