CHAPTER 248

FORMERLY HOUSE BILL NO. 317

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENTS NO. 1 AND 2

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 4, CHAPTER 11, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO SEIZURE AND CONFISCATION OF ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR AND PROPERTY USED IN OFFENSES AGAINST THE LIQUOR CONTROL ACT AND THE RULES OF THE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL COMMISSION AND PROVIDING FOR THE DISPOSITION THEREFOR.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Amend Title 4, Chapter 11, Section 1 I 01,paragraph (a), Delaware Code, by putting a period after the second use of the word "Commission" in the first sentence and before the word "which" and by striking therefrom the last clause of the first sentence which reads as follows:

44. . . which shall keep them in its custody until the court has disposed of them by a judgment."

Section 2. Amend Title 4, Chapter 11, Section 1101, Delaware Code by adding a new paragraph (c) as follows:

(c) The provisions of this section shall not at any time or in any instance apply to persons transporting alcoholic liquor under Sections 501 and 724 of this title.

Section 3. Amend Title 4, Chapter 11, Section 1102, paragraph (b), Delaware Code, by putting a period after the word "Commission" and before the word "which" and by striking therefrom the final clause which reads as follows:

44. . . which shall keep them in its custody until the Commission has disposed of them by a judgment."

Section 4. Amend Title 4, Chapter 11, Section 1105, Delaware Code, by striking all of said section and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 1105 to read as follows:

§ 1105. Retention of seized property; return to owner

All property seized and delivered into the possession of the Commission shall be disposed of in the following manner:

(a) The enforcement officers of the Commission or the peace officers who seized said property shall give written notice to the person whom they reasonably believe to be the owner of said property, and to the person from whom the property was seized, if they reasonably believe such person is not the owner, that such persons may within ten days of the date of notice and upon proof, satisfactory to the Commission that such property had not been used in connection with any violation of any of the provisions of this title, or of the rules of the Commission, or both, if so used, that the use was without the knowledge, acquiescence or consent of the rightful owner, his agent, employee or servant, return said property to the rightful owner. Any dispute between the enforcement personnel of the Commission and the person believed to be the rightful owner or the person from whom the property was seized, shall be resolved by a hearing before the Commission. The Commission's decision shall be final and conclusive unless any party, having appeared before the Commission, appeals to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware within ten days of the date of the written decision.

(b) Any property seized pursuant to the provisions of this chapter which consists of alcoholic liquor and its container may, after the provisions of subparagraph (a) of this section have been complied with, be offered for sale to the licensed Delaware importers of alcoholic liquor at the prevailing price paid by the importers for like brands and quality. If the alcoholic liquor is distributed in this State by more than one licensed importer, then the Commission shall offer said seized alcoholic liquor to all importers who engage in the sale of such brand of alcoholic liquor. If said seized alcoholic liquor is purchased by a licensed Delaware importer, the importer shall issue to the Commission a voucher showing at least the following facts:

(1) The date of the purchase,

(2) The purchase price of each item purchased,

(3) And the quantity and nature of the item purchased.

At the subsequent direction of the Commission, the licensed Delaware importer which purchased the liquor shall:

(1) If the owner of the alcoholic liquor or the person from whom the liquor was seized, if different from the person reasonably believed to be the owner, shall be found guilty of the offenses in violation of The Liquor Control Act or the rules of this Commission or both, issue its check payable to the Commission in the amount of the total purchase price shown on the voucher, which amount shall be applied by the Commission as provided in Section 1110 of this Act as proceeds of a sale authorized by order of court: or,

(2) If the owner of the alcoholic liquor and the person from whom the liquor was seized, if different from the person reasonably believed to be the owner, shall be acquitted of the offenses alleged to have been in violation of The Liquor Control Act or the rules of this Commission or both, issue its check payable to such person, or, at such person's election, deliver alcoholic liquor of the same or similar nature and quantity described in the voucher to such person.

(c) The enforcement officers of the Commission, with the advice of other peace officers of this State, may retain all or part of the alcoholic liquor and its containers seized for use as evidence for as long a period as they deem necessary. Thereafter it may be disposed pursuant to Chapter 11, Title 4, Delaware Code.

(d) All other such seized property shall be disposed of as is provided in Chapter 11, Title 4, Delaware Code.

Section 5. Amend Title 4, Chapter 11, Section 1107, Delaware Code, by striking all of the provisions thereof and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 1107 to read as follows:

§ 1107. Commission's report and petition to court

The Commission shall, from time to time in its discretion, file a report and petition in the Superior Court in any county of the State. The report and petition shall set forth (1) the date of the filing of the last proceeding report, with term number thereof, (2) an itemized list of all property seized and delivered to the Commission under this chapter with the date of seizure of each

item, but the report may not include property previously disposed of under the provisions of this chapter or involved in pending offenses either before the courts of the State or the Commission. (3) A statement of the circumstances of each seizure with the names and addresses, so far as known, of any persons in possession of the property at the time of the seizure thereof, and the names and addresses of any persons believed by the enforcement officers of the Commission or the peace officers who made the seizure to be the rightful owners of said property (and as to motor vehicles, the lien holders thereon). (4) Whether or not any portion or part of the property listed in the report and petition was returned to others or other claimants, (5) a list of requests, if any, of State departments, agencies, institutions, hospitals, or other institutions supported in whole or in part by State appropriations, for any property seized and herein described, (6) the disposition of any prosecutions in any court of any cases involving offenses under this title or against the rules of the Commission and arising out of arrests made in connection with the seizure of any such property, and (7) a statement of the estimated value of each item of property listed in the report and petition, so far as may be ascertained, with the names and addresses, so far as known, of all persons claiming ownership of such property or any lien thereon. The report and petition shall request an order of the court as to the disposal of the property.

Approved July 9, 1971.