Section 2-17-19

Condemnation proceedings generally; disposition of condemned animals or articles; payment of costs, fees and expenses, etc.

(a) Any carcass, part of a carcass, meat or meat food product or poultry food product of any of the animals or birds subject to inspection under this chapter or any such animal or bird that is dead, dying, disabled or diseased that is being transported in intrastate commerce or is held for sale in this state after such transportation and that is or has been prepared, sold, transported or otherwise distributed or offered or received for distribution in violation of this chapter or is capable of use as human food and is adulterated or misbranded or in any other way is in violation of this chapter shall be liable to be proceeded against and seized and condemned at any time by writ of attachment for condemnation in any proper court as provided in Section 2-17-30 within the jurisdiction of which the article or animal is found. Such writ of attachment for condemnation shall issue upon the sworn complaint of the commissioner or his duly authorized agent, taken by an officer authorized to administer an oath, to the effect that such carcass, part of a carcass, meat or meat food product or poultry food product is adulterated or misbranded or, having been required so to be by this chapter, has not been inspected and examined in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Said sworn complaint by said commissioner or his duly authorized agent may be amended at any stage of the proceedings. Said writ shall be returnable in five days to the court issuing it, which such court shall hear and decide whether the allegations of the complaint are true and whether such article or product shall be condemned and confiscated. Such hearing shall not be had until five days' notice of the date therefor shall have been served on the owner, his agent or other party having an interest in the same, except as otherwise provided in this section. Service of a copy of the writ of attachment for condemnation showing the returns of the attaching officer shall be sufficient notice to the owner for the purposes of this section. Such writ may be executed by the commissioner, his duly authorized agent or by any sheriff or constable in this state. Upon the seizure of the article or product described in the affidavit, it shall be the duty of the officer or person executing the writ to return the same to the circuit court with his return thereon; and, within five days after such return, the court shall make up an issue between the state as plaintiff and the property seized as defendant. In the event that the owner or his agent cannot be found in this state, then said service may be perfected by posting a copy of the writ in a conspicuous place upon the premises where the goods were found and seized and by mailing a copy thereof by registered or certified mail to the owner or his agent to his last known address, and this shall be deemed to be sufficient service of the notice required by this section. If, upon the return day of such writ of attachment for condemnation, the owner of the article or product, his agent or other party having an interest in same thus notified fails to appear and show cause why said articles or products should not be condemned, judgment of condemnation and confiscation shall, upon such default, be entered by the court on the basis of said complaint. If such owner or agent or other party having an interest in such article or product shall, on the day or before the return day of the writ of attachment or upon such other day as the court upon application of said party may determine, file an answer upon oath denying the allegations of adulteration or misbranding or affirming that such articles or products were inspected and examined in accordance with the requirements of this chapter, as the case may be, the issue thus raised may be determined by the court after hearing all of the evidence offered by or on behalf of all the parties to the proceeding. Any such party may demand a jury trial of any issue of fact to be determined in the proceedings instituted under this section; and, in case a jury trial is demanded, the judgment entered by the court shall be in accordance with the facts as found by such jury; provided, however, that the verdict of the jury may be set aside by the court where manifestly contrary to the evidence or the law.

(b) If the article or animal is condemned, it shall, after entry of the judgment, be disposed of by destruction or sale as the court may direct and the proceeds, if sold, less the court costs and fees and storage and other proper expenses, shall be paid into the Treasury of this state, but the article or animals shall not be sold contrary to the provisions of this chapter or the federal Meat Inspection Act or the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act; provided, that upon the execution and delivery of a good and sufficient bond conditioned that the article or animal shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of contrary to the provisions of this chapter or the laws of the United States, the court may direct that such article or animal be delivered to the owner thereof subject to such supervision by authorized representatives of the commissioner as is necessary to insure compliance with the applicable laws. When a judgment of condemnation is entered against the article or animal and it is released under bond or destroyed, court costs and fees and storage and other proper expenses shall be awarded against the person, if any, intervening as claimant of the article or animal.

(c) The provisions of this section shall in no way derogate from authority for condemnation or seizure conferred by other provisions of this chapter or other laws.

(Acts 1969, No. 1049, p. 1939, §25.)