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(725 ILCS 150/9.1)
Innocent owner hearing.
(a) After a complaint for forfeiture is 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 owner or interest holder acquired the interest through any such person, the owner or interest holder did not acquire it as a bona fide purchaser for value, or acquired the interest without knowledge of the seizure of the property for forfeiture.
The claimant's motion shall include specific facts supporting these assertions.
(b) Upon this filing, a hearing may only be held 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.
(c) 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 property is subject to forfeiture shall not be at issue. The court shall only hear evidence relating to the issue of innocent ownership.
(d) At the hearing on the motion, the claimant shall bear the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence each of the assertions set forth in subsection (a) of this Section. If a claimant meets the burden of proof, the court shall grant the motion and order the property returned to the claimant. If the claimant fails to meet the 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. 100-512, eff. 7-1-18; 100-699, eff. 8-3-18.)