I have a bunch of drug forfeiture cases with no service of citation. In most of the cases, the doper disappeared without making any attempt to claim his or her money. In some of the cases, the doper plead open to the Court, so we had no opportunity to get an agreed order of forfeiture. In others, the doper jumped bail. Most of the dollar amnounts are small (under $1000.) The code provides for service by posting for vehicles. Do any of you have any ideas for handling cases involving only money? (In the past, we have returned the money to the seizing agency, to be treated as abandoned property. I am looking for any other ideas you might have.)
Try making a motion for substituted service pursuant to T.R.C.P 106(b). Remember you have to show what efforts were made to perfect service(have the officer prepare an affidavit and submit it with your motion for substituted service). I suggest that you request an order allowing you to perfect service by leaving a copy of the petition with appellant or with anyone over sixteen years old at the address where appellant could usually be found, or by affixing the citation to the door if no one answers. Good Luck.
In cases involving money wherein the respondent is no where to be found, we serve them citation by publication. Be sure to ask permission from the p.d. b/c they will be responsible for paying the costs of same. Hope that helps.
Citation by publication is a sure fire way to effectuate service, but it is expensive. Not only do you(or the seizing agency) have to pay the publication fee, but there will also have to be an attoreny ad-litem appointed. Also, it is my understanding that a final/default judgment entered where the defendant was served via publication can be set aside for up to two years from the date of the judgment.
I would be hesitant to return the money to the seizing agency to treat it is "abandoned property", because in fact it is not "abandoned property", it is property that was seized by the government.
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