(720 ILCS 5/29B-14)
Innocent owner hearing.
(a) After a complaint for forfeiture has been filed and all claimants have appeared and answered, a claimant may file a motion with the court for an innocent owner hearing prior to trial. This motion shall be made and supported by sworn affidavit and shall assert the following along with specific facts that support each assertion:
(1) that the claimant filing the motion is the true
owner of the conveyance as interpreted by case law;
(2) that the claimant was not legally accountable for
the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture or acquiesced in the conduct;
(3) that the claimant did not solicit, conspire, or
attempt to commit the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture;
(4) that the claimant did not know or did not have
reason to know that the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture was likely to occur; and
(5) that the claimant did not hold the property for
the benefit of, or as nominee for, any person whose conduct gave rise to its forfeiture, or if the claimant acquired the interest through any person, the claimant acquired it as a bona fide purchaser for value or acquired the interest without knowledge of the seizure of the property for forfeiture.
(b) The claimant's motion shall include specific facts supporting these assertions.
(c) Upon this filing, a hearing may only be conducted after the parties have been given the opportunity to conduct limited discovery as to the ownership and control of the property, the claimant's knowledge, or any matter relevant to the issues raised or facts alleged in the claimant's motion. Discovery shall be limited to the People's requests in these areas but may proceed by any means allowed in the Code of Civil Procedure.
(1) After discovery is complete and the court has
allowed for sufficient time to review and investigate the discovery responses, the court shall conduct a hearing. At the hearing, the fact that the conveyance is subject to forfeiture shall not be at issue. The court shall only hear evidence relating to the issue of innocent ownership.
(2) At the hearing on the motion, it shall be the
burden of the claimant to prove each of the assertions listed in subsection (a) of this Section by a preponderance of the evidence.
(3) If a claimant meets his or her burden of proof,
the court shall grant the motion and order the property returned to the claimant. If the claimant fails to meet his or her burden of proof, then the court shall deny the motion and the forfeiture case shall proceed according to the Code of Civil Procedure.
(Source: P.A. 100-699, eff. 8-3-18; 100-1163, eff. 12-20-18.)