Illinois Compiled Statutes
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515 ILCS 5/1-215
(515 ILCS 5/1-215)
(from Ch. 56, par. 1-215)
Illegal fishing devices; public nuisance.
device, including seines, nets, or traps, or any electrical device or any
other devices, including vehicles, watercraft, or aircraft, used or
operated illegally or attempted to be used or operated illegally by any
person in taking, transporting, holding, or conveying any aquatic life
contrary to this Code, including administrative rules, shall be deemed a
public nuisance and therefore illegal and subject to seizure and
confiscation by any authorized employee of the Department. Upon the
seizure of such an item the Department shall take and hold the item until
disposed of as provided in this Code.
Upon the seizure of any device because of its illegal use, the officer
or authorized employee of the Department making the seizure shall, as soon
as reasonably possible, cause a complaint to be filed before the Circuit
Court and a summons to be issued requiring the owner or person in
possession of the property to appear in court and show cause why the
device seized should not be forfeited to the State. Upon the return of
the summons duly served or upon posting or publication of notice as provided
in this Code, the court shall proceed to determine the question of the
illegality of the use of the seized property. Upon judgment being entered
to the effect that the property was illegally used, an order shall be
entered providing for the forfeiture of the seized property to the State.
The owner of the property, however, may have a jury determine the
illegality of its use, and shall have the right of an appeal as in other
civil cases. Confiscation or forfeiture shall not preclude or mitigate
against prosecution and assessment of penalties provided in Section 20-35
of this Code.
Upon seizure of any property under circumstances supporting a
reasonable belief that the property was abandoned, lost, stolen, or
otherwise illegally possessed or used contrary to this
Code, except property seized during a search or arrest, and ultimately
returned, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of under order of a court
in accordance with this Code, the authorized employee of the Department
shall make reasonable inquiry and efforts to identify and notify the owner
or other person entitled to possession of the property and shall return the
property after the person provides reasonable and satisfactory proof of
his or her ownership or right to possession and reimburses the Department
for all reasonable expenses of custody. If the identity or location of the
owner or other person entitled to possession of the property has not been
ascertained within 6 months after the Department obtains possession, the
Department shall effectuate the sale of the property for cash to the
highest bidder at a public auction. The owner or other person entitled to
possession of the property may claim and recover possession of the
property at any time before its sale at public auction upon providing
reasonable and satisfactory proof of ownership or right of possession and
reimbursing the Department for all reasonable expenses of custody.
Any property forfeited to the State by court order under this Section
may be disposed of by public auction, except that any property that is
the subject of a court order shall not be disposed of pending appeal
of the order. The proceeds of the sales at auction shall be deposited in
the Wildlife and Fish Fund.
The Department shall pay all costs of posting or publication of
notices required by this Section.
Property seized or forfeited under this Section is subject to reporting under the Seizure and Forfeiture Reporting Act.
(Source: P.A. 100-512, eff. 7-1-18