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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 2336 (April 27, 2024).

25 Pa. Code § 271.432. Forfeiture proceedings.

§ 271.432. Forfeiture proceedings.

 (a)  The proceedings for the forfeiture of property shall be in rem, with the Department, the plaintiff and the property the defendant. A petition shall be filed in the court of common pleas of the judicial district where the property is located, verified by oath or affirmation, containing the following:

   (1)  A description of the property seized.

   (2)  A statement of the time and place where seized.

   (3)  The owner of the property, if known.

   (4)  The persons in possession of the property at the time of seizure, if known.

   (5)  An allegation that the property is subject to forfeiture under section 1715(a) of the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act (53 P. S. §  4000.1715(a)).

   (6)  An averment of the material facts upon which the forfeiture action is based.

   (7)  A prayer for an order of forfeiture that the property be adjudged forfeited to the Department and ordered sold according to law, unless cause is shown to the contrary.

 (b)  A copy of the petition shall be served personally on the owner of the property or upon the person in possession of the property at the time of seizure.

   (1)  The petition shall have endorsed thereon a notice as follows:

   ‘‘To the Claimant of Within Described Property: You are required to file an answer to this petition, setting forth your title in and right to possession of said property, within 15 days from the service hereof; and you are also notified that if you fail to file said answer, a decree of forfeiture and condemnation will be entered against said property.’’

   (2)  The notice shall be signed by the petitioner or the petitioner’s attorney.

 (c)  If the owner of the property is unknown, or the owner is outside the jurisdiction of the court and there was no person in possession of the property when seized, or the person in possession cannot be found within the jurisdiction of the court, notice of the petition shall be given by advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county where the property was seized once a week for 2 consecutive weeks. The notice shall contain a statement that the property was seized, a description of the property, the time and place of seizure, and shall direct claimants to the property to file a claim with the court on or before a date given in the notice, which date shall be 10 days after the date of the final publication of the notice. If no claims are filed on or before the date given in the notice, the property shall be summarily forfeited to the Department.

 (d)  Upon the filing of a timely claim setting forth a right to possession, the case shall be deemed at issue and a time fixed for a hearing.

 (e)  At the hearing, if the Department presents evidence that the property in question was possessed or used to transport or dispose of solid waste in the commission of an offense under section 610(1) of the act (35 P. S. §  6018.610(1)), the burden shall shift to the claimant to show that:

   (1)  The claimant is the owner of the property.

   (2)  The claimant lawfully acquired the property.

   (3)  The property was not unlawfully possessed and was not used to transport or dispose of solid waste in the commission of an offense under section 610(1) of the act.

 (f)  The Department will be entitled to a forfeiture order if the Court finds that the property was unlawfully possessed or was used to transport or dispose of solid waste in the commission of an offense under section 610(1) of the act.


   The provisions of this §  271.432 adopted October 9, 1992, effective October 10, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 5105.

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  271.431 (relating to forfeiture and seizure of property); and 25 Pa. Code §  271.434 (relating to responsibility for costs).

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