The following shall be subject to forfeiture to the United States and no property right shall exist in them:
Any property subject to forfeiture to the United States under this section may be seized by the Attorney General in the manner set forth in section 981(b) of title 18.
Property taken or detained under this section shall not be repleviable, but shall be deemed to be in the custody of the Attorney General, subject only to the orders and decrees of the court or the official having jurisdiction thereof. Whenever property is seized under any of the provisions of this subchapter, the Attorney General may-
The provisions of law relating to the seizure, summary and judicial forfeiture, and condemnation of property for violation of the customs laws; the disposition of such property or the proceeds from the sale thereof; the remission or mitigation of such forfeitures; and the compromise of claims shall apply to seizures and forfeitures incurred, or alleged to have been incurred, under any of the provisions of this subchapter, insofar as applicable and not inconsistent with the provisions hereof; except that such duties as are imposed upon the customs officer or any other person with respect to the seizure and forfeiture of property under the customs laws shall be performed with respect to seizures and forfeitures of property under this subchapter by such officers, agents, or other persons as may be authorized or designated for that purpose by the Attorney General, except to the extent that such duties arise from seizures and forfeitures effected by any customs officer.
Any award paid for information concerning the killing or kidnapping of a Federal drug law enforcement agent, as provided in clause (ii), shall be paid at the discretion of the Attorney General.
All right, title, and interest in property described in subsection (a) shall vest in the United States upon commission of the act giving rise to forfeiture under this section.
The provisions of section 981(g) of title 18 regarding the stay of a civil forfeiture proceeding shall apply to forfeitures under this section.
In addition to the venue provided for in section 1395 of title 28 or any other provision of law, in the case of property of a defendant charged with a violation that is the basis for forfeiture of the property under this section, a proceeding for forfeiture under this section may be brought in the judicial district in which the defendant owning such property is found or in the judicial district in which the criminal prosecution is brought.
The functions of the Attorney General under this section shall be carried out by the Postal Service pursuant to such agreement as may be entered into between the Attorney General and the Postal Service.
1 So in original. No subsec. (k) has been enacted.
21 U.S.C. § 881
REFERENCES IN TEXTSubchapter II, referred to in subsec. (a)(9), was in the original "title III", meaning title III of Pub. L. 91-513, Oct. 27, 1970, 84 Stat. 1285. Part A of title III comprises subchapter II of this chapter. For classification of Part B, consisting of sections 1101 to 1105 of title III, see Tables. Schedules I and II, referred to in subsecs. (f) and (g), are set out in section 812(c) of this title.
AMENDMENTS2002-Subsec. (a)(10). Pub. L. 107-273 substituted "section 863 of this title" for "section 1822 of the Mail Order Drug Paraphernalia Control Act". 2000-Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 106-185, §2(c)(2), struck out before period at end ", except that-"(A) no conveyance used by any person as a common carrier in the transaction of business as a common carrier shall be forfeited under the provisions of this section unless it shall appear that the owner or other person in charge of such conveyance was a consenting party or privy to a violation of this subchapter or subchapter II of this chapter;"(B) no conveyance shall be forfeited under the provisions of this section by reason of any act or omission established by the owner thereof to have been committed or omitted by any person other than such owner while such conveyance was unlawfully in the possession of a person other than the owner in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, or of any State; and"(C) no conveyance shall be forfeited under this paragraph to the extent of an interest of an owner, by reason of any act or omission established by that owner to have been committed or omitted without the knowledge, consent, or willful blindness of the owner".Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 106-185, §2(c)(2), struck out before period at end ", except that no property shall be forfeited under this paragraph, to the extent of the interest of an owner, by reason of any act or omission established by that owner to have been committed or omitted without the knowledge or consent of that owner".Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 106-185, §2(c)(2), struck out before period at end ", except that no property shall be forfeited under this paragraph, to the extent of an interest of an owner, by reason of any act or omission established by that owner to have been committed or omitted without the knowledge or consent of that owner".Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 106-185, §5(b), inserted heading and amended text of subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) authorized the Attorney General to seize property under this subchapter upon process issued pursuant to the Supplemental Rules for Certain Admirality and Maritime claims and to seize it without process in certain described circumstances.Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 106-185, §8(b), inserted heading and amended text of subsec. (i) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The filing of an indictment or information alleging a violation of this subchapter or subchapter II of this chapter, or a violation of State or local law that could have been charged under this subchapter or subchapter II of this chapter, which is also related to a civil forfeiture proceeding under this section shall, upon motion of the United States and for good cause shown, stay the civil forfeiture proceeding."1996-Subsec. (a)(2), (6). Pub. L. 104-237, §201(b)(1), inserted "or listed chemical" after "controlled substance".Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 104-237, §201(b)(2), substituted "possessed, distributed, dispensed, acquired, or intended to be distributed, dispensed, acquired," for "possessed, distributed, or intended to be distributed," and struck out "a felony provision of" after "in violation of".1994-Subsec. (e)(1)(E)(iii). Pub. L. 103-447 substituted "section 2291j(b) of title 22" for "section 2291(h) of title 22".1991-Subsec. (e)(1)(B). Pub. L. 102-239, §2(1), substituted "except as provided in paragraph (4), sell" for "sell".Subsec. (e)(4). Pub. L. 102-239, §2(2), added par. (4).1990-Subsec. (a)(10). Pub. L. 101-647, §2007, added par. (10).Subsec. (a)(11). Pub. L. 101-647, §2008, added par. (11).Subsec. (e)(1)(B). Pub. L. 101-647, §2003, inserted ", by public sale or any other commercially feasible means," after "sell".Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 101-647, §2004, inserted "; all dangerous, toxic, or hazardous raw materials or products subject to forfeiture under subsection (a)(2) of this section; and any equipment or container subject to forfeiture under subsection (a)(2) or (3) which cannot be separated safely from such raw materials or products" after "this subchapter" in pars. (1) and (2). 1989-Subsec. (e)(3)(B). Pub. L. 101-189 amended subpar. (B) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (B) read as follows: "is not so transferred to circumvent any requirement of State law that prohibits forfeiture or limits use or disposition of property forfeited to State or local agencies."1988-Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 100-690, §6059(b), inserted reference to par. (9).Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 100-690, §§6059(b), 6075, inserted in introductory provisions reference to par. (9) and added subpar. (C). Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 100-690, §5105, inserted "(including any leasehold interest)" after "interest".Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 100-690, §6059(a), added par. (9).Subsec. (e)(1)(A). Pub. L. 100-690, §6077(b), amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: "retain the property for official use or transfer the custody or ownership of any forfeited property to any Federal, State, or local agency pursuant to section 1616a of title 19;". Subsec. (e)(1)(E). Pub. L. 100-690, §6074, added subpar. (E).Subsec. (e)(2)(B). Pub. L. 100-690, §6253(b), provided for deposit of moneys and proceeds in Postal Service Fund in cases of forfeitures conducted by Postal Service.Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 100-690, §6077(a), added par. (3).Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 100-690, §6253(a), added subsec. (l). 1986-Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99-570, §1865(1)-(3), and Pub. L. 99-646, §74(1)-(3), in making identical amendments in introductory provision and par. (4), struck out "or criminal" after "subject to civil" and inserted paragraph permitting the Government to request issuance of a warrant authorizing seizure of property subject to forfeiture under this section in the same manner as provided for a search warrant under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99-570, §1992, designated existing provisions as par. (1) and former pars. (1) to (4) as subpars. (A) to (D), respectively, and added par. (2) in lieu of former concluding provisions which read as follows: "The Attorney General shall ensure the equitable transfer pursuant to paragraph (1) of any forfeited property to the appropriate State or local law enforcement agency so as to reflect generally the contribution of any such agency participating directly in any of the acts which led to the seizure or forfeiture of such property. A decision by the Attorney General pursuant to paragraph (1) shall not be subject to review. The proceeds from any sale under paragraph (2) and any moneys forfeited under this subchapter shall be used to pay all proper expenses of the proceedings for forfeiture and sale including expenses of seizure, maintenance of custody, advertising, and court costs. The Attorney General shall forward to the Treasurer of the United States for deposit in accordance with section 524(c) of title 28 any amounts of such moneys and proceeds remaining after payment of such expenses."Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 99-570, §1006(c), which directed the amendment of section 511 of the "Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 1978" was executed to this section which is section 511 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 1970, as the probable intent of Congress, by designating existing provisions as par. (1), inserting "or II" in two places, and adding par. (2).Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 99-570, §1865(b) and Pub. L. 99-646, §74(b), made identical amendments, inserting ", or a violation of State or local law that could have been charged under this subchapter or subchapter II of this chapter,". 1984-Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 98-473, §306(a), added par. (7).Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 98-473, §518, added par. (8).Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98-473, §306(b)(1), inserted "civil or criminal" after "property subject to". Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 98-473, §306(b)(2), substituted "is subject to civil or criminal forfeiture under" for "has been used or is intended to be used in violation of".Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98-473, §306(c)(1), in provisions preceding par. (1), inserted "any of" after "seized under".Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 98-473, §306(c)(2), inserted ", if practicable," after "remove it". Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98-473, §306(d), inserted "any of" after "incurred, under".Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98-473, §§306(e), 309, inserted "civilly or criminally" after "Whenever property is" and in provisions preceding par. (1), inserted provisions relating to transfer of custody or ownership of forfeited property in par. (1), substituted "and dispose of it" for "and remove it for disposition" in par. (3), and, in provisions following par. (4), inserted sentence requiring the Attorney General to ensure equitable transfer of any forfeited property, and substituted "accordance with section 524(c) of title 28" for "the general fund of the United States Treasury".Subsecs. (h) to (j). Pub. L. 98-473, §306(f), added subsecs. (h) to (j). 1979-Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 96-132 substituted "The provisions" for "All provisions" and struck out "and the award of compensation to informers in respect of such forfeitures" after "compromise of claims".1978-Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 95-633, §301(1), added par. (6).Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 95-633, §301(a)(2), (3), struck out of cl. (2) provisions relating to use of proceeds of sale and inserted last sentence relating to the forwarding by the Attorney General of money and proceeds remaining after payment of expenses.
STATUTORY NOTES AND RELATED SUBSIDIARIES
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 2000 AMENDMENT Amendment by Pub. L. 106-185 applicable to any forfeiture proceeding commenced on or after the date that is 120 days after Apr. 25, 2000, see section 21 of Pub. L. 106-185 set out as a note under section 1324 of Title 8, Aliens and Nationality.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1989 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 101-189, div. A, title XII, §1215(b), Nov. 29, 1989, 103 Stat. 1569, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall take effect as of October 1, 1989."
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1988 AMENDMENT Amendment by section 6059 of Pub. L. 100-690 effective 120 days after Nov. 18, 1988, see section 6061 of Pub. L. 100-690 set out as a note under section 802 of this title.Pub. L. 100-690, title VI, §6077(c), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4325, as amended by Pub. L. 101-162, title II, §208, Nov. 21, 1989, 103 Stat. 1005, provided that: "Section 551(e)(3)(B) of the Controlled Substances Act [probably means section 511(e)(3)(B) of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 881(e)(3)(B) ], as enacted by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to fiscal years beginning after September 30, 1991."
CONSTRUCTIVE SEIZURE PROCEDURES Pub. L. 101-225, title II, §210, Dec. 12, 1989, 103 Stat. 1913, provided that: "Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 12, 1989], the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of the Treasury, in order to avoid the devastating economic effects on innocent owners of seizures of their vessels, shall develop a procedure for constructive seizure of vessels of the United States engaged in commercial service as defined in section 2101 of title 46, United States Code, that are suspected of being used for committing violations of law involving personal use quantities of controlled substances."
REGULATIONS FOR EXPEDITED ADMINISTRATIVE FORFEITURE PROCEDURESPub. L. 100-690, title VI, §6079, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4325, provided that:"(a) IN GENERAL.-Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 18, 1988], the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury shall consult, and after providing a 30-day public comment period, shall prescribe regulations for expedited administrative procedures for seizures under section 511(a)(4), (6), and (7) of the Controlled Substances Act ( 21 U.S.C. 881(a)(4), (6), and (7) ); section 596 of the Tariff Act of 1930 ( 19 U.S.C. 1595a(a) ); and section 2 of the Act of August 9, 1939 (53 Stat. 1291; 49 U.S.C. App. 782 [now 49 U.S.C. 80303 ]) for violations involving the possession of personal use quantities of a controlled substance."(b) SPECIFICATIONS.-The regulations prescribed pursuant to subsection (a) shall-"(1) minimize the adverse impact caused by prolonged detention, and"(2) provide for a final administrative determination of the case within 21 days of seizure, or provide a procedure by which the defendant can obtain release of the property pending a final determination of the case. Such regulations shall provide that the appropriate agency official rendering a final determination shall immediately return the property if the following conditions are established:"(A) the owner or interested party did not know of or consent to the violation;"(B) the owner establishes a valid, good faith interest in the seized property as owner or otherwise; and"(C)(1) the owner establishes that the owner at no time had any knowledge or reason to believe that the property in which the owner claims an interest was being or would be used in a violation of the law; and"(2) if the owner at any time had, or should have had, knowledge or reason to believe that the property in which the owner claims an interest was being or would be used in a violation of the law, that the owner did what reasonably could be expected to prevent the violation. An owner shall not have the seized property returned under this subsection if the owner had not acted in a normal and customary manner to ascertain how the property would be used."(c) NOTICE.-At the time of seizure or upon issuance of a summons to appear under subsection (d), the officer making the seizure shall furnish to any person in possession of the conveyance a written notice specifying the procedures under this section. At the earliest practicable opportunity after determining ownership of the seized conveyance, the head of the department or agency that seizes the conveyance shall furnish a written notice to the owner and other interested parties (including lienholders) of the legal and factual basis of the seizure."(d) SUMMONS IN LIEU OF SEIZURE OF COMMERCIAL FISHING INDUSTRY VESSELS.-Not later than 90 days after the enactment of this Act [Nov. 18, 1988], the Attorney General, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe joint regulations, after a public comment period of at least 30 days, providing for issuance of a summons to appear in lieu of seizure of a commercial fishing industry vessel as defined in section 2101(11a), (11b), and (11c) [now 2101(12), (13), and (14)] of title 46, United States Code, for violations involving the possession of personal use quantities of a controlled substance. These regulations shall apply when the violation is committed on a commercial fishing industry vessel that is proceeding to or from a fishing area or intermediate port of call, or is actively engaged in fishing operations. The authority provided under this section shall not affect existing authority to arrest an individual for drug-related offenses or to release that individual into the custody of the vessel's master. Upon answering a summons to appear, the procedures set forth in subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section shall apply. The jurisdiction of the district court for any forfeiture incurred shall not be affected by the use of a summons under this section."(e) PERSONAL USE QUANTITIES OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE.-For the purposes of this section, personal use quantities of a controlled substance shall not include sweepings or other evidence of non-personal use amounts."
TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONSBureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, including office of Director thereof, in Department of Justice abolished by Reorg. Plan No. 2 of 1973, eff. July 1, 1973, 38 F.R. 15932, 87 Stat. 1091, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees. Reorg. Plan No. 2 of 1973 also created in Department of Justice a single, comprehensive agency for enforcement of drug laws to be known as Drug Enforcement Administration, empowered Attorney General to authorize performance by officers, employees, and agencies of Department of functions transferred to him, and directed Attorney General to coordinate all drug law enforcement functions to assure maximum cooperation between Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other units of Department of Justice involved in drug law enforcement.