(720 ILCS 5/36-2)
(from Ch. 38, par. 36-2)
Complaint for forfeiture.
(a) If the State's Attorney of the county in which such seizure occurs
finds that the alleged violation of law giving rise to the seizure was incurred without willful negligence
or without any intention on the part of the owner of the vessel or watercraft, vehicle,
or aircraft or any person whose right, title, or interest is of record as
described in Section 36-1 of this Article, to violate the law, or finds the existence of
such mitigating circumstances as to justify remission of the forfeiture, he or she
may cause the law enforcement agency having custody of the property to return the property to the owner within a reasonable time not to exceed 7 days. The State's Attorney
shall exercise his or her discretion under this subsection (a) prior to or promptly after the preliminary review under Section 36-1.5.
(b) If, after review of the facts surrounding the seizure, the State's Attorney is of the opinion that the seized property is subject to forfeiture and the State's Attorney does not cause the forfeiture to
be remitted under subsection (a) of this Section, he or she shall bring an action for forfeiture in the
circuit court within whose jurisdiction the seizure and confiscation has
taken place by filing a verified complaint for forfeiture in the circuit court within whose jurisdiction the seizure occurred, or within whose jurisdiction an act or omission giving rise to the seizure occurred, subject to Supreme Court Rule 187. The complaint shall be filed as soon as practicable but not later than 28 days after the State's Attorney receives notice from the seizing agency as provided under Section 36-1.4 of this Article. A complaint of forfeiture shall include:
(1) a description of the property seized;
(2) the date and place of seizure of the property;
(3) the name and address of the law enforcement
The complaint shall be served upon each person whose right, title, or interest is of record in the office of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Transportation, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency, or any other department of this State, or any other state of the United States if the vessel or watercraft, vehicle, or aircraft is required to be so registered, as the case may be, the person from whom the property was seized, and all persons known or reasonably believed by the State to claim an interest in the property, as provided in this Article. The complaint shall be accompanied by the following written notice:
"This is a civil court proceeding subject to the Code of Civil Procedure. You received this Complaint of Forfeiture because the State's Attorney's office has brought a legal action seeking forfeiture of your seized property. This complaint starts the court process where the State seeks to prove that your property should be forfeited and not returned to you. This process is also your opportunity to try to prove to a judge that you should get your property back. The complaint lists the date, time, and location of your first court date. You must appear in court on that day, or you may lose the case automatically. You must also file an appearance and answer. If you are unable to pay the appearance fee, you may qualify to have the fee waived. If there is a criminal case related to the seizure of your property, your case may be set for trial after the criminal case has been resolved. Before trial, the judge may allow discovery, where the State can ask you to respond in writing to questions and give them certain documents, and you can make similar requests of the State. The trial is your opportunity to explain what happened when your property was seized and why you should get the property back."
(Source: P.A. 99-78, eff. 7-20-15; 100-512, eff. 7-1-18; 100-699, eff. 8-3-18; 100-1163, eff. 12-20-18.)