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wadamama

remission/mitigation of forfeiture

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Aloha from Hawaii! My relative's car was seized during an arrest that ended with his being released pending investigation the next day. He received a Notice of Seizure and Forfeiture upon being released from cellblock which listed his car and $480. It named the Honolulu Police Department as the seizing(?) party. After getting the run-around from the police department as to what should be done, I found some info online in the Hawaii State Judiciary website. it stated that a Request for Remission/Mitigation of Forfeiture should be filed within 30 days of receipt of the above mentioned Notice and even had a sample Request form, which looked pretty self-explanatory. Is this the best way to proceed? (It's the ONLY way I found). I know it has to be notarized, but would we able to file this document without the help of a lawyer? (How legalese does it have to be?) If I do need a lawyer, could we use a Public Defender? I'm not sure how it is in the Continental states, but in Hawaii it is close to impossible to see or talk a PD unless court ordered, much less so in 30 days. Or do they have to take the time limit into consideration when scheduling a meeting? Help please! Thanks for your attention!

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Public defenders won't talk to you or your relative as they have to be appointed by the court first which can't happen until charges are actually filed. AND they don't handle forfeitures which, although stemming from a criminal seizure, are considered civil in nature. No one here can advise you. I would suggest you consult a local attorney or, if your relative is determined to do this without the assistance of counsel, you will need to find the nearest law library and read the relevant statutes. Do NOT assume forms you find online are accurate.

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