- August 08, 1990
- All Oregon Agents
The Oregon Supreme Court has upheld a decision of the Court of Appeals that Linn County did not have authority to enact its own drug forfeiture act. Linn County v. 22.16 Acres of Real Property, 309 Or. 279, 786 P.2d 726 (1990).
In this case the county sought title to real property used to grow marijuana. At that time there was no state statute giving the county this authority.
Now there is. Effective July 24, 1989 cities and counties may enact ordinances for the forfeiture of property based upon certain types of drug activity.
The 1989 legislation also established a state stature for forfeiture of "all real property... which is used, or intended to be used, in any manner or part, to commit or facilitate in any manner the commission of prohibited conduct." Real property, including land sale contracts, may be seized only by "recording notice of seizure containing a legal description" of the property. The seizure is not effective as to bona fide purchaser until the notice is recorded.
A forfeiture proceeding against the property is filed within 30 days of seizure. Forfeiture does not affect liens and other interests held by financial institutions and persons who had no knowledge of the illegal activity. After forfeiture the court orders sale of the property.
Please be careful of forfeitures. The law in Oregon is complicated and untested. There are also difficult federal forfeiture statutes.
Please refer any orders when title is derived through a criminal forfeiture to me for approval.
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