(520 ILCS 5/1.25)
(from Ch. 61, par. 1.25)
Every hunting or trapping device, vehicle or conveyance, when
used or operated illegally, or attempted to be used or operated illegally
by any person in taking, transporting, holding, or conveying any wild bird
or wild mammal, contrary to the provisions of this Act, including administrative
rules, is a public nuisance and subject to seizure and confiscation by
any authorized employee of the Department; upon the seizure of such item
the Department shall take and hold the same until disposed of as hereinafter provided.
Upon the seizure of any property as herein provided, the authorized employee
of the Department making such seizure shall forthwith cause a complaint
to be filed before the Circuit Court and a summons to be issued requiring
the person who illegally used or operated or attempted to use or operate
such property and the owner and person in possession of such property to
appear in court and show cause why the property seized should not be forfeited
to the State.
Upon the return of the summons duly served or other notice as herein provided,
the court shall proceed to determine the question of the illegality of the
use of the seized property and upon judgment being entered to the effect
that such property was illegally used, an order may be entered providing
for the forfeiture of such seized property to the Department and shall thereupon
become the property of the Department; but the owner of such property may
have a jury determine the illegality of its use, and shall have the right
of an appeal, as in other cases. Such confiscation or forfeiture
shall not preclude or mitigate against prosecution and assessment of penalties
otherwise provided in this Act.
Upon seizure of any property under circumstances supporting a
reasonable belief that such property was abandoned, lost or stolen or
otherwise illegally possessed or used contrary to the provisions of this
Act, except property seized during a search or arrest, and ultimately
returned, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of pursuant to order of a court
in accordance with this Act, the authorized employee of the Department
shall make reasonable inquiry and efforts to identify and notify the owner
or other person entitled to possession thereof, and shall return the
property after such person provides reasonable and satisfactory proof of
his ownership or right to possession and reimburses the Department for all
reasonable expenses of such 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 such 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 such 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 thereof.
Any property, including guns, forfeited to the State by court order pursuant
to this Section, may be disposed of by public auction, except
that any property which is the subject of such 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 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