2981.13 Sale of forfeited property - application of proceeds - forfeiture funds.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in this section, property ordered forfeited as contraband, proceeds, or an instrumentality pursuant to this chapter shall be disposed of, used, or sold pursuant to section 2981.12 of the Revised Code. If the property is to be sold under that section, the prosecutor shall cause notice of the proposed sale to be given in accordance with law.

(B) If the contraband or instrumentality forfeited under this chapter is sold, any moneys acquired from a sale and any proceeds forfeited under this chapter shall be applied in the following order:

(1) First, to pay costs incurred in the seizure, storage, maintenance, security, and sale of the property and in the forfeiture proceeding;

(2) Second, in a criminal forfeiture case, to satisfy any restitution ordered to the victim of the offense or, in a civil forfeiture case, to satisfy any recovery ordered for the person harmed, unless paid from other assets;

(3) Third, to pay the balance due on any security interest preserved under this chapter;

(4) Fourth, apply the remaining amounts as follows:

(a) If the forfeiture was ordered by a juvenile court, ten per cent to one or more certified alcohol and drug addiction treatment programs as provided in division (D) of section 2981.12 of the Revised Code;

(b) If the forfeiture was ordered in a juvenile court, ninety per cent, and if the forfeiture was ordered in a court other than a juvenile court, one hundred per cent to the law enforcement trust fund of the prosecutor and to the following fund supporting the law enforcement agency that substantially conducted the investigation: the law enforcement trust fund of the county sheriff, municipal corporation, township, or park district created under section 511.18 or 1545.01 of the Revised Code; the state highway patrol contraband, forfeiture, and other fund; the department of public safety investigative unit contraband, forfeiture, and other fund; the department of taxation enforcement fund; the board of pharmacy drug law enforcement fund created by division (B)(1) of section 4729.65 of the Revised Code; the medicaid fraud investigation and prosecution fund; the casino control commission enforcement fund created by section 3772.36 of the Revised Code; or the treasurer of state for deposit into the peace officer training commission fund if any other state law enforcement agency substantially conducted the investigation. In the case of property forfeited for medicaid fraud, any remaining amount shall be used by the attorney general to investigate and prosecute medicaid fraud offenses.

If the prosecutor declines to accept any of the remaining amounts, the amounts shall be applied to the fund of the agency that substantially conducted the investigation.

(c) If more than one law enforcement agency is substantially involved in the seizure of property forfeited under this chapter, the court ordering the forfeiture shall equitably divide the amounts, after calculating any distribution to the law enforcement trust fund of the prosecutor pursuant to division (B)(4) of this section, among the entities that the court determines were substantially involved in the seizure.

(C)

(1) A law enforcement trust fund shall be established by the prosecutor of each county who intends to receive any remaining amounts pursuant to this section, by the sheriff of each county, by the legislative authority of each municipal corporation, by the board of township trustees of each township that has a township police department, township or joint police district police force, or office of the constable, and by the board of park commissioners of each park district created pursuant to section 511.18 or 1545.01 of the Revised Code that has a park district police force or law enforcement department, for the purposes of this section.

There is hereby created in the state treasury the state highway patrol contraband, forfeiture, and other fund, the department of public safety investigative unit contraband, forfeiture, and other fund, the medicaid fraud investigation and prosecution fund, the department of taxation enforcement fund, and the peace officer training commission fund, for the purposes of this section.

Amounts distributed to any municipal corporation, township, or park district law enforcement trust fund shall be allocated from the fund by the legislative authority only to the police department of the municipal corporation, by the board of township trustees only to the township police department, township police district police force, or office of the constable, by the joint police district board only to the joint police district, and by the board of park commissioners only to the park district police force or law enforcement department.

(2)

(a) No amounts shall be allocated to a fund created under this section or used by an agency unless the agency has adopted a written internal control policy that addresses the use of moneys received from the appropriate fund. The appropriate fund shall be expended only in accordance with that policy and, subject to the requirements specified in this section, only for the following purposes:

(i) To pay the costs of protracted or complex investigations or prosecutions;

(ii) To provide reasonable technical training or expertise;

(iii) To provide matching funds to obtain federal grants to aid law enforcement, in the support of DARE programs or other programs designed to educate adults or children with respect to the dangers associated with the use of drugs of abuse;

(iv) To pay the costs of emergency action taken under section 3745.13 of the Revised Code relative to the operation of an illegal methamphetamine laboratory if the forfeited property or money involved was that of a person responsible for the operation of the laboratory;

(v) For other law enforcement purposes that the superintendent of the state highway patrol, department of public safety, prosecutor, county sheriff, legislative authority, department of taxation, Ohio casino control commission, board of township trustees, or board of park commissioners determines to be appropriate.

(b) The board of pharmacy drug law enforcement fund shall be expended only in accordance with the written internal control policy so adopted by the board and only in accordance with section 4729.65 of the Revised Code, except that it also may be expended to pay the costs of emergency action taken under section 3745.13 of the Revised Code relative to the operation of an illegal methamphetamine laboratory if the forfeited property or money involved was that of a person responsible for the operation of the laboratory.

(c) The state highway patrol contraband, forfeiture, and other fund, the department of public safety investigative unit contraband, forfeiture, and other fund, the department of taxation enforcement fund, the board of pharmacy drug law enforcement fund, the casino control commission enforcement fund, and a law enforcement trust fund shall not be used to meet the operating costs of the state highway patrol, of the investigative unit of the department of public safety, of the state board of pharmacy, of any political subdivision, of the Ohio casino control commission, or of any office of a prosecutor or county sheriff that are unrelated to law enforcement.

(d) Forfeited moneys that are paid into the state treasury to be deposited into the peace officer training commission fund shall be used by the commission only to pay the costs of peace officer training.

(3) Any of the following offices or agencies that receive amounts under this section during any calendar year shall file a report with the specified entity, not later than the thirty-first day of January of the next calendar year, verifying that the moneys were expended only for the purposes authorized by this section or other relevant statute and specifying the amounts expended for each authorized purpose:

(a) Any sheriff or prosecutor shall file the report with the county auditor.

(b) Any municipal corporation police department shall file the report with the legislative authority of the municipal corporation.

(c) Any township police department, township or joint police district police force, or office of the constable shall file the report with the board of township trustees of the township.

(d) Any park district police force or law enforcement department shall file the report with the board of park commissioners of the park district.

(e) The superintendent of the state highway patrol and the tax commissioner shall file the report with the attorney general.

(f) The executive director of the state board of pharmacy shall file the report with the attorney general, verifying that cash and forfeited proceeds paid into the board of pharmacy drug law enforcement fund were used only in accordance with section 4729.65 of the Revised Code.

(g) The peace officer training commission shall file a report with the attorney general, verifying that cash and forfeited proceeds paid into the peace officer training commission fund pursuant to this section during the prior calendar year were used by the commission during the prior calendar year only to pay the costs of peace officer training.

(h) The executive director of the Ohio casino control commission shall file the report with the attorney general, verifying that cash and forfeited proceeds paid into the casino control commission enforcement fund were used only in accordance with section 3772.36 of the Revised Code.

(D) The written internal control policy of a county sheriff, prosecutor, municipal corporation police department, township police department, township or joint police district police force, office of the constable, or park district police force or law enforcement department shall provide that at least ten per cent of the first one hundred thousand dollars of amounts deposited during each calendar year in the agency's law enforcement trust fund under this section, and at least twenty per cent of the amounts exceeding one hundred thousand dollars that are so deposited, shall be used in connection with community preventive education programs. The manner of use shall be determined by the sheriff, prosecutor, department, police force, or office of the constable after receiving and considering advice on appropriate community preventive education programs from the county's board of alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health services, from the county's alcohol and drug addiction services board, or through appropriate community dialogue.

The financial records kept under the internal control policy shall specify the amount deposited during each calendar year in the portion of that amount that was used pursuant to this division, and the programs in connection with which the portion of that amount was so used.

As used in this division, "community preventive education programs" include, but are not limited to, DARE programs and other programs designed to educate adults or children with respect to the dangers associated with using drugs of abuse.

(E) Upon the sale, under this section or section 2981.12 of the Revised Code, of any property that is required by law to be titled or registered, the state shall issue an appropriate certificate of title or registration to the purchaser. If the state is vested with title and elects to retain property that is required to be titled or registered under law, the state shall issue an appropriate certificate of title or registration.

(F) Any failure of a law enforcement officer or agency, prosecutor, court, or the attorney general to comply with this section in relation to any property seized does not affect the validity of the seizure and shall not be considered to be the basis for suppressing any evidence resulting from the seizure, provided the seizure itself was lawful.

Cite as R.C. § 2981.13

History. Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 07-01-2007; 2007 HB120 07-01-2007