Federal Asset Forfeiture Q&A:
What Happens After a Federal Seizure?
When your money is seized you receive a "Field Receipt" stating what what seized (it may says U.S. Currency subject to count) and then you get a "Notice of Seizure" in the mail within 60 days. We then have 30 days to properly file a claim. Once you file a claim, the seizing agency (DEA, FBI, CBP, USPIS, etc.) has 90 days to either return the money or file in Federal Court. If the case is filed in Federal Court, we then have 30 days to file a verified claim with the court, and then 20 days to file an Answer. The case then proceeds as a federal civil case with discovery, depositions, and ultimately the right to a jury trial.
When Can I file a claim?
A claimant does not have to wait for the seizing agency to send notice to file a claim. United States v. $52,800 in U.S. Currency, 33 F.3d 1337 (l1th Cir. 1994) (claimant may file claim at any time after property is seized).