Claim Opposing Forfeiture
Templates and Forms
The procedure described in this guide is used to ask for the return of property that may be forfeited as proceeds of criminal activity. If your property is the subject of forfeiture proceedings, you will be notified. In Sacramento County, if the property is taken at the time of arrest, law enforcement will provide the arrestee with this notice, usually a pink or yellow carbon copy. Otherwise, notice may be mailed to you from the District Attorney’s office.
This procedure is not used to ask for the return of property that was taken as evidence during an arrest or as part of a criminal case. The return of property taken in this way requires the use of different procedures. Ask the Librarian for help finding more information on those procedures.
California Health and Safety Code §§ 11469-11495 allow local law enforcement agencies to seize property believed to be connected with controlled substances criminal activity. If the property is personal property worth $25,000 or less and no timely claims are filed, a prosecuting agency may, after notifying all potentially interested parties and publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the property was seized, issue a declaration of forfeiture without having to go to court. This is called an administrative (nonjudicial) forfeiture action.
If a Claim Opposing Forfeiture (MC-200) is timely filed and served, however, the prosecuting agency must file a petition for judicial forfeiture within 30 days after receipt of the claim. Otherwise, the prosecuting agency loses the right to maintain custody of the seized property.
You must file your Claim Opposing Forfeiture (MC-200) within 30 days after you receive personal or mailed notice that your property may be forfeited. If you do not receive personal or mailed notice, you must file your claim within 30 days after notice is first published in a newspaper.
Your Claim Opposing Forfeiture (MC-200) must be filed in the county where the property was seized. If you have received a notice, you can find the address of the court on that notice.
Within 30 days after filing your claim, you must serve a copy on the District Attorney. The copy you serve must have the court’s filing stamp on it.
Complete the necessary forms
The Judicial Council forms commonly used in this procedure are:
Sample filled-in forms with instructions are available at the end of this Guide.
Copying and assembling
Make three copies of each:
- Claim Opposing Forfeiture (MC-200)
- Civil Case Coversheet (CM-010)
Staple each photocopy, but leave the originals unstapled. The originals will be scanned into the court’s filing system, and the staple will damage the scanner. For each document, place the original on top of its photocopies, and paperclip the stack together.
SH@LL (Self Help @ the Law Library)
609 9th Street, Sacramento 95814
(916)476-2731 (Appointment Request Line)
Services Provided: SH@LL provides general information and basic assistance to people without attorneys on a variety of civil legal issues.
Eligibility: Must be a Sacramento County resident or have a qualifying case in the Sacramento County Superior Court. You must have a notice of forfeiture for assistance with a claim opposing forfeiture.
For More Information
At the Law Library:
California Criminal Law Procedure and Practice, KFC 1155 .C35
Chap. 57, Asset Forfeiture
California Criminal Law Forms Manual, KFC 1155 .A68 C34
Chap. 57, Asset Forfeiture
This material is intended as general information only. Your case may have factors requiring different procedures or forms. The information and instructions are provided for use in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Please keep in mind that each court may have different requirements. If you need further assistance consult a lawyer.