90-112.1. Remission or mitigation of forfeitures; possession pending trial.

(a) Whenever, in any proceeding in court for a forfeiture, under G.S. 90-112 of any conveyance seized for a violation of this Article the court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to continue, remit or mitigate the forfeiture.

(b) In any such proceeding the court shall not allow the claim of any claimant for remission or mitigation unless and until he proves (i) that he has an interest in such conveyance, as owner or otherwise, which he acquired in good faith; (ii) that he had no knowledge, or reason to believe, that it was being or would be used in the violation of laws of this State relating to controlled substances; (iii) that his interest is in an amount in excess or equal to the fair market value of such conveyance.

(c) If the court, in its discretion, allows the remission or mitigation the conveyance shall be returned to the claimant; and should there be joint request of any two or more claimants, whose claims are allowed, the court shall order the return of the conveyance to such of the joint requesting claimants as have the prior claim on lien. Such return shall be made only upon payment of all expenses incident to the seizure and forfeiture incurred by the State. In all other cases the court shall order disposition of such conveyance as provided in G.S. 90-112, and after satisfaction of the expenses of the sale, and such claims as may be approved by the court, the funds shall be paid to the treasurer or proper officer authorized to receive fines and forfeitures to be used for the school fund of the county in which said vehicle was seized.

(d) If the court should determine that the conveyance should be held for purposes of evidence, then it may order the vehicle to be held until the case is heard. (1975, c. 601.)