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Legal Statutes: Colorado

UPDATED September 18, 2017

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Part 3. Abatement of Public Nuisance

back to top§ 16-13-311. Disposition of seized personal property

(1) Any personal property subject to seizure, confiscation, forfeiture, or destruction under the provisions of this part 3, and which is seized as a part of or incident to proceedings under this part 3 for which disposition is not provided by another statute of this state, shall be disposed of as provided in this section.

(2) Any such property which is required by law to be destroyed, or the possession of which is illegal, or which in the opinion of the court is not properly the subject of a sale may be destroyed pursuant to a warrant for the destruction of personal property issued by the court and directed to the sheriff of the proper county or any peace officer and returned by the sheriff or peace officer after execution thereof. The court shall stay the execution of any such warrant during the period in which the property is used as evidence in any pending criminal or civil proceeding.

(3)(a) If the prosecution prevails in the forfeiture action, the court shall order the property forfeited. Such order shall perfect the state's right and interest in and title to such property and shall relate back to the date when title to the property vested in the state pursuant to section 16-13-316. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3)(c) of this section, the court shall also order such property to be sold at a public sale by the law enforcement agency in possession of the property in the manner provided for sales on execution, or in another commercially reasonable manner. Property forfeited pursuant to this section or proceeds therefrom shall be distributed or applied in the following order:

(I) To payment of the balances due on any liens perfected on or before the date of seizure preserved by the court in the forfeiture proceedings, in the order of their priority;

(II) To compensate an innocent partial owner for the fair market value of his or her interest in the property;

(III) To any person who suffers bodily injury, property damage, or property loss as a result of the conduct constituting a public nuisance that resulted in such forfeiture, if said person petitions the court therefor prior to the hearing dividing the proceeds pursuant to this section and the court finds that such person suffered said damages as a result of the subject acts that resulted in the forfeiture;

(IV) To the law enforcement agency in possession of the property for reasonable fees and costs of sale, maintenance, and storage of the property;

(V) To the district attorney for actual and reasonable expenses related to the costs of prosecuting the forfeiture proceeding and title transfer not to exceed ten percent of the value of the property;

(VI) One percent of the value of the property to the clerk of the court for administrative costs associated with compliance with this section;

(VII) The balance shall be delivered, upon order of the court, as follows:

(A) Fifty percent to the general fund of the governmental body or bodies with budgetary authority over the seizing agency for public safety purposes or, if the seizing agency was a multijurisdictional task force, fifty percent to be distributed in accordance with the appropriate intergovernmental agreement; and

(B) The remaining amount to the managed service organization contracting with the office of behavioral health in the department of human services serving the judicial district where the forfeiture proceeding was prosecuted to fund detoxification and substance use disorder treatment. Money appropriated to the managed service organization must be in addition to, and not be used to supplant, other funding appropriated to the office of behavioral health.

(b) Deleted by Laws 2002, Ch. 244, § 5, eff. July 1, 2002.

(c) If, in a forfeiture proceeding, a partial owner is determined to be an innocent owner under law, at the option of the innocent partial owner, in lieu of a public sale, the innocent partial owner may purchase the forfeited items from the state at a private sale for fair market value. Proceeds received by the state shall be disposed of pursuant to this section.

(d) After a judgment of forfeiture has been entered, any seizing agency in possession of any money forfeited shall deposit the money in the registry of the court where the forfeiture order was entered. Upon the sale of forfeited real or personal property, the seizing agency responsible for overseeing the sale shall ensure that any lienholders are compensated from the proceeds of the sale pursuant to the priorities specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) for their interests in the forfeited property. The seizing agency shall deposit all remaining proceeds from the sale in the registry of the court immediately upon completion of the sale. The seizing agency shall notify the court and the district attorney when all property subject to the forfeiture order has been sold and all proceeds and money have been deposited in the registry of the court where the forfeiture order was entered.

(e) Within thirty-five days after the date the order of forfeiture is entered, the district attorney may submit a motion, an affidavit, and any supporting documentation to the court to request compensation consistent with this section. Within thirty-five days after the date the order of forfeiture is entered, any victim of the criminal act giving rise to the forfeiture may submit a request for compensation, an affidavit, and supporting documentation to the district attorney to request compensation from the forfeiture proceeds.

(f) Within fourteen days after the date a seizing agency notifies the court that all property forfeited has been sold and all proceeds and money have been deposited in the registry of the court where the forfeiture order was entered, the seizing agency may submit a motion, an affidavit, and supporting documentation to the court for reimbursement of expenses consistent with this section. In its motion, the seizing agency shall identify any other seizing agencies that participated in the seizure and specify the details of any intergovernmental agreement regarding sharing of proceeds. The seizing agency shall send a copy of this motion to the district attorney.

(g) The district attorney shall prepare a motion and proposed order for distribution based upon the motions and requests submitted by the parties. The order shall include allocation of one percent of the value of the property to the clerk of the court for the direct and indirect costs incurred by the clerk in implementing the provisions of this subsection (3). The district attorney shall send copies to all remaining interested parties.

(h) Any party shall have fourteen days after filing of the proposed order to file any objections to the proposed order filed by the district attorney.

(3.5) Instead of liens and encumbrances on real property being satisfied from the proceeds of sale, real property may be sold subject to all liens or encumbrances on record. The purchase of the property by the successful bidder under this subsection (3.5) shall be conditioned on the bidder satisfying and obtaining the release of the first and second priority liens within sixty-three days after the sale, or obtaining written authorization from those lien holders for the bidder to receive the sheriff's deed which shall be issued after such satisfaction or authorization. The purchaser of the property shall take title free of any lien, encumbrance, or cloud on the title recorded after title vests in the state pursuant to section 16-13-316.

(4) It is the intent of the general assembly that moneys allocated to a seizing agency pursuant to subsection (3) of this section shall not be considered a source of revenue to meet normal operating needs.

(5) If more than one seizing agency was substantially involved in effecting the forfeiture, the agencies shall enter into a stipulation with regard to costs incurred by the agencies and the percentage of any remaining proceeds to be deposited for the benefit of the agencies or any property to be directly forfeited for use of such agencies. Upon the filing by such agencies of such stipulation with the court, the court shall order the proceeds or property so distributed. If the agencies are unable to reach an agreement, the court shall take testimony and equitably distribute the proceeds.

(6) The state shall issue a certificate of title for a vehicle to the purchaser or seizing agency if said vehicle is acquired pursuant to this part 3.

Amended by Laws 1981, H.B.1448, § 7, eff. July 1, 1981; Laws 1987, H.B.1280, § 9, eff. July 1, 1987; Laws 2002, Ch. 244, § 5, eff. July 1, 2002; Laws 2003, Ch. 119, § 16, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2011, Ch. 264, § 26, eff. Aug. 10, 2011; Laws 2012, Ch. 208, § 92, eff. July 1, 2012; Laws 2017, Ch. 263, § 9, eff. May 25, 2017.