Section 6.3502. Claims.
(1) At any time within forty-five days after seizure or arrest of the vessel, or such longer time as the Court may allow, a claimant of a vessel seized pursuant to this chapter may file in Court, a statement of his interest in the vessel. Upon filing of a statement the Court following such notice as it determines justice requires proceeds to adjudicate the interests in the vessel, tackle, apparel, furniture and equipment, and determines whether their condemnation and forfeiture are appropriate.
(2) If a claimant is the owner or a person otherwise entitled to the vessel's immediate possession, he has the burden of proving a violation occurred without his knowledge or without negligence on his part. Upon satisfactory proof that the violation occurred without his knowledge or negligence on his part, he is entitled to a return of the vessel, together with its tackle, apparel, furniture and equipment. If the claimant is a lien holder, upon satisfactory proof that the violation occurred without his knowledge or any negligence on his part, he is entitled to have the amount of his lien determined and protected in the manner and to the extent the Court determines that justice requires in a judgment entered pursuant to this chapter.
Section 6.3503. Forfeiture and sale.
If the Court finds in favor of the libelant, the Court condemns and declares the vessel forfeit together with its tackle, apparel, furniture and equipment, and orders the sale of the vessel at public auction, or orders the vessel forfeited to the Government for its use, subject to provisions which the Court determines justice requires for the protection of liens determined in accordance with Section 6.3502.
Section 6.3504. Disposition of proceeds.
Disposition of proceeds
pursuant to this chapter is in the following order:
(1) the payment of the expenses of the proceedings of forfeiture and sale, including expenses of seizure, custody of the vessel, and advertising, and court costs;
(2) the payment of liens to the extent that the Court has determined they have protection pursuant to Section 6.3502; and
(3) deposit in the State Revenue Fund.
Section 6.3505. Return.
Upon the entry of
judgment in favor of a claimant who is the owner of a vessel, or a person
otherwise entitled to its immediate possession, the Government immediately
returns to him all property seized or arrested. If the Court determines
there was reasonable cause for the seizure or arrest, the claimant is not
entitled to costs, and the person who made the seizure is not liable for the
Section 6.3506. Settlement.
The Governor may settle
a claim for forfeiture pursuant to this chapter at any time on or upon terms
and conditions he deems reasonable and just. The Governor may remit
or mitigate the forfeiture or order discontinuance of prosecution.
The Governor may not exercise his authority to deprive a person of an award
made before settlement without the person's consent.